I’m putting my prognostic hat on again for the upcoming Night Hawk football season.
By SHELDON CHRISTENSON
For The Record
I’m putting my prognostic hat on again for the upcoming Night Hawk football season. I know it is early but the opening game for the Night Hawks is only two months away. They will open the season playing against Wyndmere-Lidgerwood in one of four games being played at Shiloh on August 20. The other games have Hankinson taking on Mott-Regent, Kenmare-Bowbells versus Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter and the closing game has Shiloh against New Salem-Glen Ullin. Wyndmere and Lidgerwood are located in Southeast region of the state and they are in Region 1. Their region record last year was 4-3 and with an overall record of 4-5.
Here is how I did last year in my Region 5 picks:
•My 2015 Pre-Season Picks
New Salem-Glen Ullin
•Final 2015 Finish
New Salem-Glen Ullin
Last season it was a dog fight for four teams as to where they would finish in the top four. Both the Night Hawks and Mott-Regent finished 1-2 in the standings with 5-1 records. The Night Hawks took first via the tie breaker rules. Richardton-Taylor-Hebron and New Salem-Glen Ullin finished 3-4 respectfully with both teams having 4-2 records. I feel those same four teams will again battle as to how they finish in the top four and thus make the play-offs. Grant Co., Beach and Bowman Co. will bring up the bottom three places. Here is my prognosis listed in the order on how I feel they will finish, with a little bias thrown in.
1.Hettinger-Scranton; Graduated six key seniors which included three who not only earned All-Region 5 honors but also All-State honors. They were Tanner Sanford, Brandon Pierce and Colbey Steeke. But they do return a strong team which includes 14 experienced players plus an ever dangerous running back in Isaiah Kludt. Their junior varsity team finished undefeated last year.
2. Mott-Regent; Lost six seniors who earned either first team or second team All-Region 5 honors. But they return two quality players in Brady Wegh and Josh Wallace. I’m giving them the edge over New Salem-Glen Ullin for second place.
3.New Salem-Glen Ullin; They graduated only five players on a roster of 33. One key loss was running back Cullen Seeger but they return a very good quarterback in Evan Henke. They should have ten seniors on this year’s team.
4.Richardton-Taylor-Hebron; They too lost only five seniors on a roster of 29, but that included All-State running back Denver Colgrove. They do have an experienced junior class that could put them higher in the final standings. Quarterback Brendan Butterfield and running back Jayden Olson will be key players. 5. Bowman Co.; I’m giving the nod to Bowman in moving up to fifth place. They did graduate six seniors on a roster of 31. Key returning players are Brayden Jorgensen, Sterling Lee and Dylan Scott. They did have 16 freshmen on their 2015 roster and went 0-6 in region play last season.
6. Grant County; Losing eight seniors on a roster of 21 plus losing two key players in Peyton Gabrielson and Niv Revinius will make it a long season. They went 2-4 in region play last season.
7. Beach; Losing five seniors on a roster of 17 including two first team All-Region players in Sam Stoveland and Brandon Stockwell plus quarterback Scott Lund will also make it a long season for them. They were 1-5 in region play last year.
Of course situations may change. New personnel moving in and current personnel moving out of town, injuries, younger players maturing and contributing and players who decide not to play this season.