2003 Football Preview

Posted on July 31st, 2003 by

The Gustavus Adolphus football team will enter the 2003 season with 28 letterwinners and nine starters returning from last year’s squad that finished 6-4, 5-3 in the MIAC. Included among the 110 players expected to report to camp on August 17 are five offensive and four defensive starters from 2002. With last year’s leading receiver, rusher, and tackler and five all-conference players total lost to graduation, the Gusties will be relying upon several faces in new places to lead them into the fall.

“As much as losing 13 starters concerns me,” commented Head Coach Jay Schoenebeck, “the fact that we need to fill those spots with new people is very exciting. Whenever you lose a group that has started for two or three years, it creates a higher level of anticipation within your team.”

Coach Schoenebeck, who is entering his 10th year as the head of the program, believes that the returning athletes see a great opportunity this season since they have the chance to play a major role on the squad for the first time in their careers. “The players are preparing for that challenge with an increased intensity and work ethic,” Schoenebeck stated. “We are going to see an increased level of competition amongst our team to fill those spots which is going to make our whole team better.”

The signal caller spot gives Gustavus both experience and competition for the starting role. Last year’s starting quarterback Sean O. Smith (5-11, 180, Minnetonka, MN) returns for his final season in a Gustie uniform. Smith set the single season school record for completion percentage (66.5) by going 181-272 through the air for 2,145 yards and 20 touchdowns. He ranks tenth in school history for career completions (187) and passing yards (2,251). Expected to push Smith for the starting job this season is sophomore Matt Royer (6-2, 189, Pequot Lakes, MN). Royer lacks varsity experience, but has the tools to one day become a very successful collegiate quarterback. Whether he will have to wait one more season to get a chance to showcase his skills will probably be determined during the pre-season practices.

The Gustavus offensive front that allowed departed all-conference tailback Andy Traetow to break numerous school records returns three starters from a year ago. Seniors Chris Holsworth (6-3, 267, North Branch, MN), Chris Pelzel (6-0, 240, Burnsville, MN), and Adam Stubbendick (6-0, 245, Waverly, NE) will be called upon to provide the backbone of the offense. Holsworth spent last season at tackle but may be moved to guard this year. Pelzel will keep his starting spot at the other guard spot. Stubbendick, last year’s long snapper on special teams, will slide over from guard to center this season. Senior Mike Christopher (6-3, 263, Bloomington, MN), junior Anders Haugen (6-5, 280, Kenyon, MN) and sophomore Joe Atkinson (6-5, 263, Lake Crystal, MN) are the frontrunners expected to compete for the other two starting positions on the line.

The top four rushers from a year ago have all graduated, leaving Coach Schoenebeck with the task of filling his backfield with untested runners. Senior Adam Nelson (5-10, 195, Welch, MN) and sophomore Drew Stifter (5-10, 190, Watertown, MN) are currently expected to earn the bulk of the playing time at the running back positions. Nelson missed all of last season with an ankle injury and is returning for his fifth year after receiving a medical hardship. Stifter saw limited playing time in six games last season, but the coaching staff believes he will one day mature into a solid collegiate running back. Junior Mark Jensen (5-10, 210, Larchwood, IA) and senior Shawn Naber (6-0, 181, Houston, MN) are the only other backs on the roster to have touched the ball a year ago and should compete for playing time. Sophomores Tyler Haschig (6-0, 175, Burnsville, MN) and Matt Fordyce (5-8, 150, Atwater, MN) gained valuable junior varsity experience last fall and could make the transition to varsity competition this season.

Senior wide receiver Brett Boese (6-5, 208, Rochester, MN) was one of Smith’s favorite targets last season, behind departed all-conference selection Ryan Hoag. Boese hauled in 36 receptions for 424 yards last year. He is the only one of last year’s top seven receivers returning this season. Seniors Kurt Bauerly (6-1, 182, Milaca, MN), Stephen Handler (5-11, 185, Shellsburg, IA), Nate Novak (6-1, 167, Prior Lake, MN), and Kyle Steier (5-11, 170, Blaine, MN) all have an excellent shot at earning a starting spot this season. Other upperclass receivers expected to compete for playing time include junior Sean M. Smith (6-2, 174, Plymouth, MN) and sophomore Clint Riegelman (6-4, 198, Red Wing, MN).

In addition to the wide receiver positions, the Gustavus aerial attack aims to utilize the tight end as a target down the field. Senior and two-time letterwinner Nick Teigland (6-6, 253, Chanhassen, MN) missed most of last season with a knee injury and received a medical hardship to come back for his fifth season. Teigland, who had 12 grabs for 178 yards and two touchdowns two years ago, is expected to return at full strength. Fellow senior Matt Smith (6-0, 162, Austin, MN) and sophomores Jamie Germscheid (6-5, 188, Madison Lake, MN) and Scott Ludwig (6-1, 195, St. Charles, MN) will compete for playing time. New to the program and expected to provide depth at tight end is senior Nick Tibesar (6-5, 220, Plymouth, MN)

The conference’s third best scoring defense in 2002 returns four starters and numerous letterwinners to the gridiron this season. The Gusties, who led the conference in sacks a year ago, will rely upon senior Dan Myers (6-3, 219, Cottage Grove, MN) and junior Karl Spilseth (6-4, 240, Willmar, MN) to anchor the defensive front. Myers led the team with three and a half sacks and Spilseth tallied five tackles for a loss last fall. Other veterans along the line who are expected to challenge for starting roles include seniors Brent Kath (6-1, 228, Chaska, MN) and Jesse Meyen (6-3, 195, Slayton, MN), junior Kris Storvick (6-3, 222, Mankato, MN), and sophomore Chris Cornwell (6-2, 236, St. Paul Park, MN).

Last year’s entire starting linebacking corps is gone, leaving defensive coordinator Jud Keim with the challenge of replacing Dirk Erickson, Ben Spilseth, Jason Opsal, and Brad Arndt, four out of the top five tacklers on the team. Seniors Spencer Cone (6-0, 190, Brooklyn Park, MN) and Aric Bethke (5-10, 195, Buffalo, MN) and junior Isaac Sieling (6-2, 204, Watertown, MN) bring the most experience to the group and will compete for the inside linebacker spots. Senior Tyler Vrieze (5-10, 183, Richfield, MN) and sophomores Tyler Ringquist (6-0, 185, Jackson, MN) and Justin Redfield (5-10, 190, Moorhead, MN) are expected to fill the two outside linebacker/invert positions. Sophomores Erik Meyer (6-0, 200, Madison, WI) and Jay Frederickson (6-2, 195, Blue Earth, MN) will provide depth at linebacker and could challenge for playing time if they continue to show the improvement they exhibited during their first years in the program.

Both starting cornerbacks return for their senior seasons. Greg Baldus (6-0, 185, Victoria, MN) and Matt Diercks (5-10, 178, Red Wing, MN) are back for the Gusties, who had the third best pass defense efficiency rating (125.2) in the MIAC last year. Baldus picked off a team-high four passes while Diercks registered 33 tackles and two interceptions. Sophomore Loren Havemeier (5-10, 185, Sleepy Eye, MN) made an impact his first season on the squad, and the coaching staff is excited about his potential. Other candidates to fill the free safety spot vacated by the graduated Zach Zimmer include senior Jeff West (6-1, 180, Cleveland, MN) and sophomore Chris Thorson (6-0, 184, Shoreview, MN).

Baldus doubled as the team’s punter last season. He booted 30 punts for a total of 1,078 yards (35.9 ypp), six of which landed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. The kicker spot is currently open, with first-year Kase Niles (6-1, 160, Hopkins, MN) considered to be the frontrunner to take over the job.

Zimmer, who broke the school career punt return record, Traetow, and Hoag were the top return men last season. Expected to return kicks this fall include Diercks, Handler, Havemeier, Nelson, and Stifter.

Gustavus has finished in the top three in the rigorous MIAC four out of the last five years. Schoenebeck is hopeful that this year’s edition of Gustie football will rise to the upper tier of the standings once again. “I believe that we are at a point where we can win the conference any given year. With that being said, I’m sure that we will not be picked to win the conference this year after losing 13 starters, and I’m not sure if I were an outsider looking at the league that I wouldn’t agree with them. But after coaching as long as I have, and knowing the type of student-athletes that we have here, I would not count us out.”

This season Gustavus plays six of its 10 games at home after only playing four contests on campus a year ago. The Gusties open play on September 6 by traveling to Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. It is the first time these two schools will face each other between the hashes. The team then returns to St. Peter for the home opener against Concordia on September 13.

The first two contests of the season could be great indicators of the path this season is going to follow. “Some things will have to fall in place early in the season to create the chemistry it takes to play at a high level,” Schoenebeck said. “The Buena Vista game will be a big test for our team and for those guys that have not been in a starting role before because I think Buena Vista is pretty good.”

“After that game we host Concordia, who I think will be a conference title contender,” continued Schoenebeck. “We must identify who are leaders are going to be this year. If we can get the leadership we need from our seniors and win those first two tough games, I think we will have gotten the start we need to make a solid run at the conference title.”

The challenge continues the first three weeks of October. The Gusties travel to defending MIAC-champion St. John’s (Oct. 4) before hosting St. Thomas (Oct. 11). Gustavus then travels to Bethel (Oct. 18), the team that handed the Gusties their biggest defeat of the 2002 season. The squad then closes out the year with three straight games at home against Hamline (Oct. 25), Azusa Pacific (Nov. 1), and St. Olaf (Nov. 8).

“We have lost some strong leaders that have done a great job both on an off the field, and so they must be replaced,” commented Schoenebeck. “Every successful team that I have been a part of has had strong leaders that the players have rallied around, and it will be critical to have them again this year if we are to reach the level of success we all want to reach.”

2002 Statistics

General Information
Name: Gustavus Adolphus College
Location: St. Peter, Minn.
Founded: 1862
Enrollment: 2,540
Nickname: Golden Gusties
School Colors: Black and Gold
Stadium: Hollingsworth Field
Capacity: 5,000
Affiliation: NCAA Div. III
President: Jim Peterson
Athletic Director: Al Molde
Athletic Phone: (507) 933-7617

First year of football: 1902
All-time bowl / play-off record: 0-3
Last postseason appearance / result: 1987/Lost to St. John’s 7-3
All-time record: 428-274-21

Sports Information
Sports Info Director: Tim Kennedy
Work Phone: (507) 933-7647
Email: timgasid@gustavus.edu
Football Contact: Nick Huber
Work Phone: (507) 933-8411
Home Phone: (507) 934-0284
Email: nhuber@gustavus.edu
SID Fax: (507) 933-8412
Press Box phone: (507) 933-7404

Coaching Staff
Head Coach Jay Schoenebeck
Alma Mater / Year: Gustavus ’80
Record at school (years): 48-42-0
Career record: 48-42-0
Head Coach’s office phone: (507) 933-7611
Best time / day to reach coach: 10:00am – 10:30am Monday – Friday

Assistant Coaches
Defensive Coord.: Jud Keim (Pacific Lutheran ’86)
Receivers/Special teams: Tom Brown (Augustana ’86)
Defensive Line: Brent Staples (Gustavus ’99)
Defensive Backs: Dennis Raarup (Gustavus ’53)
Offensive Line: Gregg Roberts (Gustavus ’80)
Offensive Backs: Bob Southworth (Gustavus ’99)
Tight Ends: Chuck Larsen (Augsburg)
Inverts: Eric Mattson (Gustavus ’00)

Gustavus vs. the MIAC
Series vs. Augsburg 49-12-0
Series vs. Bethel 14-10-0
Series vs. Carleton 11-14-3
Series vs. Concordia 40-29-2
Series vs. Hamline 49-21-0
Series vs. St. John’s 31-35-3
Series vs. St. Olaf 34-15-0
Series vs. St. Thomas 33-35-2

Player Information
Key Returnees
Greg Baldus (SR, DB, 6-0, 185): 54 tackles, 4 INT, 4 pass breakups
Brett Boese (SR, WR, 6-5, 208): 36 receptions for 424 yards and 3 TDs
Matt Diercks (SR, DB, 5-10, 185): 33 tackles, 2 INT, 9 pass breakups
Dan Myers (SR, DE, 6-3, 225): 42 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 INT
Sean O. Smith (SR, QB, 5-11, 180): 181-272 for 2145 yards, 20 TDs, 8 INT
Adam Stubbendick (SR, OL, 6-0, 245)

All Returning Letterwinners
Greg Baldus (SR, DB, 6-0, 185, Victoria, MN)
Kurt Bauerly (SR, WR, 6-1, 182, Milaca, MN)
Aric Bethke (SR, LB, 5-10, 195, Buffalo, MN)
Brett Boese (SR, WR, 6-5, 208, Rochester, MN)
Spencer Cone (SR, LB, 6-0, 190, Brooklyn Park, MN)
Chris Cornwell (SO, DL, 6-2, 236, St. Paul Park, MN)
Matt Diercks (SR, DB, 5-10, 178, Red Wing, MN)
Loren Havemeier (SO, DB, 5-10, 185, Sleepy Eye, MN)
Chris Holsworth (SR, OL, 6-3, 267, North Branch, MN)
Eric Jenson (SR, DB, 6-2, 190, St. Anthony, MN)
Brent Kath (SR, DL, 6-1, 228, Chaska, MN)
Jesse Meyen (SR, DE, 6-3, 195, Slayton, MN)
Dan Myers (SR, DE, 6-3, 219, Cottage Grove, MN)
Adam Nelson (SR, RB, 5-10, 195, Welch, MN)
Nate Novak (SR, WR, 6-1, 167, Prior Lake, MN)
Chris Pelzel (SR, OL, 6-0, 240, Burnsville, MN)
Justin Redfield (SO, DB, 5-10, 190, Moorhead, MN)
Tyler Rinquist (SO, DB, 6-0, 185, Jackson, MN)
Isaac Sieling (JR, LB, 6-2, 204, Watertown, MN)
Matt Smith (SR, TE, 6-4, 220, Austin, MN)
Sean O. Smith (SR, QB, 5-11, 180, Minnetonka, MN)
Karl Spilseth (JR, DL, 6-4, 240, Wilmar, MN)
Drew Stifter (SO, RB, 5-10, 190, Watertown, MN)
Kris Storvick (JR, DL, 6-3, 222, Mankato, MN)
Adam Stubbendick (SR, OL, 6-0, 245, Waverly, NE)
Nick Tiegland (SR, TE, 6-6, 253, Chanhassen, MN)
Tyler Vrieze (SR, LB, 5-10, 183, Richfield, MN)
Jeff West (SR, DB, 6-1, 180, Cleveland, MN)

Letterwinners Lost
Brad Arndt
Adam Britz
Dirk Erickson
Aaron Halle
Tom Hilden
Ryan Hoag
Jeremiah Jazdzewski
Rob Jeppson
John Kurhajetz
Mike Miller
Josh Omang
Jason Opsal
Jeff Pelant
Kent Schnidler
Ben Spilseth
Phill Stewart
Lane Swansson
Kyle Tollefson
Andy Traetow
Mike VanPatten
Adam Volek
Ryan Watkins
Zach Zimmer

Key Newcomers
Andrew Dammann (FY, TE/DE, 6-3, 220, Hutchinson, MN)
Marc Perry (FY, LB, 6-0, 200, Irondale, MN)
Kase Niles (FY, K, 6-1, 160, Hopkins, MN)
Marcus Schmit (FY, WR/DB, 6-3, 190, Red Wing, MN)
Joren Thompson (FY, OL/DL, 6-5, 245, Mahtomedi, MN)
Patrick Wieneke (FY, TE/LB, 6-5, 205, Jackson, MN)
Kerry Zajicek (FY, QB, 6-4, 182, Glencoe, MN)

Letterwinners returning: Total: 28
Letterwinners lost: Total: 23
Starters Returning: Offense: 5 Defense: 4

2003 Schedule
9/6 at Buena Vista, 1:00 pm
9/13 Concordia, 1:00 pm
9/20 at Carleton, 1:00 pm
9/27 Augsburg, 1:00 pm
10/4 at St. John’s, 1:00 pm
10/11 St. Thomas, 1:00 pm
10/18 at Bethel, 1:00 pm
10/25 Hamline, 1:00 pm
11/1 Azusa Pacific, 1:00 pm
11/8 St. Olaf, 1:00 pm

2002 Game-by-Game Results
9/7 Alma W 35-6
9/14 at Concordia L 14-20
9/21 Carleton W 48-14
9/28 at Augsburg W 41-14
10/5 St. John’s L 7-20
10/12 at St. Thomas W 25-24
10/19 Bethel L 20-41
10/26 at Hamline W 42-23
11/7 vs. St. Olaf (@ Metrodome) W 24-23
11/16 at Azusa Pacific L 14-20


One Comment

  1. Josiah Johnson says:

    Andrew Traetow is my 6th grade science teacher