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Wolverines bracing for Prairie North challenge

Photo by Brian Hansel Evan VanErp wraps up ball carrier Ben Lanz during a practice session Tuesday in Wadena. The Wolverines host West Central Area Sept. 1 in their season opener.

Tom VanErp's Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines join the Prairie North Conference this year with a roster that includes 10 seniors and all-conference running back Logan Meyer.

Meyer returns to a backfield that includes junior quarterback Evan VanErp, who also saw varsity playing time last season. Other returning players include seniors Jake Ludovissie, Ben Lanz, Jacob and Jacob Salge and junior Jake Krause. Ludovissie will see action at linebacker on defense and on the line on offense. Lanz is a good bet for a backfield job. Krause and Salge have the size to handle duty on both the offensive and defensive lines.

"We will need to build on their experience and our new guys need to step in and play big roles on both sides of the ball," VanErp said.

Other seniors on the team will be Jake Rude, Jeremy Sherman, Wyatt Weber, Mason Lohmiller, Logan Weber and Jondel Hunt. Rude and Sherman will play at wideout and defensive back while the Webers and Lohmiller see duty on the line.

Joining VanErp and Krause on the squad from the junior class will be Chris Steward, Matt Laughlin, Jeff Webb, Joey Price, Mike Paavola and Keith Paulson. Steward should see action at a running back spot on offense and a secondary spot on defense. Laughlin will also run the ball and play linebacker. Webb has the size to play a tight end spot on offense and linebacker on defense. Price is headed for offensive line duty and will compete for a linebacker spot on defense. Paavola and Paulson are training for the line on offense and defense.

VanErp will also be looking a three sophomores in Nick Carlson, Andrew Fultz and Jordan Folkestad. Carlson is set for running back and linebacking work. Fultz will play a line spot on offense and linebacker on defense. Folkestad is headed for line duty.

The Wolverines are coming off a tough season in the Heart O' Lakes where they went 1-8. They opened the season with a victory at Park Rapids.

Barnesville, United North Central and Upsala-Swanville Area are all regarded as top teams in the Prairie North. Otter Tail Central, Royalton and Browerville will be contenders in the Prairie South.

Breckenridge and Pierz are expected to battle for Section 6AA honors.