ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW OTTOSON
The Canton-Galva football team has 13 seniors and returning letter-winners this fall. Pictured are: back row (from left) Tony Arendt, Bo Moddelmog, Shane Williams, Jesse Bryant; middle row, Wes Fickes, Anthony Kleinschmidt, Joel Hardman, Ted Regehr, Travis Myers; front row, Bret Middleton, Andrew Westbrook, Stephen Jowers and Dustin Abrahams.
With the graduation of nine players who helped make 2005 the best season in Canton-Galva football history, the Eagles will have a large number of big shoes to fill.
The 2006 team will, according to third-year coach Zac Hoppes, only have nine upperclassmen on the roster, “(but) among those nine upperclassmen are seven letter-winners and four players who received post-season honors.”
On offense, senior Joel Hardman will return to his position as the Eagles’ top wide receiver.
At 6-feet-1, 175 pounds, Hardman will be a big target for junior quarterback Ted Regehr, who threw for more than 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns last fall.
Joining Regehr in the backfield will be senior running back Stephen Jowers (5-11, 170), who piled up more than 600 yards of total offense in 2005.
With 316 yards on 41 carries, Jowers averaged 7.7 yards per run. He added 17 catches and 311 receiving yards to his rushing total.
Opening running lanes and protecting the quarterback will be senior offensive lineman Anthony Kleinschmidt (5-9, 260).
Other returning letter-winners include: seniors Shane Williams and Zach Anderson, junior Andrew Westbrook, and sophomores Dustin Abrahams, Tony Arendt, Ethan Evans, Wes Fickes, Bret Middleton and Bo Moddelmog.
Hardman, Jowers and Kleinschmidt also started on defense last season, and tallied 155 tackles and six interceptions between them.
Last year, the Eagles faced five of this season’s scheduled opponents and outscored them by a margin of 186-82.
The Eagles went 10-1 last season, with an undefeated 7-0 mark in Heart of America League play.
Lacking depth and experience, Hoppes’ team needs to avoid injuries this season.
“Another key will be how well the inexperienced underclassmen play at the varsity level,” said Hoppes.
The Eagles open their season Friday with a game at Remington. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.