Changes affect football in Wakonda and Irene; fans to cheer for Eagles

Changes affect football in Wakonda and Irene; fans to cheer for Eagles Football fans in the communities of Irene and Wakonda will have an adjustment to make when they cheer for their high school football team this season. They will be cheering for the Eagles and rooting for the blue, white and black.

Last fall the school boards from Wakonda and Irene decided to form a cooperative in the sport of football. With that decision came the task of deciding on new colors, a mascot, and countless other changes that needed to be made.

The student councils from each school met together and took ideas back to their respective student bodies. After a series of meetings the Eagle mascot with colors of blue, white, and black was agreed upon.

Details of cost, practice facilities, and games were worked out between the two school boards. Each district will split the costs to run the football team equally. Practices and games are split equally with the first five weeks of practice being held at Wakonda. The first two home games will be held on the Wakonda field as well. The last five weeks of practice will be in Irene along with the last two home games.

Parent's Night will be observed in Wakonda at the opening game against Viborg, while Homecoming will be held in Irene against Emery-Ethan. Next year these two events will be reversed to the opposite sites.

Everything is in place and the transition to the new team has taken place without any problems. One thing the fans can expect to remain the same is the brand of football that they have known throughout the many storied seasons in their schools' histories.

Practices for the players started on Aug. 18 with players going through two practices a day for the first week. Thirty-one players will dress for the opening on Friday, Sept. 5. The team will field a good nucleus of players to build the offensive and defensive units. Seniors Brett Mellem, Jeff Gratzfeld, Jeremy Rempp, and Brad DuBois will anchor the line. Brett Anderson, Mark Hauger, Brett Logue, Brian Gustad, and Adam Gale will man the end and flanker positions.

Senior running back Jeff Heier will team up with underclassmen Brandon Parvin and Shawn Hessman in the backfield. Alex Nielsen will lead the team from the quarterback position.

Juniors who will be vying for starters' spots and playing time are Allen Alsdorf, Zane Sorenson, Matt Rempp, and Nick Peterson. Sophomore Eagles are Tyler Knudson, Jakob Grams, Eric Hansen, Jared Viergutz, Paul McDonald, Kent Stockland, and Derrick Pearson.

Freshmen out for the team are John Schmidt, Dan Eli, Adam Polley, Brock Mutchelknaus, Robert Hauger, Phillip Devine and Mitch Hessman.

Practices have been going well despite a good portion of them being very warm. Players have been working to get together to become a solid team which hopes to be contending for post season play at the end of the regular schedule.

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