Young Vikings look to peak at the right time

AHSTW Football Preview

 AVOCA (Sept. 3) -- For a young football team like AHSTW, the strangeness of 2020 could actually be a blessing this fall.
 The Vikings have just three seniors on the roster (two of them starters) and may not be playing their best football until mid-October... which is exactly when the playoffs begin this year for every team in the state.
 The Iowa High School Athletic Association announced this summer that the 2020 regular season would be condensed to seven games for this year only - followed by six rounds of playoffs - in order to provide flexibility for school return concerns from COVID-19 and other various reasons.
 The Vikings, whose fourth-quarter comeback fell short in last week’s season-opening 24-22 loss to Shenandoah, still hope to win as many games as possible. But a slow start won’t hinder their chances of making a postseason run if they keep improving throughout the next six weeks.
 “I’m used to saying that for basketball, but in football you don’t always have that luxury. This year we do,” said second-year AHSTW head coach G.G. Harris. “For the situation we’re in with our inexperience - we’re young, we aren’t the most athletic and we’re not the biggest - we don’t necessarily know exactly what our full potential looks like. But the fact that we get to keep playing and it doesn’t matter until the end anyway, that’s just it. We want to be playing our best football at the end of the year and we have a true opportunity at that. The model for this year definitely fits our team.”
 One year after making it to the Class A state championship game in 2018, AHSTW finished 5-4 overall last season and placed third in District 9 with a 3-2 record, ending a streak of 12 straight postseason appearances.
 The Vikings return five starters on both sides of the ball, including senior offensive and defensive lineman Kyle Jorgensen and senior quarterback and safety Blake Holst, who passed for 1,065 yards and eight touchdowns in 2019 while being intercepted 11 times. He also ran for five scores.
 Among others, Coach Harris is looking to Jorgensen and Holst to provide leadership this fall.
 “They provide different types of leadership,” he said. “Kyle Jorgensen (is) a pretty quiet kid, but he’s become more and more confident in himself and in his game, and he’s really trying to lead with his effort and he’s doing the right things - being coachable... That’s big, because a lot of younger kids look to him whether he knows it or not... Blake, being a quarterback, leads in the huddle. He’s played in some big games, he’s a four-year letter winner, so we’re looking to him for a lot of leadership. He’s really grown into his own role and is starting to be a little bit more vocal and intense. He’s definitely emotionally invested and I’m just really proud to see him take on that role and some other kids that are following that lead.”

2020 AHSTW Football Schedule
Aug. 28 - Shenandoah (L, 24-22)
Sept. 4 - at Missouri Valley, 7:00
Sept. 11 - at Southwest Valley, 7:00*
Sept. 18 - at Sidney, 7:00*
Sept. 25 - St. Albert, 7:00* (Senior Night)
Oct. 2 - Riverside, 7:00* (Homecoming)

Oct. 9 - at Tri-Center, 7:00*
Home Games in Bold Type   * District Games
Class A Playoffs: Oct. 16, Oct. 23, Oct. 30, Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Nov. 19.

2019 AHSTW Results
5-4 Overall, 3-2 in District 9 (3rd)
8/30: Underwood 55, AHSTW 6
9/6: AHSTW 35, Shenandoah 27
9/13: Westwood 21, AHSTW 7
9/20: AHSTW 33, Martensdale-SM 29

9/27: AHSTW 17, Riverside 14*
10/4: Earlham 47, AHSTW 10*
10/11: AHSTW 34, Nodaway Valley 14*
10/18: AHSTW 25, SW Valley 12*
10/25: St. Albert 48, AHSTW 21*
* District Games

AHSTW Projected 2020 Starters

OFFENSE
LT: 61, Kyle Jorgensen - 6’3”, 225, sr.*
LG: 54, Joey Brenneis - 5’7”, 180, so.
C: 73, Jaicob Madsen - 6’0”, 260, so.
RG: 67, Gavin Weber - 5’8”, 210, jr.
RT: 70, Brayden Lund - 6’3”, 185, so.*
TE: 18, Jace Peterson - 6’2”, 155, jr.
WR: 11, Raydden Grobe - 6’2”, 162, jr.*
Slot: 23, Cole Scheffler - 5’7”, 150, so. and 14, Kyle Sternberg - 6’2”, 190, so.
QB: 10, Blake Holst - 5’10”, 170, sr.*
TB: 32, Denver Pauley - 5’10”, 180, jr.*
H-back: 13, Blake Tuma - 5’9”, 165, jr.
PK: 11, Raydden Grobe - 6’2”, 162, jr.*
* Starting Experience on Offense

DEFENSE
DE: 70, Brayden Lund - 6’3”, 185, so.*
NG: 55, Logan Heller - 6’, 170, fr.
DT: 61, Kyle Jorgensen - 6’3”, 225, sr.*
DE: 52, Kaeden Schmitz - 6’, 170, so.
OLB: 13, Blake Tuma - 5’9”, 165, jr.
MLB: 32, Denver Pauley - 5’10”, 180, jr.*
OLB: 2, Garrison Gettler - 5’8”, 160, jr.
SS: 23, Cole Scheffler - 5’7”, 150, so.
FS: 10, Blake Holst - 5’10”, 170, sr.*
CB: 14, Kyle Sternberg - 6’2”, 190, so.
CB: 11, Raydden Grobe - 6’2”, 162, jr.*
Punter: 11, R. Grobe - 6’2”, 162, jr.*
* Starting Experience on Defense

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