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Park Christian football preview

The Moorhead Park Christian football team turns 4 years old in 2014, and the Falcons have taken steps each season since breaking away from their co-op with Fargo Oak Grove.

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Moorhead Park Christian senior Jake Stenerson will take over the running back position this season. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

The Moorhead Park Christian football team turns 4 years old in 2014, and the Falcons have taken steps each season since breaking away from their co-op with Fargo Oak Grove.
Park Christian picked up its first wins in its first season, finishing 2-7 in 2011. The Falcons responded with a season above .500 in 2012, finishing 5-4.
In 2013, the Falcons took another step on the staircase, winning their first playoff game with an 18-0 victory over Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal. The Falcons lost in the Class 9-man, Section 6 semifinals to eventual section champion Ada-Borup 30-0, finishing the season 5-5.

OUTLOOK

The team may be 4 years old, but it will look brand new in 2014 with seven starters gone and a new coach at the helm in Tim Kerr. It’s Kerr’s first varsity head coaching job.
“We’re looking forward to building from (the playoff win),” Kerr said. “We have been working hard in the offseason on strength and speed. Hopefully, that’ll translate to the football field.”
Kerr won’t be the only new part of the Falcons squad. The Falcons lost quarterback Jared Olsgaard, leading wide receivers Matt Moberg and Duncan Hannestad, starting tight end Hunter Nickel, running back Josh Heinen and linemen Austin Daugherty and Josh Lizakowski all to graduation.
“We have a lot of players to replace this year,” Kerr said. “We do have a lot of guys that are eager and ready to step up. We got to get them out there on the field and see how they perform and go from there.”
Park Christian has just five returning seniors, but it will be a junior that takes over the quarterback position in Zach Kvalvog. Jake Stenerson will take over the running back position.
“They’re big shoes to fill, but I think Zach is up for the challenge,” Kerr said. “We have two senior receivers to take the place of Matt Moberg in Josiah Militzer and Nick Nelson. They’ve been in Matt’s shadow for the last few years, so they are looking forward to showing what they got.”
Park Christian had 219 yards from scrimmage in the first playoff win in team history last season. Seniors were responsible for all 22 rushing yards, Olsgaard threw all 197 passing yards and Hannestad and Moberg hauled in 12 of the 15 receptions for 165 out of the 197 receiving yards.
It might be an uphill battle, but Kerr is excited to essentially start his own system with a host of new starters.
“This is my third year as a coach in the program, so I’m very familiar with the kids,” Kerr said. “I know what strengths they have. I know what weaknesses they have. It is good to be able to mold and mentor these kids who are stepping into these new roles.”
Kerr is hoping the school feeds off of the Park Christian basketball team going to state for the first time in program history last season.
“We went through the excitement in our basketball year of going to state,” Kerr said. “That would be a good stretch goal for us. We’re in a very tough conference, so we’re going to have to do some good things to get there. To win a couple more playoff games and make it into the state realm would be a great goal for us.”

Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: cmurphy@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5548
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