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Lakers ready for 2nd year in HOL

Laker slotback Casey Paskey turns upfield against Perham during DL's scrimmage.1 / 3
The Detroit Lakes football coaching staff.2 / 3
Detroit Lakes scrimmaged against Perham towards the beginning of the football season.3 / 3

For the first time in three years, there will be a new quarterback for the Detroit Lakes football team.

With the graduation of three-year starter Joe Mollberg, who now is donning University of North Dakota green, the reins have been handed over to incoming junior Michael Herzog.

Even though Herzog has been groomed as Mollberg's heir apparent, there is still a little question of who will be starting the season as DL's signal caller.

Herzog suffered an ACL tear last January during the Laker basketball season, but even after much hard work and perseverance by the Laker junior, the DL coaching staff doesn't want to rush him back too soon.

"Mike has worked very hard in rehab this offseason," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "He is just a good athlete and a very good rusher and thrower. He proved he can be a good quarterback after playing in four games last year."

If Herzog is deemed not ready to go early in the season, junior Dylan Bremseth will get the nod.

"Dylan was a solid QB for the B-team last year," Motschenbacher said. "So he is more than capable of playing."

The Lakers will have plenty of inexperienced players coming in, leaving lots of questions to be answered, but there is talent to fill each position.

The offensive line will be bigger than it has in the past, which is a good thing for whoever is the DL signal caller.

Seniors Tyler Gebhart and Logan Moe are the lone returners on the offensive line, with the remaining positions being battled over by a bevy of other capable players.

"We have a handful of kids who are fighting for playing time on the O-line, but the question is how many are able to go both ways," Motschenbacher said. "We are trying to develop depth there, but no matter who we have, they'll be inexperienced."

The backfield brings back some experience, with junior Jarett Nosal returning after rushing 37 times for 163 yards in 2011.

He will be joined by returning seniors slotbacks Stephen Erb and Kirk McLeod.

Others who will see time in the backfield included junior Casey Paskey and sophomore Sam Champa.

McLeod and senior Derek Long return as pass catchers, as well.

"We still want to rush the ball and control possession," Motschenbacher said.

The defensive line return both its defensive tackles in junior Kirby Siewert and junior Josh Weber, with junior defensive end Brandon Dahring also back.

Erb is a returner at cornerback, as well as McLeod. Bremseth will help anchor the linebacking corp.

"We have better team speed, mixed in with some size," Motschenbacher said.

The Lakers will also be borrowing their kicker from the DL boys' soccer team, as senior Christian Tigges will take on kicking duties, along with Champa.

This will be DL's second year in the Heart O'Lakes Conference, in which they finished 5-2 last year.

"We'll need to be ready every week, because it's going to be a competitive conference again," Motschenbacher added.

The Lakers also have a new section, once again, with the debut of the new Class 6A division. DL stays in Class 4A, along with East Grand Forks, Fergus Falls, Little Falls, defending state champion Rocori and Thief River Falls.

The top two teams in the section will receive a first-round bye in the playoffs, with the championship game being played in the FargoDome.

Detroit Lakes Schedule

8/30 7:00 PM @ Hermantown (7AAAA)

9/7 7:00 PM Pequot Lakes (8AAA)

9/14 7:00 PM @ Thief River Falls (8AAAA)

9/21 7:00 PM @ Staples-Motley (8AAA)

9/28 7:00 PM East Grand Forks (8AAAA)

10/5 7:00 PM Park Rapids Area (8AAA)

10/12 7:00 PM @ Perham (8AAA)

10/17 7:00 PM @ Crookston (8AAA)

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.