HOLY CROSS INDIANS Head Coach: Bruce Kozerski (52-45 @ Holy Cross, eight years, 52-45 overall) 2011 Record: 12-3, 3-1 Class 2A State Champions
Overview: The 2011 season was a magical and historic season for Holy Cross as the school brought home their first ever state championship. Now the hard part starts as they have to live up to higher expectation and reloading instead of rebuilding. We will find out soon enough if head coach Bruce Kozerski and the Indians are up to the challenge as they will face off against two class 5A schools Conner and Cooper before the month of September even starts. Those early season tests toughened up last year’s squad as Kozerski looks for a repeat of those results in 2012.
The pain from the departure of a wonderful Class of 2011 will be eased by the return of junior star Jalen Beal. The 2011 First-Team All-TriStateFootball.com selection at athlete dazzled many a year ago as he found the end zone 21 times while racking up 1,624 all-purpose yards as a vital cog in the Indians’ run. Beal also picked off three passes as a defensive back.
If Holy Cross wants to get back to the promise land they will need contributions on both sides of the ball from Kyle Fischer and Burt Pouncy on the level that Paul Lampone and Adam Kozerksi gave the team last fall. Pouncy and Beal have combined to rush for 1,573 yards with 34 total touchdowns at the varsity level.
Blocking up front for them will be returning starters in left guard Andrew Munsen, center Alex Russell and right tackle Jacob Kenton. The line isn’t very big, but they do have depth when you add in Sean Sullivan, Anthony Zimmerman, Taylor Keeson, Zach Mastin and tight end Will Knochelmann. That is very important with so many guys going both ways. Travis Gabbard and Fischer will get a shot to fill the big void left behind by Kyle Fuller at quarterback.
The linebacking core will be the strength of the defense with Devyn Herndon in the middle and Vinnie Pangallo and Pouncy flanking him. Kenton and Fischer are proven commodities up front. Cary Sketch, Gabbard and Beal give the team stability in the secondary. Holy Cross became a better team defensively as last season went on. Kozerski will look for the same results again this fall.