Southland faces defending section champs in opener
By Scott A. Kolb
Southland football coach Dick Strand begins his final season with a tough home opener against the defending Section 1AA champions from Lewiston-Altura.
This will be Strand's 33rd season in the Rose Creek and Southland programs, his 30th as the head coach for the Rebels. Although this is his final season, Strand has approached the opener like any other year.
"Nothing has changed for me in preparation for the season, I always get nervous before a game," Strand said. "It will probably hit me later in the season that this is my last go-around, then I'll be more reflective. Right now, I'm just trying to the kids ready for a tough game."
Leading the way for the Rebels is senior quarterback Adam Nagele. In his two previous years as the Rebels signal-caller, Nagele has shown a strong arm and the penchant for big plays down the field.
Nagele has a good group of returning receivers to spark the passing game. Dan Bakker, at 6-foot-2, and Tim Schneider, at 6-foot-5, are both big targets at the ends. Steve Snyder is a senior running back with good hands.
"Adam (Nagele) has the confidence to throw the long passes and make the offense exciting," Strand said. "Every year he's had a different line and now, a new line again this season, so we'll have to give him time to throw. Our line is the key, we have to get off the ball and execute well."
A lot of the guys will be going both ways this season on offense and defense, due to a lack of depth. Coach Bill Feuchtenberger is back to run the defense and it will be a big test against the Cardinals of L-A.
"We don't have the depth of last year and so we need the seniors to do more," Strand said. "Still, we have most of our starters back on defense and they'll be ready for Lewiston-Altura."
Adam Landherr, who was injured part of last season, returns for his senior campaign to play offensive tackle. Scott Gilles will anchor the center of the line on both sides of the ball, this is a new position for him.
Chad Emanuel is the left cornerback as two out of three starters are back in the Rebels secondary. Nagele joins the secondary, so there will be pretty decent speed in the defensive backfield.
"Their starting quarterback is returning and they won the section, so it will be a big test for us in the opener," Strand said of Lewiston-Altura. "This is a very important game. The opener sets the tone for the season, and we want to get off to a good start and play well. It's an exciting time of the year."
Backs -- Adam Nagele* (190), Pete Churchill* (160), Steve Snyder* (170). Receivers -- Dan Bakker* (200), Gary Kiefer* (175), Tim Schneider* ( (220), Chad Emanuel* (160). Linemen -- Scott Gilles* (180), Jared Kulow* (260), Chad Wilson* (210), Adam Landherr* (175).
Backs -- Tim Neuvirth (170).
* -- Denotes returning letterwinners.
(All games at 7 p.m.)
Aug. 30 -- Lewiston-Altura
Sept. 6 -- at Wabasha-Kellogg
Sept. 13 -- Goodhue
Sept. 20 -- Rushford-Peterson
Sept. 27 -- at Caledonia
Oct. 4 -- at Fillmore Central
Oct. 11 -- Chatfield
Oct. 15 -- at Kingsland
Oct. 22 -- Section playoffs, TBA