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Confidence high following Roseville's storybook season
It's hard to argue against the idea that the athletic story of the year at Roseville Area High School last year was the football team's run to the state semifinals. The Raiders advanced farther than any football team in school history and got all-state seasons from a pair of offensive stars.
Repeating last year's feats won't be easy, but head coach Chris Simdorn said that his team learned a lot in 2013 and believes that it has a shot at doing it all again.
"Last year's season was a great run and has given our returning players and our program great experience and a belief they can compete with the best in the state," said Simdorn, who is entering his 14th season as head coach.
In order to be able to compete, Roseville needs to replace 13 starters.
"We have a number of players to replace and expect our underclassmen to step up and fill those roles," Simdorn said.
One of those roles that needs filling is the quarterback position following the graduation of Jacques Perra, who threw for over 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2013. He was an all-state selection and raked in a slew of metro and state player-of-the-year awards.
While replacing a quarterback is never easy, whoever earns the job will have the advantage of having Jesper Horsted to whom to throw. Horsted, a senior, was on the receiving end of a majority of Perra's passes last year and finished with 82 catches for 1,484 yards and 19 touchdowns. He made 19 of those receptions in the state quarterfinals against Maple Grove and finished the game with 293 receiving yards.
Other top returning players include seniors Tommy Arcand, Ty Hawton, Joh Farmer, Aaron Dimler, Dom Weyker and Hunter Hill.
Arcand is a speedy back who can also catch passes and will play defense this season. Hawton is a three-year starter on the offensive line and will play linebacker on defense. Simdorn likes Hawton’s strength and toughness.
Farmer was an all-conference defensive back last year and will also line up at wide receiver this season. Dimler possesses size and strength and will use both at linebacker and on the offensive line.
Weyker is slotted to play on both lines, as will Hill.
One newcomer to keep an eye out for is senior Quinn Johnson, who is back after taking last year off. At 6-foot-2, he provides Roseville another big wide receiver to complement Horsted, who stands 6-foot-4.
Roseville's skill positions and overall first line players probably compare favorably with any team in the Suburban East Conference. What the Raiders lack is depth.
"We need to stay healthy in key positions and have some young players step up to provide some depth," said Simdorn.
Roseville got some live-action work last Saturday in a scrimmage at Spring Lake Park. The season kicks off for real on Thursday with a home game against Stillwater. The Raiders beat the Ponies 32-20 at Stillwater 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.
Roseville's non-conference game is against Edina and comes in week eight (Oct. 15). 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 Roseville Area High School football schedule
- Aug. 28 vs. Stillwater, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 5 vs. Woodbury, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 12 at Park-Cottage Grove, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 19 vs. Mounds View, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 26 at East Ridge, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 3 vs. Forest Lake, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 10 at Cretin-Derham Hall, 7:30 p.m.
- Oct. 15 at Edina, 7 p.m.