Colors: Orange and White
Head Coach: Joe Anderson (10th season) (75-22 record)
2018 record: 11-1 (lost to Centennial in State Semifinals)
Returning Starters: 6 offense 7 defense
The Oakland-Craig Football Team returns 6 starters on offense and 7 on defense from last year’s State Semifinal Team.
Among the returners is Wyatt Seagren. Head Coach Joe Anderson. “Wyatt Seagren (6’7, 250lbs SR) (South Dakota State FB committ) will be a big target for Colten this year. He has really made big gains in the offseason.”
Colten is referring to Colten Thomsen, who takes over at Quarterback.
Other offensive returners include Jaron Meyer (5’10, 180 JR RB/DB), Tom Maline (6’0, 180 SR OL), Mike Maline (6’0, 215 JR L/L/), and. Laurence Brands (6’4, 235 SR L/L).
On the defensive side of the ball, the Knights return Meyer, Thomsen, Seagren, Caden Nelson (5’11, 180 JR FB/LB), Ian Lundquist (5’10, 170 SR FB/LB), Mike Brands (6’1, 200 JR OL/FB), and Blake Johnson (6’0, 190 SR LB).
Anderson says the defense should be excellent this year. “Defense should be a strength of our football teams. We return a really good group of LBs in Nelson, Johnson, Brands, and Lundquist.”
Others likely to play this season are Coulter Thiele, (5’11, 165 JR LB), Jack Pille (5’11, 165 JR RB/DB), Gunnar Ray (5’9, 150 JR WR), and Jarron Metzler (5’10, 180 SR L/L).
Anderson adds the offense has really come together. “Offensively we have a lot more team speed this year. We feel we have multiple guys that can make big plays for us, and our OL really made big strides in the offseason.”
He says Seagren has become quite the player. “Wyatt has a big frame, and really finished the season strong last year. As a TE he is a big target and also great blocker for us. As a DE he has become a really good pass rusher, and has really learned how to use his long levers to create an advantage for him.”
Anderson adds Lundquist is quite the ballhawk defender. “Ian led us in tackles as a sophomore from his LB position. Last year we needed him at SS. He was still our second leading tackler. He will be back at LB this season. He has a great nose for the football. He is constantly flying around with great effort. He just makes plays. He will also have a big role in our offense next year.”
Anderson says Meyer played well last year until getting injured. “Rushed for 127 yards in the first game last year, then broke his foot. Very strong, fast, and explosive, and he has a lot of big play potential on offense. He plays very physical and is one of our best tacklers. Jaron will have big play potential from either the RB or QB spot.”
Anderson adds Mike Brands has lots of promise. “Moved into starting role at MLB in Week 3 and never gave it up. Big, strong kid that has a lot of potential. He is a very physical player who has a nose for the football. He will also be a big piece of our OL.”
Anderson says Brands led the team with 62 tackles last year.
Anderson adds that Nelson is a solid, durable player. “Started 12 games at LB last year as a sophomore. Caden is a very smart player and understands the game. He was one of our vocal leaders out on the field. He is a very strong kid that plays very physical at the line of scrimmage.”
Anderson says Nelson had 51 tackles for the team last year.
He also says Metzler will move into a starting position on the O-Line.
Oakland-Craig looks to reload again after making the State Semifinals last year.
Anderson says this year’s group of kids are very talented just like last year’s. “We lost a good group of 10 seniors from last year, but return a solid group of kids who have played a lot of football and went undefeated last year in JV. Our top groups will have a chance to be pretty good, but we will not have as much depth as we had last year. We must develop that as the season goes along. Defense should be a strength of our team. Lundquist, Brands, and Johnson give us one of the better linebacker groups we have had. Seagren, Maline, Maline, and Metzler give us an experienced front 4. Thomsen and Meyer give us two experienced DB’s that return. Jack Pille and Coulter Thiele got a lot of time last year. Thomsen will fill the QB spot. Brands, Brands, Maline, Maline, and Metzler (with Seagren at TE) will give us a good group up front.”
The Knights open up the season at Crofton on Friday. Anderson says the Warriors and others will be tough this year. “We due lack some depth in places that we hope to develop throughout the season, as we will play a much tougher schedule this year. Crofton has everyone back and will be a very good test to open the year. They are a very physical team, so we will have to match their physicality.”
Oakland-Craig plays Hartington Cedar Catholic and Ponca after that, and also has tough district games against Fremont Bergan and BRLD.
Bob Jensen of the Huskerland Prep Report.
“They leave behind some really good football players. And of course the one that got the most attention over the summer, Wyatt Seagren, had a great offseason. And he’s one of those kids…he’s just a monster. He’s 6’7, 230, 240 whatever. And he really found that extra gear by all accounts over the summer. He’s going to be a dominant player. And there’s no reason that Oakland-Craig won’t make another play for another semifinal. I mean you’d have to think that’s true. They do it every year.”
2019 Oakland-Craig Knights Football Schedule:
08/30/19 @ Crofton
09/06/19 Hartington Cedar Catholic
09/20/19 @ Syracuse
09/27/19 @ Tekamah-Herman
10/11/19 Archbishop Bergan
10/18/19 @ Yutan
10/25/19 @ BRLD