Following an extremely productive off-season in the weight room and at summer camps, the Mound Westonka High School football team is chomping at the bit to get the 2021 season underway after going through the many ups and downs of last year. Due to COVID cutting the 2020 season short, the White Hawks went 3-4, ending the year with a tough 14-35 loss to Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the Section 5AAAA playoffs.
“We are really excited to get this season going, as we believe we have what it takes to make a deep playoff run,” said Nick David, who returns for his ninth season as White Hawks head football coach. “Though COVID made last season extremely difficult in many aspects, one bright side is that since we were forced to play numerous inexperienced players each week due to various reasons, we bring back a ton of experience.”
David is joined by an experienced grades 9-12 coaching staff of Mike Wallace, Jared Chapman, Brian Ibs, Doug Runke, Brandon Brakstad, Kyle Ague, Ryan Rank, Greg Sullivan, Turnar Kist, Oscar Johnson, Kurt Bowe, Mike Schwartz, Colin Charlson and Jackson Rynda. This year’s varsity team captains are seniors Ryan Butler, Jake Gaylord, Anthony Kulisek, Jacob Peterson, Tyler Von Bank, and Joe Zachow.
The White Hawks return eight starters from last year’s offense, including 2020 All-District selection Tyler Von Bank (WR), and 2020 All-District Honorable Mention selections Jake Gaylord (QB) and Marc Maas (OL). Other offensive returning starters include seniors Ryan Butler (OL), Anthony Kulisek (OL), Joe Zachow (WR); junior Sam Dioszeghy (OL); and sophomore Mikey Oftedahl (OL).
There are nine returning starters from the 2020 White Hawks defense including 2020 All-District selection Tyler Von Bank (LB) and 2020 All-District Honorable Mention selection Cam Peterson (LB). Other returning defensive starters include seniors Cris Christensen (DB), Adam Mack (LB), Andrey Sivtsov (DL), Ben Tice (DB), and Joe Zachow (DB); juniors Sam Dioszeghy (DL) and Matt Oko (DL). The White Hawks also return all of their kickers/punters on special teams in Ben Neve (Jr.), Manu Jordan (Sr.), and Sam Gaylord (So.).
Coach David looks forward to seeing underclassmen and newcomers step up to fill vacant starting positions. Key newcomers that are expected to assist on both sides of the ball this year include seniors Max Swanson (DL), Jake Dallman (WR), Jack Pfeiffer (WR/DB), Jacob Peterson (WR), Tyler Marshall (WR), and Dylan Helman (DL); juniors Tyler Albert (RB), Fletcher Anderson (LB), Luke Leonard (DB), and Will Wallace (WR/DB); and sophomore Jaaron Konkel (LB).
White Hawks to Face North St. Paul in Season Opener
The White Hawks open their season at North St. Paul High School on Friday, September, 3rd. The game begins at 7 p.m.
“We are really excited to kick off our season against a quality class AAAAA opponent in North St. Paul,” said coach David.