Veteran offense to lead young Knights team into 2021 season
LAKE CRYSTAL, Minn. (KEYC) - The Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial football team is getting their final reps in before Norwood Young America pays a visit, week one.
“The week one opponent will be a little bit of a challenge, the whole season is going to be a little bit of a challenge. Our schedule’s going to be one of the tougher ones overall. For the mainstay for the whole season is we’re staying healthy. We’ve got to stay healthy overall,” Knights head football coach, Kevin Hagge said.
The Knights break into the 2021 football season with an exceptionally young roster.
“We’re trying to get the younger guys up to speed, get some depth throughout the season so we can probably place some guys on the field at some given time,” Hagge added.
Four seniors will lead a group of 10 sophomores and counting.
“The four seniors who are out here we’ve been playing almost the entire time. I know three of us have been playing since at least fourth grade,” LCWM senior center and defensive tackle, Tj Stewig said.
“The four seniors that we have we’re also looking on them for leadership and from last year to this year they’ve grown immensely to take that role on, not only as a player but as a leadership role model out here for the younger,” the three-year head coach Hagge said.
“The team has really kind of improved overall with having such young classes come up throughout the years everyone’s been able to grasp and just become better players overtime,” LCWM senior wide receiver, Cade Dudgeon said.
One area that does carry a veteran presence is the offense, led by running back Camden Ludeman and Dudgeon.
“I think our offense can be pretty elite. Granted we only have like three guys that left the team last year on the offense, one offensive lineman then the two skill positions, but we’re pretty set that way. Some of the younger guys still have to step up and learn,” Knights senior Ludeman said.
In last year’s untraditional and shortened fall season, the Knights finished 4-3 in addition to a first round exit in the Section 3AA postseason.
“We’re definitely hoping to repeat the past few years of just having a good winning season. And, we’re hoping to go a lot further in the playoffs, rather than just one game like it was two years ago,” Stewig added.
LCWM is at home for the first three weeks of the season, then they’ll hit the road Sept. 17 for a conference match up against Le Sueur-Henderson.
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