Fall Creek, Osseo (WQOW) -- Cloverbelt Conference rivals Fall Creek and Osseo-Fairchild will each have a new head coach this season.
For the first time in ten seasons, the Crickets have a new head coach, as Josh Tumm takes over for Mike Johnson. Last year, Fall Creek finished 4-4 overall, and 3-4 in the conference.
Tumm says the Crickets won't be changing a lot, scheme-wise.
"No real big changes," says Tumm, "you know it's going to be a run-oriented offense, you've got to play smash-mouth football if you're going to play in the Large Cloverbelt and try to survive, so you know, that's where we're going to try to go. You know, they come with the attitude that they need to get after it, and that's what they're doing so far."
What is different this season, is that the Crickets have a very large coaching staff thanks to a number of volunteers.
"You've got a coach for basically every position," says Fall Creek senior running back/linebacker Jacob Stuttgen, "so every position has someone to critique you and make you better, so I mean, it's helping us out a lot, because last year we only had about four coaches, like, every play we're getting coached up, you can do this better, you can do that better, so we're getting a lot better as a team."
"It helps us to see that we were that close, we were a couple plays away from making it to the playoffs," says Crickets senior fullback/linebacker Tyler Wathke, "so we're going to work that much harder and push that much more to see if we can actually make it this year."
Fall Creek kicks off the season on Friday, August 23, when the Crickets visit Altoona.
At Osseo-Fairchild, Eric Boettcher takes over for Dan Waters, who led the O-F program for the previous nineteen seasons. Last year, the Thunder finished 3-4 in the Cloverbelt, and 4-4 overall.
Boettcher says the Thunder is working on a new offensive scheme.
"We're probably looking at having no quarterback behind the center," says Boettcher, "we're going to hopefully open it up a little bit, give them a little bit more misdirection, a change, I'm kind of one that like a little up-tempo, fast-paced, being diverse, and then going from there, and we're going to see how this works, hopefully, everything pans out."
"It's definitely different," says Thunder senior running back/cornerback Kyle Sluga, "it feels weird without a quarterback, you know, like there needs to be someone leading, but it's better, instead of having one leader we got all of us leading. I've never taken a direct snap before but now I'm getting plenty of snaps to me and you know, we're getting used to it."
"It's a lot different," says O-F senior center/defensive end Isaac Emert, "especially for the center, there's some different things and I've never played center before so it's the first year for me, it's exciting, but it's also challenging at the same time."
Osseo-Fairchild kicks off the season on Friday, August 23, when the Thunder hosts Eau Claire Regis.
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