Prep Football Previews: Eastern C

Prep Football Previews: Eastern C

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Prep Football Previews: Eastern C

Class C champions Wibaux blew through the competition last season, winning every league game by at least 40 points.

While the Longhorns again look like the class of the east, don’t expect that kind of domination again. The champs lost plenty of talent while a few other teams are experienced and expect to be improved.

Plentywood joins the league, coming down from Class B and throwing a sort of a wild card into the mix. Fairview also looks to compete and returns the core of its playoff team from a season ago.

Broadus

The Hawks won a playoff game a season ago but graduated a pair of speedy all-state ball-toters in Kris Noble and Wrye Williams.

Quarterback Seth Bayles (5-11, 160) does return for his senior year with All-State accolades under his belt, and the Hawks have the benefit of junior center Jay Randall (6-0, 215), who garnered an all-league nod in 2014.

Circle

Second-year coach Taw Eissinger brings in a young Wildcats group hoping to improve on a 2-6 record from a year ago.

There will be challenges, Eissinger admitted, like replacing all-state RB/LB Lee Delp and OL/DL Colton Fleming, but the coach is heartened by the coachability of his kids.

“Our conference is a grind,” Eissinger said. “We’re a long way from where we want to be, but this season should be a really good measuring stick for us.”

Culbertson-Bainville

The Cowboys have eight seniors and nine juniors but not a whole lot of experience on the roster for coach Dave Helmer.

Seniors Adam Buxbaum (6-3, 170) and Ethan Hendrickson (6-1, 200) will lead the offense around the end. Hendrickson plays D-end while Buxbaum leads the secondary.

A junior E/DE, Jonathan Hilde (6-3, 230), put on 50 pounds in the offseason and could be set for a breakout season.

Fairview

A midseason coaching change didn’t seem to bother the Warriors on the gridiron as they raced to an 8-2 record before Chinook knocked them out in the state semifinals.

Fairview has another new coach this season in former Montana Grizzly Greg Hardy. Hardy’s little brothers, senior Ben (6-6, 210) and junior Pat (6-3, 210), are two of three returning all-staters at E/DL for the loaded Richland County team.

Jon Lebsock (6-0, 170) also returns as an all-state O-lineman and linebacker.

Coach Hardy will also welcome back all-conference performers in RB/LB Josh Hurley (5-8, 195) and DB Tanner Reynolds (5-11, 170).

Hays-Lodge Pole

Though they haven’t won a conference game in four seasons, the Thunderbirds bring back more experience than they’ve had before in that stretch.

Junior QB Tyson Shambo (5-9, 160) returns as a third-year starter, and senior RB/LB Damon Castillo (6-1, 190) and sophomore Chance Main (5-8, 195) are tough runners with experience.

Junior TE/DE Tough Snow (6-3, 175) is a pass-catching option, and Colton Werk (5-11, 230) leads the line.

Plentywood

The Wildcats join the Eastern C this season as enrollment numbers forced a drop-down for the former Class B school. Playing 8-man football may be a challenge, head coach Bill Nyby admitted, but Plentywood has plenty of size up front to help ease that transition.

Linemen Jeremy Rice (6-0, 220), Jacob Quigley (5-9, 185) and Ben Anderson (5-11, 180) comprise that unit, and they’ll block for a herd of running backs led by seniors Taylor Hilyard (6-1, 180) and Jesse Black (5-11, 170). Quarterback Kyle Fawcett (5-10, 170) rounds out the senior class.

Scobey

Coach Brock Berryhill and the Spartans hope to improve on a .500 season in 2014. To do so, they’ll rely on a pair of senior running backs in Joel Rocha (5-7, 155) and Lane Knudson (6-1, 180).

Both Rocha and Knudson were all-conference at linebacker last season as well.

Berryhill, entering his third season at the helm, said his team has some experience back, but lacks size and must replace the services of graduated all-stater Danny Linder.

Wibaux

The defending Class C champs lost 10 seniors to graduation, but coach Jeff Bertelsen brings back a pair of All-State performers in RB/LB Shawn Schaefferkoetter (6-1, 185) and RB/DE Angus Lund (6-0, 220).

Both juniors, the strong runners also retain the services of classmate and QB/S Noah Schneider (5-8, 150), an all-conference player last season.

Schaefferkoetter led the team in rushing yards (883), rushing touchdowns (18) and tackles (83) in the championship run.

The question mark for Bertelsen’s Longhorns lies up front, where an unproven line will have to step up for a chance at a repeat. Juniors Rob Braden (6-1, 210), Trey Dschaak (5-11, 195) and Cole Nelson (6-0, 215, 57 tackles at linebacker in 2014) hope to help Wibaux win that battle and (again) the Eastern C.

Eastern C 8-man

Coaches’ Poll:

1. Wibaux

2. Fairview

3. Broadus

4. Culbertson-Bainville

5. Scobey

6. Plentywood

7. Circle

8. Hays-Lodge Pole

Simms' Branden Bulik-Chism defends on a pass intended for Broadus receiver James Riley in a 2013 playoff game in Simms.

Simms’ Branden Bulik-Chism defends on a pass intended for Broadus receiver James Riley in a 2013 playoff game in Simms.

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