For several area high school football teams, raising hardware at the UNI-Dome was just out of their grasps in 2011. They're attempting to take the next step this season. "We set our goals at the start knowing we had the potential to be good, and as the year progressed we got better and better," said ADM of Adel coach Michael Whisner. Last season in Class 3-A, ADM was undefeated and airing it out until a loss in the state semifinals. After quarterback Gavin Glenn and receiver Lane Hovey graduated, Whisner had to figure out what was next. "We legitimately could have won a state championship," Whisner said. "That tells the younger kids that the sky is the limit." Returning five sizable offensive linemen is something many programs can't muster, and the Tigers will continue to run their spread attack. "When we started throwing the ball around seven years ago, we might have had one or two lineman that were this big and this good of athletes, so this kind of stabilizing force will help the quarterback a lot," Whisner said. Des Moines Christian is trying to reload. The Lions enjoyed a strong run before losing to eventual runner-up Council Bluffs St. Albert in last year's 1-A playoffs. Most of the touches went to seniors on that team, though, and Des Moines Christian will rely on players from an undefeated junior varsity squad to battle in District 7. "I thought maybe that would hurt us as far as our leadership, but our seniors this year are quality kids and that translates into good things happening with our younger kids," said co-head coach Craig Carlson. "Several of these guys could have started, but they just had to wait their turn. Now it's their time, and I think we'll surprise some people." Last fall, Murray was four quarters away from taking a giant step into the record book in the eight-player championship game. The Mustangs ended up setting records for all the wrong reasons, losing a brutal 81-0 contest to Fremont-Mills. "Whether we lost by one or whatever we lost by, we still came up short for the state championship," said returning senior quarterback Austin Halls. "This year we've got a higher target and we've got higher expectations for ourselves." Halls leads a large group of returning Murray stars, and they want to put 2011 in the past. "There's no regret there," Halls said. "Obviously I made a lot of mistakes in that game, but that's where you come back this year and you work to get yourself in position to get another shot at it. It's definitely a motivator for this year." Several area schools in the five smaller classes open Friday, including Saydel, North Polk, Ankeny Christian and Grandview Park Baptist.
Coach: Michael Whisner, 108-94 career record
Top Returners: Jordan Grove, R/S; Noah Taylor, OL/DL; Blake Heiman, R/S; Dylan Nelson, OL/LN, Anthony Weiland, OL/DL; Trystan Pitzenbarger, OL/DL.
Schedule: Aug. 24, at Dallas Center-Grimes; Aug. 31, Winterset; Sept. 7, at Glenwood; Sept. 14, at Creston; Sept. 21, Lewis Central; Sept. 28, at Atlantic; Oct. 5, Newton; Oct. 12, Perry; Oct. 19, at Harlan.
Coach: Al Christian, 103-64
Top Returners: Alex Macki, LB; Kordell Lettow, LB; Michael Wulfekuhle, DB; Jacob Nethers, DB; Charles Angell, NG; Jacob Bernholtz, RB; Jacob Forre, C; Kirklynn Kohrt, OG; Chris Sorenson, OLB; Chris Neville, SS.
Schedule: Aug. 24, Webster City; Aug. 31, at Carlisle; Sept. 7, Saydel; Sept. 14, at Norwalk; Sept. 21, at Boone; Sept. 28, South Tama; Oct. 5, at Grinnell; Oct. 12, at Dallas Center-Grimes; Oct. 19, Newton.
Coach: Mark Hoekstra, 67-46
Top Returners: Daniel Hupke, RB/TE, DL; Nate Lo, OL/DL; Austin Postier, OL; Grant Davis, OL; Chris Casey, TE; Nate Stickley, LB; Ben Burnett, DL; Luke Oja, DL; Dallas Loney, DB; Austin Ruppert, RB.
Schedule: Aug 24, at Boone; Aug. 31, Ballard; Sept. 7, Oskaloosa; Sept. 14 at Winterset; Sept. 21, Pella; Sept. 28, at Knoxville; Oct. 5, at Centerville; Oct. 12, Chariton; Oct. 19, at Norwalk.
Coach: Scott Heitland, 39-37
Top Returners: Colin Schroeder, DB; Jordan Eastman, DB/OL; Payton Brect, DL/OL; Alex Hansen, LB/TB; Nick Schiller, OL; Tyler Gottman, OL; Jake Lewis, WR; Spencer Grosklags, DL.
Schedule: Aug. 24, ADM (Adel); Aug. 31, at Norwalk; Sept. 7, South Tama; Sept. 14, Grinnell; Sept. 21, Knoxville; Sept. 28, at Newton; Oct. 5, at Saydel; Oct. 12, Ballard; Oct. 19, at Boone.
Coach: Jim Dunne, 150-57
Top Returners: Eli Dunne, QB; Ethan Lahn, OT; Jared Keenan, DE; Jack Leshen, LN; Kajuan Stalling, LB; Brett Morrison, LB; Ryan Davis, LB; Joe Nowasell, DB/SE; Troy Smith, DB; Jared Buchmeier, OG.
Schedule: Aug. 24, Williamsburg; Aug. 31, at Oskaloosa; Sept. 7, Pella; Sept. 14, at Dallas Center-Grimes; Sept. 21, Newton; Sept. 28, at Saydel; Oct. 5, Ballard; Oct. 12, Boone; Oct. 19, at South Tama.
Coach: Troy Rider, 5-13
Top Returners: Ryan Douglas WR/FS; Austin Gacke LT/DE; Joe Stearns C/NG; Jake Stearns TE/OLB; Tanner Dunkin WR; Colton Spaur RB/OLB; Reed Long WR/DE; Lukas Burke LB; Aaron Crossett LB; Jalen Frost LB.
Schedule: Aug. 24, at PCM (Monroe); Aug. 31, Newton; Sept. 7, Winterset; Sept. 14, Pella; Sept. 21 at Dallas Center-Grimes; Sept. 28, Carlisle; Oct. 5, at Chariton; Oct. 12, Norwalk; Oct. 19, at Oskaloosa.
Coach: Paul Patterson
Top Returners: Ken Floyd, RB; Sam George, LB; Kolby Greenslade, DB; Chase Onken, QB; Keaton Klocko, FB.
Schedule: Aug. 24, at Newton; Aug. 31 Dallas Center-Grimes; Sept. 7, at Chariton; Sept. 14, Ballard; Sept. 21, Oskaloosa; Sept. 28, at Winterset; Oct. 5, Pella; Oct. 12, Knoxville; Oct. 19, Carlisle.
Coach: Mark Schilb, 4-4
Top Returners: Dan Jones, DL; Austin Redlich, WR; Tyce Sarver, DB; Brandon Strasser, LB; Jake Wills, OL; Keoki Gibson, LB; Andrew Landgrebe, DB; Mason Wise, LB.
Schedule: Aug. 24, at Indianola; Aug. 31, Grinnell; Sept. 7 at Carlisle; Sept. 14, Chariton; Sept. 21, at Norwalk; Sept. 28, Keokuk; Oct. 5, Winterset; Oct. 12, Pella; Oct. 19, Knoxville.
Coach: Jay McKinstrey, 121-43
Top Returners: Josh De Waard, QB; Kenny DuPre, LB; Houston Naaktgeboren, OL; Matt Nieuwsma, NG; Nathan Clayberg, LB.
Schedule: Aug. 24, at Marshalltown; Aug. 31, Washington; Sept. 7, at Grinnell; Sept. 14, Knoxville; Sept. 21, at Carlisle; Sept. 28, Chariton; Oct. 5, Norwalk; Oct. 12, Oskaloosa; Oct. 19, at Winterset.
Coach: Jason Olejniczak, 4-5
Top Returners: Jackson Van Kirk, C/OLB; Michael Lansing, OL; Will Whiton, DB/QB; Torry Brelsford, TE/DE; Seth Stetzle, OLB; Caleb Jans, WR/CB; Ben Daniels S/P; Juan Guerrero, DL; Walter Juarez DL.
Schedule: Aug. 24, at Greene County; Aug. 31, Boone; Sept. 7, at Harlan; Sept. 14, Glenwood; Sept. 21, Creston; Sept. 28, at Lewis Central; Oct. 5, Atlantic; Oct. 12, at ADM (Adel); Oct. 19, at Saydel.
Coach: Adam Busch, 21-11
Top Returners: Sean Vitiritto, S; Andrew Holmes, TE/DE; Brandon Howell, OL/DL; Zane Martin, OL/DL; Dylan Bruns, OL/DL; Dillon Wise, OL/DL; Kyle Tijerina, OL/DL; Jake Scherman, P/LB; Logan Summers, S.
Schedule: Aug. 17, Nevada; Aug. 24, at Colfax-Mingo; Aug. 31, Clarke (Osceola); Sept. 7, at Ballard; Sept. 14, Boone; Sept. 21, at South Tama; Sept. 28, Grinnell; Oct. 5, Dallas Center-Grimes; Oct. 12, at Newton; Oct. 19, Perry.
Coach: Zach Sweeny, 46-56
Top Returners: Cory Briney, QB; CJ Caudel, LB; Trae Gilliland WR; Blake Glenn OL/DL; Jeston Jobe DL; Noah Kaldenberg DB/RB; Lucas Nolan, DB/WR; Adam Purdy DB/RB; Zach Goodwin OL; Ryan Scheetz DB/WR.
Schedule: Aug. 24, I-35 (Truro); Aug. 31, at ADM (Adel); Sept. 7 at Knoxville; Sept. 14, Carlisle; Sept. 21, at Chariton; Sept. 28, Norwalk; Oct. 5, at Oskaloosa; Oct. 12, Creston; Oct. 19, Pella.
Coach: Brad Kjar, 4-6.
Top Returners: Colton Halder, RB/LB/KR; Austin Sullivan, OL/DL; Dillon Stafford, RB/DB/K; Hunter Girling, OL/DL; Austin Hamm, OL/DL; Austin Moeller, FB/OL/LB; Joe DiTomaso, RB/WR/DB/KR; Patrick Rooney, S; Tanner Perry, OL/DL.
Schedule: Aug. 24, North Polk; Aug. 31, at Nevada; Sept. 7, CMB (Baxter); Sept. 14, at Interstate 35 (Truro); Sept. 21, Albia; Sept. 28, at Clarke (Osceola); Oct. 5, at Davis County (Bloomfield); Oct. 12, Gilbert; Oct. 19, PCM (Monroe)
Coach: Rob Luther, 4-6.
Top Returners: Tim Thalacker, OL/LB; Zach Samson, DE/QB; Zach Hartgers, DB/WR; Darrein Sadler, OL/DL; Austin Moorman, WR; Bryce Kemp, TE; Patrick Girard, OL/DL; Riley Wattonville, LB; Zach Huffaker, DB.
Schedule: Aug. 17, at North Polk; Aug. 24, at Gilbert; Aug. 31, Roland-Story; Sept. 7, at Bondurant-Farrar; Sept. 14, at PCM (Monroe); Sept. 21, Nevada; Sept. 28, at Interstate 35 (Truro); Oct. 5, Albia; Oct. 12, at Clarke (Osceola); Oct. 19, Davis County.
INTERSTATE 35 (TRURO)
Coach: Randy Calvert.
Top Returners: Tommy Bregar, QB/DB; Briar Vogel, RB/LB; Mitch Vipond, RB/DB; Alex Middleton, RB/DB; Zach Goering, TE/LB; Joe Bedwell, RB/DB; Sam Bedwell, RB/LB; Ethan Jones, OL/DE; Brady Gray, TE/DE; Garrett Ostling, OL/DL.
Schedule: Aug. 24, at Winterset; Aug. 31, Central Decatur (Leon); Sept. 7, at Davis County; Sept. 14, Bondurant-Farrar; Sept. 21, at PCM (Monroe); Sept. 28, CMB (Baxter); Oct. 5, at North Polk; Oct. 12, Albia; Oct. 19, at Clarke (Osceola).
Coach: Evan Groepper, 8-3.
Top Returners: Jake Hadaway, WR/CB; Sam Pickard, WR/S; Clay Cory, CB; Jake Torsky, OL/DL; Collin Hoshaw, OL/DL; Jon Lackore, DL.
Schedule: Aug. 17, CMB (Baxter); Aug. 24, at Bondurant-Farrar; Aug. 31, Greene County; Sept. 7, Roland-Story; Sept. 14, at Gilbert; Sept. 21, West Marshall (State Center); Sept. 28, at Nevada; Oct. 5, Interstate 35 (Truro); Oct. 19, at East Marshall (LeGrand).
Coach: Craig Carlson and Jeff South, 9-2.
Top Returners: Alex Toulouse, OL/LB; Cody Carlson, DE/TE; T.J. Sheeley, RB/CB; Dillon Bruxvoort, RB/CB.
Schedule: Aug. 24, Madrid; Aug. 31, at Woodward-Granger; Sept. 7, Ogden; Sept. 14, at Pella Christian; Sept. 21, Mount Ayr; Sept. 28, at Panorama (Panora); Oct. 5, Colfax-Mingo; Oct. 12, at Central Decatur (Leon); Oct. 19, at Van Meter.
Coach: Eric Trudo, 40-28.
Top Returners: Branon Brittain, QB/LB; Tyger Bottenfield, WR/DB; Spencer Benton, OG/DT; Logan Crawford, DB; Connor Cypser, LB; Jeremy Helmick, WR/LB; Ben Flaherty, WR; Stephen Folkerts, OT; Boonie Green RB; Ross Wesselmann, OG.
Schedule: Aug. 24, Earlham; Aug. 31, at Madrid; Sept. 7, Colfax-Mingo; Sept. 14, at Ogden; Sept. 21, Central Decatur (Leon); Sept. 28, at Mount Ayr; Oct. 5, at Pella Christian; Oct. 12, West Central Valley (Stuart); Oct. 19, D.M. Christian.
Coach: Chris Caskey, 6-5.
Top Returners: Clayton Klisaris, OL/DL; Matt Mankin, WR/LB; Tim Logemann, WR/DB; Branden Waldron, RB/LB; Alex Wetrich, RB/DB; Zach Rice, RB/DB; Cole Ridgely, OL/DL; Zach Schrek, OL/LB; Spencer Faust, OL/LB; Alex Steward, OL/DL.
Schedule: Aug. 24, at Van Meter; Aug. 31, West Central Valley (Stuart); Sept. 7, at Martensdale St. Marys; Sept. 14, Woodward Academy; Sept. 21, Madrid; Sept. 28, at Woodward-Granger; Oct. 5, Bedford; Oct. 12, Guthrie Center; Oct. 19, at Audubon.
Coach: Randy Hinkel, 289-67
Top returners: Colton Braunschweig, FB/LB; Nick Novotny, QB/DB; Clay Kirkpatrick, OT/DT; Seth Kleinwort, OG/DE; Anthony Ugolini, OG/DE; Carson Carpenter, WR/DB; Jacob Clayton, RB/LB; Owen Gibbons RB/ DB
Schedule: Aug. 24, at Des Moines Christian; Aug. 31, Van Meter; Sept. 7, at Audubon; Sept. 14, Martensdale-St. Marys; Sept. 21, at Earlham; Sept. 28, Woodward Academy; Oct. 5, Woodward-Granger; Oct. 12, at Bedford; Oct. 19, at Guthrie Center
Coach: Brent Parrott, 5-14.
Top Returners: Trent Verwers, QB; Austin Streyffeler, TB/LB; Garrett Gehringer, FB/LB; Tyler Reindl, WR/LB; Cody Harvey, OL/D; Luke Anctil, OL/LB; Jerrett Cowell, OL/DT; Miller Hatcher, WR/DB; Mitchell Brown, WR/DB.
Schedule: Aug. 24, Southeast Warren (Liberty Center); Aug. 31, at Pleasantville; Sept. 7, Earlham; Sept. 14, at Madrid; Sept. 21, Woodward-Granger; Sept. 28, Bedford; Oct. 5, Guthrie Center; Oct. 12, Audubon; Oct. 19, at Woodward Academy.
Coach: George Ashman, 41-14.
Top Returners: Taylor Ashman, QB/FS; Andrew McCune, RB/DE; Michael Brown, DB/WR; Tyler Lesch, OLB/FB; Tanner Canova, TE/DE; Brent Carlson, OL; Evan Bodermann, DE.
Schedule: Aug. 24, Ogden; Aug. 31, D.M. Christian; Sept. 7, at Guthrie Center; Sept. 14, Audubon; Sept. 21, at Martensdale St. Marys; Sept. 28, Earlham; Oct. 5, at Madrid; Oct. 12, Woodward Academy; Oct. 19, at Bedford.
Coach: Fred Buell.
Top Returners: N/A.
Schedule: Aug. 17, at Heartland Christian; Aug. 24, at Northeast Hamilton (Blairsburg); Aug. 31, Murray; Sept. 7, Colo-Nesco; Sept. 14, at Grandview Park Baptist; Sept. 21, East Union (Afton); Oct. 5, Lamoni; Oct. 12, Adair-Casey; Oct. 19, at Mormon Trail (Garden Grove).
GRANDVIEW PARK BAPTIST
Coach: John Safford, 38-40.
Top Returners: Brennan Drea, QB; Jonathan Toney, RB; Connor Arrasmith, LM; Jonathan Eller, LM; Antonyo Arrasmith, LM.
Schedule: Aug. 17, Coon Rapids-Bayard; Aug. 24, at Lamoni; Aug. 31, Morman Trail (Garden Grove); Sept. 7, at Murray; Sept. 14, Ankeny Christian Academy; Sept. 28, at Adair-Casey; Oct. 5, at Tri-County (Thornburg); Oct. 12, Colo-Nesco; Oct. 19, at East Union (Afton).
Note: Newton, Pella Christian and Woodward Academy did not provide information to the Register