The schedule is out for the 2014 season, as the St. Michael-Albertville Knights try to make their return to the State 5A Football playoffs after claiming its first Section 8-5A championship in 2013.
The Knights, who weren’t even favored to win the Mississippi 8 last year, won’t fool many this season with multiple returners in key spots on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Quarterback Jackson Greenwaldt, fresh off an All-Conference performance in a one-loss Mississippi 8 campaign his junior year, will be back under center as a senior. And the running back tandem of Noah Evans and Jordan Joseph emerged last year as Chris Kartes battled some injuries earlier in the season.
The biggest hole, of course, will be in the receiving crops, where All Conference wideout and defensive back Dallas Freeman has now made his way to Division I FCS powerhouse North Dakota State. Austin Wik, who emerged as Greenwaldt’s other option, is also gone to collegiate ball.
Nick Berning, with his speed and some experience, and Isaiah Weston, who stands 6 feet, 5 inches, could help fill those holes.
The vaunted STMA defense will have to rebuild. Freeman, Mike Killian, Austin Kowalcyk and Nick Burslie are all graduated.
The Knights will go head-to-head with a solid Mississippi 8 schedule. Here’s the rundown:
Thursday, Aug. 28 – vs. Buffalo
Friday, Sept. 5 – at St. Francis
Friday, Sept. 12 – at Monticello (Coaches vs. Cancer)
Friday, Sept. 19 – vs. Big Lake
Friday, Sept. 26 – at Chisago Lakes
Friday, Oct. 3 – Duluth East (Homecoming)
Friday, Oct. 10 – at Cambridge-Isanti
Wednesday, Oct. 15 – vs. Rogers
Tues. Oct. 21st Section Quarterfinals
Sat. Oct. 25th Section Semifinals
Fri. Oct. 31st Section Finals
All games are set for 7 p.m. starts (during the regular season). STMA home games are played at the STMA Middle School West field.
The Knights, coached by Jared Essler in his fourth season, start practice Monday, Aug. 11.