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Community scrimmage set for this Friday, Aug. 20; Oriole football season begins Aug. 27

Oriole fans will get their first look at the 2021 football team this Friday, Aug. 20 when the Lennox High School team takes to the field for a preseason scrimmage. The Community Scrimmage held at the High School football complex Friday, August 20th starting at 5:30 p.m. Not only will those in attendance get to see the high school players, they will also get a chance to see the football teams for grades 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and 7th/8th. The youth football teams will start roughly at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by the junior high and then the high school teams in that order. There will also be concessions available that evening.

The sneak peak will keep fans tide over until the 2021 LHS season kicks off on Aug. 27 at home against West Central.

The Orioles return 25 letterwinners and bring back players that filled seven key positions on offense and seven key positions on defense.

Returning starters on offense include wide receivers Steven Christion, Carter Van Houten and Jackson Arlt. All three are seniors. Christion recorded seven receiving touchdowns last season on 26 grabs for 260 yards. Arlt notched five receiving touchdowns on the season on 34 catches for 502 yards. Van Houten had ten receptions last season for 117 yards.

Tight end, Ayden Spielman, also a senior, returns for the Orioles as well, along with center Jacob Stubbe, tackle Cody Peterson and guard Jase Langbehn.

Defensively, Christion will continue at corner. Last season Christion had one interception at this position and three pass break ups. Van Houten will return defensively as strong safety where he recorded 44 tackles last year. Stubbe will return as defensive end, recording 22 tackles last season, two sacks and one forced fumble. Spielman returns as defensive end where last season he had 17 tackles, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Langbehn returns as inside linebacker. Last season at that position, Langbehn had 43 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Also returning as a defensive starter for the Orioles will be nose guard Gabe Beman who had 21 tackles last season and Hayden Herlyn at defensive tackle.

Those looking to fill in positions that are left vacant following last year’s graduation, include junior Braeden Wulf. Wulf looks to step into the roll of quarterback following Brandon Fodness’ graduation last year.

Others looking to see significant action are seniors Denver Lefers and Lance Roeder; juniors Herlyn, Lance Spieler, Layne Kuper, Austin Strasser, Cohen Metcalf, Landon Slack, Caden Iken, Conner Eich, Austin Richter, Ethan Schroeder, and sophomores Talan Diercks, Carter Benning, Trey Gerdes, and Triston Butler.

Oriole head coach Matt Luze is happy with the team’s roster.

“This team has lots of returning experience and they are excited to compete,” said Luze. “They want to push themselves to be the very best they can be.”

Luze does note the team has to be more physical and stay away from injuries. He also wants to see improved communication as a team.

“We have a good number of upperclassmen also so we need to identify what everyone’s role will be early in the year,” said Luze. “Our schedule is tough all the way through. Every team can beat us if we don’t play at our best.”

The team begins their schedule at home against West Central on Aug. 27. They host Custer on Sept. 3, travel to Dakota Valley on Sept. 10, to Dell Rapids on Sept. 17, host Vermillion on Sept. 24, travel to Sioux Falls Christian on Oct. 1, host Tri-Valley on Oct. 9, host Chamberlain on Oct. 15 and travel to Canton on Oct. 21. Playoffs begin on Oct. 28.

Luze is assisted this year by Trevor Schroeder, Casey Vietor, Chris Kruse, Pat Sees, Steve Hale, Neal Stratman, Clinton Johnson, and Scott Meyer.

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