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Mustangs football looks for return to glory
The Mounds View High School football team has played in the game to go to the state tournament the last three seasons, but came up short all three times. The Mustangs open the season this week with the goal of ending that tournament-less drought.
Mounds View returns six starters on offense and five on defense from a team that went 7-3 and lost to Rosemount in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. Rosemount eventually made it to the state-championship game and lost to Eden Prairie.
The Mustangs' most recent trip to state was in 2010 when they upset Stillwater in the section final and Cretin-Derham Hall in the state quarterfinals before losing to Wayzata in the state semifinals.
Mounds View head coach Jim Galvin is entering his 14th season as head coach of the Mustangs and has compiled a career record of 101-42. His 100th victory came in a wild 50-47 win over Roseville in week eight of the regular season.
On offense, Mounds View returns four skill-position players and a pair of linemen. Running the offense will be senior quarterback Joe Fredrickson, who completed just over 50 percent of his passes for 401 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013.
Senior tight end Ryan Kaczynski and senior wideout Jeremiah Bonde were two of Fredrickson's top targets last year and are back again this fall. Kaczynski made 11 catches, six of which were touchdowns, for almost 200 yards while Bonde hauled in 12 receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
In the backfield is senior Joe Janey, who amassed 251 yards and two touchdowns on 42 carries. Senior Danny DeWitt is a newcomer who could see some carries this fall.
Donovan Blatz and Troy Ito return on the offensive line. Blatz is 190 pounds and Ito is 176 and one of Galvin's concerns this season is the lack of size up front.
Blatz is also Mounds View's kicker and he made 34 extra points and one field goal in 2013.
Mounds View's list of returning starters on defense includes three individuals who were key cogs in the Mustangs winning the state baseball championship back in June. Senior Charlie Callahan, who plays first base on the baseball team, is back as a defensive end after recording 44 solo tackles and five sacks in 2013.
Safety Alec Abercrombie, the baseball team's starting center fielder, made 18 solo tackles and came up with two interceptions last fall while linebacker Wyatt Meyer, who plays catcher for the baseball squad, came up with 34 solo tackles.
Also back are senior safety Nick Schwatz and senior linebacker Logan Maccani. Schwartz made 45 solo tackles in 2013 while Maccani, also a standout lacrosse player, returns with the most tackles (48) from last year to go along with four sacks.
Newcomers to watch for this season include junior linebacker Luke Swenson and senior cornerback Alex Vijums.
Mounds View got some live-action work last Saturday when it hosted North Branch and Rosemount for a scrimmage. The season kicks off for real on Thursday with a game at Woodbury. The Mustangs beat the Royals 27-7 in the season opener in 2013.
With the departure of Hastings to the Metro East Conference, eight of the nine remaining Suburban East Conference football teams have a non-conference game on the schedule this year. They will be the first regular-season non-conference games for the Suburban East Conference since 2008, the year before East Ridge High School opened.
Mounds View's non-conference game is against Menasha (in eastern Wisconsin) and comes in week six (Oct. 3). Cretin-Derham Hall is the one Suburban East team not playing a non-conference game this fall.
Brian Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 Mounds View High School football schedule
- Aug. 28 at Woodbury 7 p.m.
- Sept. 5 vs. White Bear Lake 7 p.m.
- Sept. 12 at Cretin-Derham Hall 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 19 at Roseville 7 p.m.
- Sept. 26 vs. Forest Lake 7:15 p.m.
- Oct. 3 at Menasha (Wisc.) 7 p.m.
- Oct. 10 vs. East Ridge 7 p.m.
- Oct. 15 at Stillwater 7 p.m.