By William for CrossDove Writers

(SPONSORED by CrossDove Marketing)

With 15 returning starters, the Inman football team for 2019 continues to grow in experience, with hopes that experience from last year’s six-win season and playoff spot can become more wins in the record book and a further run in the playoffs.

“We must continue to get better up front on both sides of the ball,” noted Teuton Head Coach Lance Sawyer. “Running the ball and stopping the run will be our main priority in 2019. We return a lot of starters so we will be counting on that experience paying dividends.”

In 2018 the Teutons finished 6-4 on the season while landing second in Districts with a 2-1 mark. They parlayed that to the round of 16 in the state playoffs where they lost to Elkhart.

As Coach Sawyer begins his fifth season, he welcomes back seven players who started on both sides of the ball, including Jace Doerksen, who as just a freshman last season took over at quarterback while making all-league at defensive back. Other two-way starters coming back are Nate Shober (a junior RB/LB who lead the team in rushing as a freshman in 2017), Justin Schroeder (a senior RB/LB), Kolby Blank (a senior RB/DB whose 2018 season was cut short with a broken arm), Derick Johnson (a junior WR/DB), Cole Hase (a junior OL/DL), and Mason Carter (a junior TE/DL).

Other returning starters are senior center Jacob Koop (a 2018 Class 2A Powerlifting Champion), and Sam Kleinherenbrink, a senior defensive back who is playing football for just his second season and will get a shot at running back as well.

In total, Inman returns six offensive starters and nine defensive starters.

Three players moving up from the junior varsity and being counted on to make a difference are sophomores Dawson Mannebach, Christian Winsky and Kyler Konrade, as well as juniors Dairien Dawes and Carter Brown. On top of all that, Coach Sawyer reminds everyone that they have 12 freshman our for football this season, making it one of the top freshman groups he has coached.

“We are excited to get back at it,” continued Coach Sawyer. “After a great season in 2018, our guys have continued to dedicate themselves to the weight room and our growth has been outstanding. We are ready to see results from that on the field. We had one of the best seasons Inman has seen in the past 15 years, so we plan to take a ton of confidence and experience from that. We have found what it takes to be successful and we realize how physical we need to be on both sides of the ball and continue to work on our physical play.”

As for the 2019 season, Coach Sawyer concluded his pre-season reflections by saying, “Our goal is to get back to the playoffs. The players are fast and athletic, plus we are as strong as any team I have coached so I expect that we will be as physical as any team out there. Every player saw some varsity experience last season, experience which we are counting on to keep the fundamentals working which in turn will keep our offense and defense as sharp as possible.”

The Teutons open the 2019 season on Thursday, September 5 when they go on the road to Belle Plaine before getting their home opener on Friday, September 13 against Trinity.

2019 Teuton Schedule:

Thursday, Sept. 5 – at Belle Plaine

Friday, Sept. 13 – host Trinity

Friday, Sept. 20 – at Remington

Friday, Sept. 27 – at Marion

Friday, Oct. 4 – host Ell-Saline

Friday, Oct. 11 – at Sublette

Friday, Oct. 18 – host Meade

Friday, Oct. 25 – host Sedgwick