Football teams have talent to replace for 2013 season

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Some I-70 Conference football teams were loaded with seniors, while other teams didn't have very many seniors on their roster in 2012.

The Wellington Tigers, two-time defending conference champion, will have to replace 13 seniors (Blaine Beissenherz, Brandon Niendick, Jacob Beckemeyer, Christian Bryant, Jake Ruskey, Jacob Bowling, Dustin Seitz, Justin Willard, Jason Hilden, Nick Gibbs, Quinton Hammond, Brett Schaberg and Tyler Garton), many of them starters on both sides of the ball for a team that was 7-0 in the I-70 and 11-2 overall, losing to eventual Class 1 state champion Penney of Hamilton 35-14 in the quarterfinal round.

In his 39th year as the Saint Paul Saints' head coach, Larry Laubenstein led the Saints to their best-ever record.

The Saints, who had 10 seniors (Jon Foster, Quentin Jones, Aaron Frerking, Isaiah Roepe, Matt Krater, Aaron Hentges, Rye Gifford, Joachim von zur Muehlen, Aaron Page and Ted Mehl), registered a 6-1 mark in the conference, their first second-place finish since splitting the runner-up spot three ways in 1997 with Crest Ridge and Wellington. They were 9-2 overall, dropping a Class 2, District 7 second-round game at Holden, 51-21.

Concordia finished third in the conference at 5-2 under the direction of first-year head coach Tom Gramates. The Orioles, who had 11 seniors (Jordan Tyler, Kyle Wilson, Wade Nevels, Brian Meyer, Alan Arnold, Jarret Caldwell, Hayden Brown, Blake Smith, Tim Farmer, Sean Maranville and Jordan Foster) on their roster, were eliminated from the playoffs with a 56-20 loss at Tipton in the Class 1, District 4 semifinal round.

The Crest Ridge Cougars wound up fourth in the conference standings at 4-3. They were 5-5 overall and lose only five seniors (Hayden Stringer, Sean Burns, Kyler Reynolds, Jake Brookshier and Taylor Nagel). The Cougars were beaten 35-28 in their initial district game at Sacred Heart in Sedalia.

Andy Frerking's Santa Fe Chiefs were next in the league standings with a 3-4 mark. Santa Fe, which loses six seniors (Matt Bodenhamer, Lucas Miller, Chad Tieman, Cole Wodrich, Paul Strathman and Manny Hernandez), was 4-6 overall, losing its first Class 1, District 4 game 33-7 at Cole Camp.

Jason Fenstermaker's first year as Lone Jack's head coach was up and down, but the Mules kicked their way to a 2-5 league mark and 4-7 overall, making it to the semifinal round of Class 1, District 7 play before losing 59-14 at Wellington. The Mules, who hammered fourth-seeded St. Mary's 54-24 in the first round of district play, will have to replace three seniors (Brett Beckham, Brandon Zurowski and Jonathan Key).

In his second season, Melvin Baker led Sweet Springs to a 1-6 mark in the league and 2-8 overall, losing in the first round of Class 1, District 4 play, 53-0 at Tipton. The Grey-hounds lose three seniors (Derrick Nelson, Jeffery Dierker and Kyle Evans).

The Orrick Bearcats had the same record in Scott Finley's second season as they did in his inaugural campaign, 0-7 in the I-70 and 1-9 overall. The Bearcats lose two seniors (Derrick Dennis and Hunter Guthrie). The Bearcats dropped a 56-6 decision at West Plate in the first round of Class 1, District 7 play.

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