By Dave Clark
Journal Sports Writer
HECTOR - The Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart football team doubled its number of wins in 2013 from 2012.
While going to 1-8 to 2-7 may not sound like going from worst to first, the Mustangs tightened their defense and are looking for some veteran leadership on the 2014 squad to push that win total higher.
Despite losing their starting linebackers and running back to graduation, head coach Brandon Neseth thinks he has the groundwork for a competitive team.
"Losing the four linebackers, that hurt the worst," Neseth said. "But we have junior Jake Pettit coming back at quarterback and defensive back. He's 5-foot-10 inches and 180 pounds and has a good feel for the positions. He's started 13 games for us in the past two years."
Senior Mason Olinger returns to catch the throws from Pettit.
"He was our fourth receiver last year and on defense he'll be all over," Neseth said. "Senior Jayden Coulter will be our H-back, receiver and running back. He's a quick kid and a great lead blocker."
Senior Cody Johnson will be converting from an offensive lineman to a running back and junior Austin Krippner will be a "jack of all trades," Neseth said, carrying the ball and replacing one of the inside linebackers lost to graduation.
Senior and three-year starter Dakota Krumrey will be the guy to move the pile on the lines.
"Dakota's in good shape coming into camp," Neseth said. "He's 6-foot, 265 pounds and he knows what he's doing."
The Mustangs hope to continue establishing the run first and pass second, as last year they ran for less than 1,000 yards and plan to play an aggressive defense.
BLHS opens the season at home against Wabasso at 7 p.m. Friday.