Solon football opens Aug. 29 hosting Regina
SOLON– Kevin Miller and his Solon Spartans varsity football team have their work cut out for them as the 2014 season quickly approaches.
“In my opinion, this is the toughest district in the state,” Miller said. The Spartans are in Class 3A, District 4 along with Central Clinton-DeWitt, Western Dubuque, Maquoketa, Marion, Dubuque Wahlert and Cedar Rapids Xavier. “From top to bottom there doesn’t appear to be a weak opponent. Every week we are going to prepare to play at the highest level.”
Miller and company will be defending their district championship status while they hope to advance beyond last year’s state semi-finalist title and 11-2 record.
Leading the gridiron attack for Miller, in his 15th season with the program, are seniors Logan Linderbaum, Brandon Kramer and Connor Ham. Linderbaum is an offensive and defensive lineman who made All-District and earned a 2nd-Team All-State honor last year. Kramer is a running back and linebacker who put up 1,130 yards of rushing for a 1st-Team All-District slot. Ham is a wide receiver and defensive back who earned 2nd-Team All-District honors last year.
And then there’re the returning letter winners, 11 seniors strong: Kolby Melsha (OL/DL), Michael Kline (OL/DL), Nick Bailey (OL/DL), Ben Lilloedden (OL/DL), Taite Gallagher (OL/DL), Jarrett Stallman (RB/LB), Colton Hansel (RB/LB), Zach Nunemaker (WR/DB), Payton Nicol (WR/DB), Trevor Yahr (WR/DB) and Matt Ashton (OL/DL).
A host of newcomers to the varsity ranks include juniors Tanner Wymer (OL/LB), Brandon Childs (QB/DB), Haltston Durr (WR/DB), Nathaniel Christensen (WR/DB), Ben Wilkerson (OL/DL), Jarod Clavenger (OL/DL), Zach Melchert (WR/DB), Keegan Holub (WR/DB), Matt Rowland (WR/DB), Matt Roeder (WR/DB), Spencer Lawson (RB/LB), Dalton Vislisel (OL/DL), Jared Newell (WR/LB), Caleb Asprey (WR/DB) and Cole Fritz (RB/LB). Also on the varsity crew are sophomores Jacob Coons (QB/WR/LB) and Blayze Griffis (QB).
Overall team speed and athleticism has Miller cautiously optimistic about the coming campaign, tempered with the reality of a lack of playing experience and a depth issue.
The season opens on Friday, Aug. 29, with a home stand against Iowa City Regina in a non-district contest. The next week the squad travels up Highway 1 to face rival Mount Vernon before opening district play on Friday, Sept. 12, at Cedar Rapids Xavier.
Ed Hadenfeldt, Mark Sovers, Brent Sands, Brad Wymer, Curt Miller, Matt Miers, Tanner Butler, Chris Croy, Aaron Kampman, Mike Moser, Mike Ferguson, Dan Coons and Steve Wright assist Miller this year.