Being left out. It's typically not a position most teams would like to find themselves in.
One thing is for certain, the Central Lakes College football team didn't appreciate it.
Despite a 6-3 overall mark in 2006, the Raiders found themselves looking from the outside in because of their head-to-head record against Minnesota West.
That fact is not far from the minds of the 2007 team.
First-year head coach Greg Medeck, a Central Lakes College alum who played for the Raiders in 1997 and 1998, said last year's disappointment can be used to drive this year's team.
"Of course we were upset missing out of the postseason," he said. "But there's no doubt it drives us this season."
Most players on this year's squad will not remember the sting of coming up short, however, as just six players on the 49-man roster return from 2006.
Large turnover rates are typical at two-year colleges but the Raiders' youth and inexperience will likely be tested this season.
Captain Mike Berg, a second-year linebacker who earned second-team all-division honors last season in the Minnesota Community College Conference, is the only returning starter on defense.
Berg said the incorporation of a large volume of new starters into the defense has been fairly difficult.
"I've taken on the role of a teacher this season," he said. "It can be tough with 10 freshmen, but we're improving."
The returning starter rate on the other side of the ball is just slightly higher as the offense welcomes back two of its own.
One of the starters is standout wide receiver Nate Schoenecker, who led the Southern Division in receiving yardage last season with 468 yards on 18 receptions and seven touchdowns.
The second-year starter, who earned first-team all-division honors in 2006, said the offense finally appears to be on par with the defense, something that has not occurred in recent years.
"Both sides are clicking in practice," he said. "The offense is more explosive and we're really looking to spread out the field more this season."
This year's offense will need to fill the void left by the departing Reggie Ross, a first-team all-division running back, and Eli Cisneros, a division leader in passing yardage.
The quarterback competition features Mike Beehler of Foley and Tommy Coleman of Aumsville, Ore., while the running back position appears to have two players emerging in Plymouth native Darieon Smith, and Michael LaMirande of St. Croix Falls, Wis..
Medeck said this year's potential replacements are more than capable.
"Anytime you lose players like Eli and Reggie it's tough," he said. "But that's the nature of junior college football. I feel very comfortable with whoever steps up as our starters."
No matter who straps up the helmet in the Raiders' starting lineup this season, it is clear what the goal is.
"Postseason," Berg said.
Sophomores: Mike Berg, LB, Eden Valley-Watkins; Carl Switzer, RB, Barnum; Ryan Switzer, DB, Barnum; Carlos Blanco, OL, San Diego
Phil Magedanz, OL, Eden Valley-Watkins; Nick Mortenson, DL, Rogers; Nate Schoenecker, WR, Eden Valley-Watkins.
Freshmen: Billy Hammer, DB, Henderson, Nev.; Zach Brandsted, WR, Rapid City, S.D.; Tyler Hansen, LB, Rogers; Landrian Gordon, DB, Grandview, Mo.; Adrian Collie, WR, Miami.
Dan Mace, K, Sauk Rapids-Rice; Sean Trotter, DB, Lincoln, Neb.; Christopher Holland, LB, Maumee, Ohio; Mike Beehler, QB, Foley; Trevor Barlow, TE, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Andrew Tewes, WR, Mayer; Tommy Coleman, QB, Aumsville, Ore.; Alex Bade, RB, Big Lake; Kyle Spanos, LB, Freedom, Pa.; Joe Nordlie, LB, Maple Lake; Marc Hummel, WR, Pequot Lakes
Michael LaMirande, RB, St. Croix Falls, Wis.; Darieon Smith, RB, Osseo; Jaquan Williams, DB, Patterson, N.J; Rick Cameron, LB, St. Cloud Tech; Bryan Jantzen, DB, Wadena-DC; Tyler Wekseth, LB, Barnum
Josh Ledin, DL, Big Lake; Chase Miron, DL, St. Cloud Tech; Caleb Forstrom, LB, North Branch; Sam Gallu, LB, Brainerd; Adam Sorensen, LB, Wheaton; Zach Haakonson, OL, Sauk Rapids-Rice
Adam Kish, DL, Pine River-Backus; Matt Bishman, DL, Princeton; Nick Kiphuth, LB, Perham; Matthew Ransdell, OL, Osseo; Brandon Sexton, OL, McCook Lake, S.D.; Tony Treplau, OL, Maple Lake
Ryan Imgrund, OL, Brainerd; Daniel Pasch, OL, Tomah, Wis.; Colton Corry, DL, Wheaton; Nathan Geike, TE, Pequot Lakes; Stoney Grant, WR, Henning
Justin Novak, WR, North Branch; Demaris Hunter, WR, Brooklyn Park; Matt Schwankl, WR, Pequot Lakes.
TY RUSHMEYER may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5865.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.