Aug. 23, 2012, seems like a long time ago.
On that night, the Central Lakes College Raiders lost their opening game to Northland 30-28 on a last-second field goal. They also lost Taz Seibert, their top running back, to injury in the game.
That is also the last time CLC lost a game as the Raiders went on a 10-game winning streak to finish the 2012 campaign as MCAC state champions with a 10-1 record.
Raiders head coach Greg Medeck, entering his seventh season with an overall record of 51-15, will depend on members of his sophomore class to play a major role on this year’s squad as they enter their season opener at home Saturday against Fond Du Lac.
“I love our sophomores,” said Medeck. ”They have a wealth of experience that really has developed and defined them each as college football players. They also are keenly aware of what the requirements are to a successful season and experience in 2013.
“Our three captains (Alex Galvan, Blake Petrich, Andrew Johnson) have really embraced their appointed role and are doing a great job of modeling the principles of Raider Football.”
Johnson had a solid season at quarterback and Petrich saw quality minutes in the backfield and as a receiver. The Raiders will need their leadership on a team that is seeing a large amount of turnover from the 2012 season.
“We are a relatively young squad with 45 new faces, most all unproven football players with respect to the college game,” Medeck said. “It may be a challenge for us early in the season with so many new athletes contributing in major ways.”
CLC will face a tough early season schedule, After facing Fond du Lac, the Raiders will travel for three of their next four games which includes a road game at perennial power and archrival Rochester.
“The MCAC schedule is always challenging. We have some very good competition in this conference, which I am very excited about,” Medeck said. “Our focus right now is solely on our first opponent, Fond Du Lac. They very well may be favored to win the entire conference this season and I am certain they will be in the running for the Northern Division title. We will definitely have our hands full this first week.”
Last season, the Raiders relied heavily on running back Beau Bellmore for a large part of their offense. Medeck believes he has players who are ready to step up in 2013.
“We definitely don’t have Beau this year, but we do have five very capable running backs who have all shown great ability throughout camp,” he said. “This position is definitely the deepest and has provided the biggest competition we have had in camp. All of the contenders are quite capable of starting for us.
“I don’t foresee one of those guys carrying the ball 240 times like Beau did, but that is probably a good thing.”
The 2012 Raiders defense was an impressive one that made a number of huge plays throughout the 10-1 stretch. Eleven new players will be starting and trying to keep up the strong tradition that has been set.
“This group, with 11 new starters, will have its own identity,” Medeck said. ”Right now, I like the makeup of this young defense. There are certainly some talented young men amongst the group. It will be an enjoyable experience witnessing this new defense develop over the course of the season.”
It all starts this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
“I believe the strength of this team will be the fact that we have assembled a great group of young men who appear to have high standards, great goals, and are looking to respond to challenges,” Medeck said. ”I have witnessed a great deal of respect for one another and I am pleased with the relationships that have developed in the last couple of weeks.”
No., Player, [filtered word]. Hometown, Year
2-Shaquille Richardson WR St. Thomas, VI 2
3-Austin Pelkey WR Eden Valley-Watkins 1
4-Patrick White QB New Berlin, WI 1
5-Alex Galvan LB Rochester JM 2
6-Ajrian Stone-Caldwell DB Eden Prairie 1
7-Briceon Scott-Burch QB Minneapolis 1
8-Shaquille Petersen TE St. Thomas, VI 2
9-Eric McAfee RB Sartell 1
10-Taz Seibert RB Hamburg 2
11-Brandon Kiel WR Milaca 2
12-Sam Moriarty WR St. Joseph 1
13-Blake Petrich RB Staples 2
14-Donnie Manke K Lodi, WI 1
15-Allen Allman WR Anderson, IND 1
17-Myles Swenson WR Milaca 2
18-Andrew Johnson QB St. Paul 2
19-Jaron Moor RB Crary, ND 1
20-Josh Lanners DB Royalton 1
21-Isaiah Moore DB Bemidji 1
22-Dominic Hayle DB Bemidji 1
23-Richard Seado DB Bemidji 1
24-Austin Krumwiede DB Trimont 1
25-Drew Hanson WR Maple Lake 1
27-Devrin House DB Pillager 1
28-Athen Ashton RB Farmington 1
32-Josh Mantel LB Mora 1
33-Josh Johnson LB St. Paul 1
34-Vadell Johnson LB Eden Prairie 1
35-Dante Kane DB St. Thomas, VI 1
36-Karson Novacek RB Glenvil, NE 1
37-Josh Howard DB Indianapolis 1
40-Logan Novak RB Foley 1
41-Evan Bayer LB Paynesville 1
43-Patrick Bock LB New Ulm 2
44-Jack Corbett LB Madison, WI 1
45-Austin Rench LB Wasilla, AK 1
50-Keiphan Loving LB Columbia Heights 1
51-Alfred Hartwell DL Minneapolis 1
52-Wallace Leonard DL St. Thomas, VI 2
55-Micheal Sparish DL St. Paul 2
56-Zach Schroeder DL Flossmoor, IL 1
58-Mitchell Green DL Waconia 1
59-Rickey Fugate DL St. Louis Park 1
60-Roman Misco DL Bemidji 1
66-Phillip Cronin OL Minneapolis 1
67-Luke Landecker OL Pequot Lakes 2
68-Ian Kasyoka OL Hoffman Estates, IL 1
69-Elston Rhymer OL St. Thomas, VI 1
71-Austin Rucks OL Sauk Rapids 1
74-Jose Nieves OL St. Thomas, VI 1
75-Phillip Pease OL Willow, AK 1
76-Patrick Banks DL Zeeland, MI 1
77-Thomas Condon OL Annandale 1
78-Tyler O’Brien OL Staples 2
79-Dylan Quaintance OL Milaca 1
81-Von Webster WR St. Thomas, VI 1
83-Brent Stenger WR Eden Valley 1
84-Dion Brown WR Hopkins 1
85-Neil Vierzba TE St. Cloud 2
88-Steve Wroblewski WR Denver 1