The Milbank Area football team kicked off its season Friday, August 18, with a football fun night and a public scrimmage. Fans were treated to walking tacos and a sneak peak of what the Dawgs hope to do in the upcoming season.
The Bulldogs will vie for the top spot in the Northeast and I-29 conferences this season. They return 22 letterwinners including five starters on offense and 10 on defense.
On the offensive side, juniors Austin Schuelke at center and Mitch Quade at guard, bring one year of starting experience. Senior tackle Taran Mogard also counts one year of experience. Fellow senior tackle Caden Wollschlager has two years of starting experience under his belt as does senior running back Tanner Gauer. Gauer rushed for 723 yards on 94 carries and 11 touchdowns last season.
The defense will be led by seniors Jake Anderson and Gauer at safety, Zach Angerhofer (DE), Ben Nelson (DT), Riley Folk (LB) and Riley Wollschlager at corner. Juniors Derrick Aho, Cole Dockter, Tanner Kettwig, and Koben Huber round out the starters on the squad. Dockter led the team in 2015 with six sacks. Anderson was the leading tackler with 71 and Huber had 64. R. Wollschlager led the team with five interceptions; Aho had three.
Junior Jonny Ash will run the offense as the starting quarterback. He stands 6’2” weighs 180 pounds and has experience at center. Other newcomers expected to contribute significantly are senior Cody Dockter; juniors Ethan Paysen, James Weber, and Chandler Peery; and sophomore Jake Karges.
“Quade and Mogard will be in the defensive line rotation with Anderson, Cole Dockter, Karges,and Huber fitting in with the running back rotation,” explained Coach Jeremy Tostenson. Filling out the offensive line will be Kettwig, Nelson, Angerhofer, Preston Morton, Albert Pavlinac, and Jake Fox.
Coach Tostenson will begin his fifteenth year as head coach of the Bulldogs. He has a 74-61 career record and is the winningest coach in MHS football history. He will be assisted this season by Troy Gauer, Ryan Scoular, Brian Pauli, Scott Wiese, Travis Lester, and Carl Larson.
Under Tostenson’s helm, the Bulldogs were runners-up in 2005 and 2009 champions in Class 11A. The Dawgs finished 2015 with a 6-4 overall record and fell to West Central in the opening round of playoffs.
“The keys to us having a successful season come down to weight room attendance, leadership, accountability, discipline, blocking and tackling, and practicing with a purpose,” explained Tostenson. “Our biggest challenge will be becoming a physical team that executes blocks and tackles.”
Kickoff for the season opener is Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m. at AB Campbell Stadium. The Bulldogs will also host Pink Night that evening.
Following is the complete 2016 season for the Dawgs:
|1||Aug 26||7:00 p.m. CT||Flandreau||Milbank|
|2||Sep 02||7:00 p.m. CT||McCook Central/Montrose||Salem|
|3||Sep 09||7:00 p.m. CT||Aberdeen Roncalli||Milbank|
|4||Sep 16||7:00 p.m. CT||Groton Area||Groton|
|5||Sep 23||7:00 p.m. CT||Sioux Valley||Volga|
|6||Sep 30||7:00 p.m. CT||Redfield/Doland||Milbank|
|7||Oct 07||7:00 p.m. CT||Dell Rapids||Dell Rapids|
|8||Oct 14||7:00 p.m. CT||Sisseton||Milbank|
|9||Oct 20||7:00 p.m. CT||Madison||Milbank|