Wednesday, 22 September 2021
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2021 Twin Valley League Football Preview
By Brandon Tadtman, Justin Fluke, Jonny Kane

11 of the last 13 years has had at least one TVL team claim a State Championship in football and last year the streak continued with the Hanover Wildcats claiming the 8-Man DII State Championship. The TVL didn't disappoint last year with the competition at a high caliber on a weekly basis throughout the season. Year in and year out, the TVL produces some of the top teams at both the 8-Man and 11-Man levels as well as Class 1A. Heading into 2021 there seems to be much more parity in the league which should once again show why the TVL is one of the best in the state. 

11-Man

Centralia put together another solid year in 2020 finishing 8-3 overall just one year after winning it all. The Panthers had a chance to make a deep run in the playoffs but were upset by Lyndon in the playoffs who they blew out just weeks prior. In typical Centralia fashion, the Panthers rushed for over 300 yards per game last year and scored 33 points per game behind a strong offensive line. That experienced line has since graduated and with only five starters back on each side, that leaves coach Glatczak with several quesetions heading into 2021. 

Valley Heights had another solid season in 2020 posting a 7-1 record in the regular season before having their year cut short due to Covid protocols. Four returning starters on offense and four returning starters on defense will provide somewhat of a new look to the Mustangs in 2021 and new head coach Cody Trimble is up to the task to keep the winning tradition alive and compete for a league title and much more this season. 

Troy has managed just two wins in each of the last two seasons but they return seven starters on offense and eight on defense with many athletic skill players that have good varsity experience. Despite a daunting schedule, coach Derek Jasper enters his 9th season optimistic with a spread offense that should put up some points each week. 

8-Man 

Hanover continued to dominate the 8-Man ranks a season ago with a perfect 11-0 record and claiming the 8-Man DII State Title. The numbers speak for themselves as the Wildcats scored over 55 points per game and held opponents to single digits with their closest game being 20 points over fellow TVL foe Clifton Clyde. Under 17-year head coach Matt Heuer, Hanover turns the page to 2021 and despite returning just four starters on both sides, the expectations are always the highest within the Wildcats program. 

This is the season that Doniphan West fans have been waiting for. After losing only two seniors the past couple of years, the Mustangs now have eight seniors among 12 letter-winners back and the most experienced team here in 2021. Head coach Perry Smith enters his third year knowing D-West has all the pieces and potential for a very successful season and deep playoff run. 

Clifton Clyde has been nothing short of great over the last few seasons and have one of the most experienced coaches in the state with Russ Steinbrock entering his 21st season at the helm. The Eagles finished 8-2 last season, falling to eventual state champion Little River in the playoffs. The Eagles bring back seven players that have started on both offense and defense, giving Steinbrock and his coaching staff plenty to work with heading into this season. 

Frankfort had another season to remember in 2020 as they churned out the school's best finish making it to the Sub-State round of the playoffs before falling to eventual state champion Hanover for the third straight year. Frankfort now looks to 2021 with the winningest senior class in school history to replace leaving sixth year head coach Nick Anderson with several questions prior to week one. 

Axtell put together another strong season in 2020 winning seven games before losing to Hanover in the playoffs. The Eagles dealth with youth and adversity all season long including the loss of all-state lineman Kolby Talbot in the first game of the season, but still put together one of the best offenses in the state averaging over 40 points per game. Axtell lost six key contributors leaving ninth year head coach Eric Detweiler with some spots to fill heading into this season. 

Onaga took a step back in 2020 and finished with just two wins and zero seniors on the roster. Onaga struggled defensively allowing 45 points per game including over 60 on three separate occasions. Buffalo head coach Ben Kolterman embarks on his fourth season at the helm. With every starter back from a season ago, the Buffaloes have a chance to get back on track despite a gauntlet of a schedule. 

Washington County continued to see improvements a year ago winning four games to finish above .500. The defense was the biggest issue for Washington County in 2020 allowing over 40 points per game including over 45 points in each of their last three losses. Head coach Doug Thompson now enters 2021 with several questions after the graduation of a strong senior class. There is a solid core of good athletes returning which should provide some upside in 2021. 

Blue Valley has gone backwards recently winning just two games two years ago and going winless last year. Low numbers once again haunted the Rams who were shutout four times while scoring double digits just once in a loss to Wetmore. Not only did low numbers play a factor for Blue Valley but Covid forced the Rams to miss the first three weeks of the season. Head coach Matt Schreiber and the Rams have since closed the page on 2020 and now look forward to a new year with some young players ready to take the next step. 

Wetmore will enter 2021 under new head coach Miles Hanzlicek and lost just one letter-winner from last season returning seven starts on offense and seven on defense. The Cardinals struggled in 2020 finishing just 1-4 and dealt with Covid along with some key injuries, but with a fresh start and a lot of returning players, expectations should be much stronger this season. 

TVL All-League Returners 

11-Man Offense 

(First Team) Treydon Talley - Centralia - SR OL 
(First Team) Trenton L'Ecuyer - Valley Heights - SR RB 
(First Team) Jerrit Norris - Troy - JR WR 
(First Team) Cam Anderson - Troy - SR 
(Second Team) Presley Bowers - Centralia - SR 
(Second Team) Trayton Claycamp - Valley Heights - SR 
(Second Team) Caden Parker - Valley Heights - JR 

11-Man Defense

(First Team) Ethan McNally - Centralia - SR LB 
(Second Team) Jerrit Norris - Troy - JR 
(Second Team) Treydon Talley - Centralia - SR

8-Man Offense 

(First Team) Trent Spiker - Doniphan West - SR Skill Position 
(First Team) Zavier Brandt - Frankfort - SR OL 
(First Team) Jett Skocny - Clifton Clyde - SR At-Large 
(First Team) Isaac Detweiler - Axtell - JR At-Large
(Second Team) Zac Fisher - Onaga - JR Skill Position 
(Second Team) Keagan Dimler - Hanover - SR Skill Position
(Second Team) Coy Stamm - Washington Co. - SR OL 
(Second Team) Cooper Clark - Doniphan West - SR OL 
(Second Team) Phillip Doebele - Hanover - SR OL 

8-Man Defense 

(First Team) Zavier Brandt - Frankfort - SR DL 
(First Team) Nathaniel Tice - Washington Co. - SR DL 
(First Team) Phillip Doebele - Hanover - SR DL 
(Second Team) Skyler Zoeller - Blue Valley - JR DB 
(Second Team) Tee Koch - Clifton Clyde - SR DB 
(Second Team) Seth LeClair - Clifton Clyde - JR DL 
(Second Team) Samuel Gros - Frankfort - SR DL 
(Second Team) Riley Schuneman - Doniphan West - SR DL 
(Second Team) Keagan Dimler - Hanover - SR DL 

2020 TVL 11-Man Standings 

Centralia           (2-0, 9-2) 
Valley Heights  (1-1, 7-1) 
Troy                  (0-2, 2-7) 

2020 TVL 8-Man Standings 

Hanover           (4-0, 11-0) 
Frankfort          (4-1, 7-2) 
Wash Co.         (2-0, 4-3) 
Axtell                (2-2, 7-3) 
Clifton Clyde    (1-1, 7-2) 
Wetmore          (1-3, 1-4) 
Onaga              (1-4, 2-6) 
Doniphan West (0-1, 4-3) 
Blue Valley        (0-3, 0-6) 

 


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