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Beacons looking to fill some holes
There are probably going to be some unfamiliar names in the starting lineup when the Concordia Academy football team takes the field for its season-opener Friday afternoon. The Beacons return only three starters on defense and five on offense this season.
For the powerhouse teams in the bigger classes, replacing that many departing seniors isn't that big of a deal, but for a school the size of Concordia it can be daunting.
"We will be in a bit of a rebuilding type year," said Concordia head coach Brian Brown, who is in his seventh season at the helm. "We expect our kids to play both ways and on special teams."
Concordia has right around 40 players out for the team and that means injuries can put quite a hole in the lineup.
"We have great kids who work hard," said Brown. "Staying healthy is the key to our success."
A year ago, Concordia went 3-5 in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs. The Beacons beat St. Paul Humboldt in the section quarterfinals and lost to Maple Lake in the semifinals. Of the four teams Concordia beat last year, two (Humboldt, Brooklyn Center) are on the schedule this season.
Players who return from last year's team and are expected to contribute this fall include Isaac Hernandez, Zach Morse and Sam Root.
Hernandez is a running back and linebacker who Brown feels should receive all-state recognition. Morse was all-conference in 2013 and Brown expects him to be a strong presence on both sides of the ball. Root plays on the offensive line and at linebacker.
As for the team in general, Brown has a couple of simple goals.
"We hope to be competitive in a tough Tri-Metro Conference and hope to be healthy when we get to playoffs," Brown said.
In addition to being tough, the Tri-Metro Conference has a bit of a new look this year. Six schools have departed the league and three new schools have joined. The Tri-Metro is now home to 10 schools and some flexibility when it comes to scheduling, especially for football.
With 10 football teams in the conference, there is isn't a need to schedule non-conference games but some of the smaller schools in the conference requested to be released from having to play certain bigger schools. Concordia Academy has two non-conference games on the schedule this season.
The number varies across the conference. Holy Angels, DeLaSalle and Fridley have three non-conference games each; Brooklyn Center, New Life Academy and St. Agnes have two; Columbia Heights has one; and St. Anthony Village and St. Croix Lutheran have none.
Concordia opens the season with a non-conference matinee on Friday. The Beacons visit former Tri-Metro Conference foe St. Paul Academy/Mounds Park Academy at 4:15 p.m.
Brian Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 Concordia Academy football schedule
- Aug. 29 at St. Paul Academy, 4:15 p.m.
- Sept. 5 vs. St. Anthony Village, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 12 vs. St. Croix Lutheran, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 19 vs. St. Paul Humboldt, 4 p.m.
- Sept. 26 at New Life Academy, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 3 vs. Brooklyn Center, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 10 at Columbia Heights, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 15 vs. St. Agnes, 7 p.m.