2016 High School Football Preview: Dike-New Hartford
Dike-New Hartford faces the difficult task of replacing several key players who led the Wolverines to the Class-1A state semifinals in 2015. Coach Don Betts' team also has the challenge of competing in what may be one of the toughest Class-2A districts in the state this season.
2016 SEASON PROSPECTUS: DIKE-NEW HARTFORD WOLVERINES
2015 RECORD: 11-2 Overall / 5-1 District
2015 PLAYOFFS: Class-1A State Semifinalists
HEAD COACH: Don Betts
School Record (Years): 75-26 (10)
Career Record (Years): 76-41 (12)
2015 STARTERS RETURNING (8):
Trent Johnson, RB - 323 carries, 2619 yards, 28 TDs (1st Team All-State)
Ben Latusek, OL/DL - 47 tackles
Chase Arends, OL/DL - 15 tackles
Ethan Wiechers, TE
Jackson Lage, K
Nick Durnin, DL - 55 tackles, 1 interceptions
Clayton Mapel, DB - 18 tackles
Reeve Wheat, DL - 14 tackles
OTHER 2015 LETTERWINNERS RETURNING (3):
Tanner Smith, RB/LB
Jaxson Foster, WR/DB
Keoda Yung, FB/LB
KEY LOSSES FROM 2015 SEASON:
The Wolverines must replace several key players that led them deep into the playoffs in 2015. Dike-New Hartford's starting quarterback, top wide receiver, top offensive lineman and top defender all graduated last spring.
HOW COACH BETTS VIEWS UPCOMING SEASON
Team Strength Entering 2016:
Skill Players, Athleticism.
Concerns Heading Into 2016:
"Offensively, Johnson returns at tailback after rushing for 2,619 yards last season. Latusek and Arends return on the offensive line and will be as good as anyone in our district. We must replace some very good linemen, but feel we have good options with some of our young players. Our skill kids are very athletic and only lack experience."
"Defensively, we will be very solid on the line. We will be inexperienced at linebacker, but think we have some good options. Mapel will anchor an inexperienced but very athletic secondary. Team depth will need to be developed early for us to comet throughout the season."
Opponents Expected To Compete For District Title In 2016:
"A new 2A district will be challenging. CMB (Collins-Maxwell/Baxter), Roland-Story and AP (Aplington-Parkersburg) along with DNH (Dike-New Hartford), will be very competitive, with CMB being the early favorite with loads of returning talent. East Marshall and South Hardin have good, experienced players returning. Saydel drops down from 3A and could surprise in this district. West Marshall has some good young talent and looks to be on the rise."
Expectations For 2016 Season:
"We feel we will be very competitive this season. Team depth will need to be developed early for us to compete throughout the season."