BARNESVILLE, MN -- With 10 minutes left to play in the 2018 Class AA state championship, Barnesville had gone toe-to-toe with the three-time defending champs Caledonia. Down by a score and driving into Warrior territory, the Trojans had their eyes set on putting the ultimate finishing touches on a breakout season.
They couldn't finish the job however, succumbing to Caledonia 21-0. That's fueled the team for 2019 to finish what they've started. Bryan Strand enters his 13th season with a team he describes as the "strongest group" he's ever had.
That team includes Iowa State commit Hunter Zenzen. He made 94 tackles, 26 for loss, and eight sacks on defense while grabbing 12 catches for 159 yards and a trio of touchdowns during his junior season. The Trojans also bring back Adam Tonsfeldt for his second season under center. Another year of experience for Tonsfeldt should bolster an offense which rushed for over 4,000 yards a season ago.
Barnesville's schedule is a bit tricky. The Trojans open with a battle with Ada-Borup, which also has North Dakota State commit Mason Miller. They'll then head to Hawley for the second game of the year, an early battle for the two rivals. Four of the team's first five contests will be on the road, the lone home game coming against Crookston on September 20th, which will be broadcast on WDAY Xtra.