Football: Warriors to kick off turf era at Adamson Field
About 10 years ago, playing a majority of high school football games on artificial turf was only a distant dream.
This fall, the Brainerd Warriors will play seven games on turf (4 home, 3 away) and the Fergus Falls Otters will play four. Next season Fergus Falls will join the ranks of outstate schools with a turf field.
"It's not a novelty anymore. It's become the way of the world," Otters head coach Steve Olson said of turf.
"I think they have a beautiful spot there," Olson said of Brainerd. "It's a fun atmosphere, but they could get rid of that cannon (that erupts after every Brainerd touchdown) if they want to."
The Warriors and Otters will play the first football game on the new artificial surface at Brainerd's Adamson Field at 7 p.m. Friday as the 2014 season kicks off. Warriors coach Ron Stolski said the game will mark a milestone.
Warriors vs. Fergus Falls
- When: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29
- Where: Adamson Field, Brainerd
- The series: Fergus Falls leads 13-8
- Last meeting: Brainerd won 72-14 in the 2013 opener
- Twitter: @bertsballpark
- Radio: KLIZ-AM (1380)
- Web stream: www.brainerdradio.net.
"It's kind of farewell to one era and hello to the next," Stolski said. "Obviously the advantage of turf is that weather will no longer be a factor. Aesthetically it's such a beautiful facility. From a practical point of view it has allowed us to practice so much better. We share with soccer, but we're able to always have a surface we can prepare on. The other areas where we usually practice are being graded and seeded so we really do have a little less space.
"One of the things about turf is the additional benefit that will be derived by the community. We'll be hosting section (and state) football games, perhaps soccer tournaments that we weren't able to do before."
The Warriors are coming off a state runner-up finish in 2013 and return nine full- or part-time starters from a 12-1 team, the most successful in program history. The Otters return seven starters from a team that was 2-2 at the midway point of last season before dropping four of its last five games.
"We ran into depth problems being a team with smaller numbers going against teams with a lot more numbers than we had," Olson said. "Team speed was not a highlight for us last year. If we ran into teams with team speed, that's when we struggled."
Otters back on defense are 265-pound lineman Andrew Tysdahl, cornerback Ben Schindler, linebacker Hayden Vogel, and safeties Noah Strom and Luke Velde.
Offensively, they return 250-pound lineman Joel King and wide receiver Luke Kasper.
Brainerd opened the 2013 season with a 72-14 thrashing of the Otters, the first of 12 straight Warrior victories. Olson is hopeful the Otters will be more competitive this fall.
"I like our athleticism," he said. "We move our feet better, we fly around better, but we have a ton of inexperience. It's going to take us a few games to figure out what varsity football is all about.
"What's measurable of our kids I like. We've got decent size in the line. We've got some quickness at skill positions and on defense. At our scrimmage last week, we flew around pretty good. We just have to stay healthy and figure the game out on the fly."
QB: 16-Evan Brecht, 10-Hanson Devine, 2-Chris Pederson, 95-Josh Howieson
RB: 15-Paul Augustinack, 21-Allan Jevning, 40-Mitch Rahn, 22-Cooper Tollefson, 20-Chris Veith, 33-Zach Winger, 25-Tim O'Reilly, 18-Colton Borg
TE: 90-Ted Nelson, 95-Josh Howieson
WR: 81-Quinn McElfresh, 8-Cole Spieker, 5-Steven Severson, 2-Chris Pederson, 85-Brady Kline, 84-Jordan Whitehead, 88-Devan Fiedler, 82-Riley Fabian
T: 73-Eric Uphoff, 60-Michael Horton, 71-Ryan Powers
G: 60-Michael Horton, 61-Clayton Caird, 76-Zach Rude, 51-Seth Desrocher,
C: 62-Jon Bostrom, 61-Clayton Caird
DL: 90-Ted Nelson, 56-Matt Thompson, 95-Josh Howieson, 96-Nick Stettler, 58-Jared Winter, 57-Zach Stangl, 54-Dylan Crandall
OLB: 12-Cole Sellnow, 35-Cole DeRosier, 34-Arron Martin, 88-Devan Fiedler, 48-Mike Eschenbacher, 36-C.J. Wohl, 30-Kolt Herron
ILB: 41-Taylor Streiff, 42-Anthony Cory, 53-Jordan Jarmuzak
CB: 7-Jaquon Cogshell, 27-Matt Hill, 24-Nick Peterson, 23-Cole Harmer
S: 43-Hayden Bukowski, 32-Will Stolski, 11-Adam Fischer, 27-Matt Hill
Punter: 2-Chris Pederson, 27-Matt Hill
PK-KO: 89-David Saxum
Holder: 16-Evan Brecht
KO/punt return: 2-Chris Pederson, 21-Allan Jevning, 20-Chris Veith, 7-Jaquon Cogshell, 81-Quinn McElfresh, 8-Cole Spieker
Fergus Falls Otters
QB: 7-Noah Strom
TB: 46-Ben Schindler
WR: 3-Luke Kasper
WR: 4-Reece Kramer
WR: 9-Tosten Mann
WB: 26-Luke Velde
WB: 23-Daniel Kowalski
WB: 8-Peter Johnson
LT: 69-Gryphon Lillis
G: 79-Joel King
C: 73-Andrew Tysdal
G: 55-Gabe Enderle
RT: 61-Zach Kunz
TE: 81-Hayden Vogel
DE: 65-Dalton Mouritsen
DT: 69-Gryphon Lillis
DT: 73-Andrew Tysdal
DE: 86-Jake Olson
LB: 81-Hayden Vogel
LB: 58-Sam Nelson
CB: 46-Ben Schindler
CB: 12-Isaiah Lemke
SS: 26-Luke Velde
FS: 7-Noah Strom
Rover: 3-Luke Kasper
Kicker: 19-Mitchell Cole
Punter: 26-Luke Velde
Aug 29, Fergus Falls 7 p.m.
Sept. 5, Willmar 7 p.m. (BYAA Night)
Sept. 12, at Alexandria 7 p.m.
Sept. 19, at St. Cloud Apollo 7 p.m.
Sept. 27, St. Cloud Tech 2 p.m. (homecoming)
Oct. 3, at Bemidji 7 p.m.
Oct. 10, Moorhead 7 p.m.
Oct. 15, at Grand Rapids 7 p.m.
Central Lakes Conference
Fergus Falls at Brainerd
Moorhead at Alexandria
Grand Rapids at Bemidji
Apollo at Rocori
Tech at Sartell
Sauk Rapids at Willmar
Section 7, Class 5A
St. Francis at Duluth East
Fergus Falls at Brainerd
Grand Rapids at Bemidji
Cambridge-Isanti at Duluth Denfeld
Chisago Lakes at Big Lake