FARGO — The football season for Fargo Davies last year was bookended with a 29-point loss to Bismarck to open the season and a 21-point loss to eventual state champion Bismarck to close the season in the Class 3A semifinals.
"I thought we played really, really well," Davies coach Jason Thielges said of the semifinal game. "I think the difference in the game was the turnovers. I thought we gave a great effort and played really hard, but you can't turn the ball over against a team like Bismarck."
Offensively, Davies had two fumbles, an interception and two punts in the first half of the semifinals. Bismarck took a 17-0 lead into halftime and never looked back.
The beginning and end is not the entire story of last season for Davies. The Eagles finished 7-4, their first winning season since winning a state title in 2014.
"Hopefully, that makes them hungry this year," Thielges said.
This time last season, Thielges talked about Ty Satter playing some wide receiver. He entered the season doing most of his damage at cornerback.
Satter finished his junior season with 46 catches for 847 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 1,434 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns. He also had four interceptions on defense. The North Dakota State commit will see plenty of the field this season for the Eagles.
"He's a special player," Thielges said. "We're going to move him in the slot, as a wideout, he'll come and take jet sweeps. You may even see him at quarterback some times. We just want to get him the ball. We don't ever want to lose the game because Ty doesn't touch the ball that much."
It'll be a new quarterback throwing Satter the ball this season, as Jesse Forknell graduated and headed to Minnesota State-Mankato. Reid Hartness will take over at the quarterback. Hartness started at safety last season for Davies, but he's added 20 pounds and the 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior is moving behind center.
"He's a great athlete," Thielges said. "He can run, he can throw. He can still play safety, but we are having him focus on quarterback."
Jack Carlson returns for his senior year at running back. He was one of the top sprinters in the Eastern Dakota Conference. Senior Justice Noel is a key returner on the defensive line and at tight end. Noel is at 6-3, 210 pounds, while senior Arthur Harris will also be big on the defensive line at 5-9, 285 pounds.
Davies has 12 starters returning from last season. Truman Werremeyer was one of those starters last year as a sophomore. At 6-feet, 215 pounds, he'll move around at inside linebacker, tight end and fullback.
The Eagles won't see Bismarck in the regular season, but they do open it with the team that lost to the Demons in the state championship in Bismarck Century.
"Every year is different," Thielges said. "I think we need to be a little more physical on the offensive line and on defense. We gotta get better on third-and-long defensively. We were kind of atrocious on third-and-long. That really killed us in that semifinal game. We talked a lot about what Bismarck High does. They force turnovers and they hold onto the ball. That's what we need to do."
Aug. 30: vs. Bismarck Century, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6: at Mandan, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13: vs. Grand Forks Central, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20: vs. Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27: at Fargo South, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4: at Fargo North, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: vs. West Fargo, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16: vs. West Fargo Sheyenne, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: at Fargo Shanley, 7 p.m.