Final countdown: Jimmies prepare as season quickly approachesWith the season-opener just eight days away, Jamestown College football coach Bud Etzold has a good idea about who will start the season as the team’s quarterback. He just doesn’t want anybody else to know — yet. Etzold is expected to make the final call after the team scrimmaged Thursday with the top two prospects being senior Brad Lint and junior Tyler Notch. Brady Yrjo also is among the “top 3” Etzold said.
With the season-opener just eight days away, Jamestown College football coach Bud Etzold has a good idea about who will start the season as the team’s quarterback. He just doesn’t want anybody else to know — yet.
Etzold is expected to make the final call after the team scrimmaged Thursday with the top two prospects being senior Brad Lint and junior Tyler Notch. Brady Yrjo also is among the “top 3” Etzold said.
“All of our guys are doing a good job and showing flashes of being able to get it done,” he said. “As a staff, I think we have a good amount of confidence in those guys and what they can do.”
There are big shoes to fill under center where Michael Beehler, now a grad assistant on staff, is coming off two solid seasons for the Jimmies.
Neither Lint nor Notch played last season. Lint started his career at quarterback, but was moved to fullback, but did not play last season. Notch, meanwhile, missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.
Whoever gets the call has plenty of weapons to work with.
Two all-conference running backs will share the load on the ground in Devils Lake’s Lance Johansen and Matt Mithaugen of Fergus Falls.
Outside Max Boe is among the top wideouts in the NAIA. Casey Hausauer, Matt Wilson and Josh Ewalt are also accomplished, experienced receivers.
Among the highlights in the first 18 practices has been the increased speed on the defense.
“That’s an area we wanted to address in recruiting, just getting faster, and from what we’ve seen so far we have upgraded our speed defensively,” Etzold said.
They’re also deeper in the defensive secondary, where they’ve been hit hard by injuries in recent seasons. Plus, they have to replace all-everything safety Dustin Erbes, too.
“Some of the guys that transferred in, particularly at corner, have done a really nice job, and that’s an area where right now we probably have as much depth as we’ve ever had,” Etzold said.
They’ve also been able to steer clear of any major injuries, and considering the opener is looming Aug. 27 in Rapid City against South Dakota Mines, they hope to keep it that way.
“The enthusiasm has been really good. The guys are out there getting after it pretty good,” Etzold said. “Overall, I think it’d be fair to say that we’re about where we expected to be.
“Offensively, we’ve had so many days of practice and put so much stuff in, I don’t even know where we are anymore. It’s good to have a lot of plays, and they’re good plays, but the closer we get to crunch time, we’ll have to shrink the package.”
After starting practice the earliest in school history, Aug. 27 can’t come soon enough.
“Everyone does kind of see that light at the end of the tunnel, but at the same time we’re going to be playing until November 12th this year, so it’s going to be a grind,” Etzold said. “But for right now, we’re coming along pretty good.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com