Fall is in the air, Cowboys hit the practice field

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Fall is in the air, Cowboys hit the practice field
BE QUICK NOW — Will Shirley, timed at 5.2 seconds by Coach Joe Moerkerke, makes a turn in the 20-yard agility drill Monday morning on the first day of Cowboy football practice. Forty players are out for the squad this season which opens in Malta on Sept. 4. The first home game is with Big Fork on Sept. 11. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
   The sun is setting a little earlier, the evenings are becoming a little bit more crisp and the schools are about to open their doors.
   That can mean only one thing, football season is right around the corner.
   On Monday about 40 players began two-a-day drills under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Joe Moerkerke, beginning his third year at the helm.
   His assistant coaches include MHP Sergeant Robert Bender, Brain Fladstol and new to the team, Jeremie LaBarre. Rich Murack is the team trainer.
   Coach Moerkerke is optimistic about the season but notes, “We are not as big across the line as we were last year.”
   Right he is. The tallest player is sophomore Ben Moerkerke at 6’-4”. Overall the Cowboys probably average about 6’-0’. There are just a handful of players weighing in at over 200 pounds with junior Caleb Goyette leading the pack at 220  pounds.
   The Cowboys will have to be sneaky fast on both sides of the line this season.
   Proving good leadership will be nine seniors.
   They include Mike Adams, Chase Cork, Nathan Gage, Boyd Matheson, Josiah Moerkerke, Paul O’Brien, Rhett Orcutt, Brandon Philipps and Nick Pruttis.
   Juniors out for the team are Brett Bishop, Kyle Ellis, C. Goyette, Grant Grubb, Colter Knox, and Bryce Watterud.
   The bulk of the squad comes from the Class of 2012 with 16 players out.  A lot of young players will be seeing time on the playing field  this season.
   Sophomores coming out are Jamison Byrnes, Sam Carroll, Alex Finlayson, Sam Larson, Kyle Linn, B. Moerkerke, Tyler Nelson, Ryan Orcutt, Joe Ries, Charles Roderick, Luke Schlosser, Lucas Schultz, Will Shirley, Blayne Underdahl, Dallas VanLuchene, and Clay Winters.
   Freshman players consist of Seth Diedrich, Drew Drishinski, Kyle Dyrud, Justin Fritz, Daniel O’Brien, Trent Pearson, Justin Ratzburg, Tyler Sasek Ryan Townsend, Devin VandenBos,  and Wesley Varnum.
   The Cowboy team manager is Raymond Palmer. Kellen Murack will be doing duty at the video recorder.
   Team statisticians include Courtney Anderson, Megan Breding, Kasey Brownell and Kendra Pearson.
   New this year will be information about the team on their newly created website. Check out www.conradcowboyfootball.org .
   Conrad begins the season with a road game and a real test right out of the chute when they travel to Malta to take on the Mustangs on Sept. 4.
   The Cowboys are at home on Sept. 11 with Big Fork coming in for a visit. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
   We’ll see you on the field some exciting games this season.