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Frazee lineup to be senior-laden

The Hornet defense relied on "Gang Green" tackling last year.1 / 3
The Hornets had some big plays in 2011 they hope to replicate this season as well.2 / 3
First Row: Coach Aron Velde, Mel Johnson, Colton Bakkila, Josh LaCroix, Tanner Bachmann, Brandon Degroat, Toby Drewes, Jacob Roble, Seth Wutzke, Nathan Nguyen, Colton Olson, Charlton Wake, Coach Ryan Vigen. Second Row: Trainer Sean Degerstrom, Trainer Kate Wurtz, Coach Jim Jacobson, Sundance White, Grant Overland, Mathew Daggett, Riley Utke, Tyler Wacker, Jordan Ketter, Jesse Trusty, Martin Thorp, Coach Rader, Coach Bill Aufdenkamp, Coach Brian Gillespie.. Third Row: Cory Wokasch, Tyler Olson, Matthe...3 / 3

Senior leadership will not be lacking for the Frazee Hornets, since they return nearly 20 upperclassmen for the 2012 season.

The Hornets will be a senior-dominated team and that also bodes well for experience factor.

"We have some higher expectations this year because of our experience and the amount of seniors we have out," said Frazee head coach Jim Rader. "I feel we can be very competitive and I think the top half of the conference will be up for grabs."

Traditionally, the Hornets have always fielded a solid offensive line and this year will be no different.

Last year, Rader was forced to start two freshmen and the experiment turned out well.

Sophomores Garrett Malstrom and Roger Thorp each excelled on the line and both bring nice size to the trenches.

Malstrom is an athletic 235 pounds, while Thorp is a space-eating 300-pound lineman.

"They both turned out to be phenomenal for us as freshmen," Rader said. "Then we also return two-year starter senior Brett Gildersleeve at center."

The offensive line should be a strength, which will make third-year senior quarterback Baxter Bachmann that much more comfortable.

Bachmann has gained the confidence and experience to run the Hornet offense, Rader said.

"He understands the offense well and he's versatile, athletic and confident in both his rushing and throwing abilities," the Frazee coach said.

The Hornets also have fielded consistent 1,000-yard running backs and this year it's senior Bruce Lemon's turn.

Lemon filled the fullback duties last season, but will switch to running back. He brings nice shifty moves and some potential breakaway speed to the offense.

Bachmann will have plenty of targets down the field, as well.

"We have more receiver types than we've ever had before," Rader said. "We'll have four to five different guys rotating in. We've always been known as a rushing team, but we may throw it a bit more this year."

Senior co-captain (along with Bachmann) Tyler Ziegler will anchor the defense either at defensive end or linebacker.

Malstrom will play both ways and switch over to the defensive line or even to linebacker, if need be.

Senior Tyler Wacker will be versatile enough to play either linebacker or cornerback.

"Overall, our team speed is good and we'll get pretty aggressive on the defense," Rader said.

The Hornets will be in a tough battle in the section playoffs, which also contain traditional powerhouses Pelican Rapids, Barnesville and Hawley.

"I think half the section has a shot and I feel we can be one of them," Rader added.

Hornets Schedule

8/31 7:00 PM @ Bagley  (8AA)  

9/7 7:00 PM Mahnomen  (8A)  

9/14 7:00 PM @ Lake Park-Audubon (6A)  

9/21 7:00 PM @ Red Lake County Rebels (8A)  

9/28 7:00 PM Pine River-Backus  (6A)  

10/5 7:00 PM @ Warren-Alvarado-Oslo  (8A)  

10/12 7:00 PM Fosston  (8A)  

10/18 1:15 PM Fertile-Beltrami  (8A)  

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