Braves to host EV-Watkins, Friday

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Ortonville and KMS play in a separate scrimmage on the other half of Brock Field, Benson quarterback Layton Connelly gets ready to take in the snap from center, Saturday morning during a scrimmage against Lac qui Parle.

The Benson football team is set to open up the 2016 season at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2 at home against Eden Valley-Watkins, followed by a game YME, Friday, Sept. 9.  

The Benson football team, coached for the 16th-straight season by Scott Gonnerman, lost eight key players from last year’s team, including Josh Manzke, Adam Lindahl, Connor Staton, Mitchell Koosmann, Grant Ascheman, Andrew Lindahl, Everett Lee, and Max McDonald.

However, the team does return a good nucleus of talent, including starting quarterback Layton Connelly, fullback Brett Sulier, wide receiver Max Peterson, linemen Shawn Aarhus, Zack Sonnabend, and Devin Vergin, and linebacker Aaron Zosel.

Head coach Scott Gonnerman lists 13 seniors, seven juniors, 10 sophomores, and 10 freshmen out for football this season.

The complete 2016 Benson football roster in grades 9-12 includes:  seniors Ty Hedman, Max Peterson, Layton Connelly, Zach Burns, Justin Goossen, Brett Sulier, Anthony Johnson, Austin Whitcup, Matt Gandsey, Cole Vergin, Shawn Aarhus, Ross Grussing, and Zack Sonnabend; juniors Shane Flower, Aaron Zosel, Matt Connolly, Devin Vergin, Kaden Schmidt, Shane Grussing, and Sam Lundebrek; sophomores Cole Petrick, Hunter Gonnerman, Jared Knutson, Matthew Ebnet, Matthew Goossen, Matthew Lenarz, Michael Nagler, Devon Liles, Riley Grube, and foreign-exchange student Lukas Sabathil; and ninth-graders Matthew Tolifson, Ty Wersinger, Ryan Goulet, Will Enderson, Mason Abner, Austin Hagen, Ross Metz, Mason Jurek, Grant Evenson, and Jacob Fath.

“One of our strengths is 14 seniors out for football,” Gonnerman said.  “We have some key returning starters as well as players who saw action on Friday nights last year.  We have good size on the offensive and defensive lines, and we haven’t had great size in the last few years, which has caused us to ‘run out of gas’ in the second games or late in the fourth quarter.”

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!
 

Pictured: As Benson coaches look on from behind and Ortonville and KMS play in a separate scrimmage on the other half of Brock Field, Benson quarterback Layton Connelly gets ready to take in the snap from center, Saturday morning during a scrimmage against Lac qui Parle.  The Braves are set to host EVW in the season opener, Friday.
 

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