Wildcats have high expectations in 3A District 2 football

Returning lettermen for the Wildcat football team, front row (l-r): Owen Hubbell, Daniel Illg, Carson Berte, Michael Illg, Casey Westling, Christian Alcala, Tanner McKimmey and Christian Lee. Middle row: Cole Weisbrich, Kaleb McCullough, Caden Matson, Nolan Lammers, Jace Baker, Sam Numedahl, Tracen Troyer, Jacob Pedersen and Ryder Wickett. Back row: Jacob Heier, Ben Kuehnast, Jackson Fischer, Colby Lane, Hayden Holm, Levi Newton, Josh Beldin, Tayeton Lohaus and Will Orness. Not pictured, Joe Weydert. Independent photo.

By Phil Monson

Humboldt fourth-year head football coach Derrick Elman isn’t making any pre-season predictions on how 2021 will unfold for his team over the next two months.

But Elman is quick to smile when he talks about the return of 27 letterwinners and the leadership from a large and talented senior class. Ingredients to build on last year’s 5-4 squad that went 1-1 in the playoffs.

“One of the bigger indicators of how successful you may be going into a given season, it would be the leadership out of our senior class. Last year senior leadership really came through in our games,” Elman said. “We got a first round playoff win over Heelan and then we went up to Spencer and almost beat a good Spencer team that nobody thought we could come close to beating.”

“That’s a testament to our senior leadership last year. We have 19 seniors this year and there’s a lot of leadership from that group. This is a great group of kids and their leadership has the potential to take us a long way,” Elman said.

“Pre-season camp is always so much fun. We did our first youth camp this year and the older guys on the team had opportunity to coach the young kids. I hope to make that become a tradition every year,” Elman said.

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