If you have not had the chance to check out the Mapleton Eagles football team, you definitely should consider doing so. Currently undefeated on the year, Mapleton is looking to make some noise state-wide this fall.
The Eagles look poised to make another deep run this year as 20 starters return from last year’s state semifinals squad. It also helps when you have the school’s all-time leading rusher at running back as well. That’s right; senior running back Lincoln Arndt broke the school records for rushing yards in a season, career and game all before his senior season even began. No wonder defensive coordinator Ralph Kratochvil had no problem speaking highly of his senior leader.
“Running back Lincoln Arndt is back this year for us so having him in the backfield for us is a huge asset,” Kratochvil said. “Lincoln is a versatile weapon for our team as he obviously plays running back but he also plays defensive back for me and does a very nice job back there as well for us. Having a player of his caliber on both sides of the ball is huge.”
One position the Mapleton Eagles are breaking in a new starter at is quarterback. Under center for the Eagles will be senior Nathan Moore, who has experience playing varsity already. Moore is called “The Iceman” by his fellow teammates as he is the team’s kicker as well. Moore was given his nickname because he has made a number of clutch game-winning kicks in the past and hopes to continue that in the future.
“Because Nathan has played varsity before, we have the upmost confidence in him to move the ball down the field and put points on the board for us,” Kratochvil said.
Mapleton also has a new coach. First year head coach Jerry Thule takes over the helm for the Eagles. The transition has been smooth however, as he was an assistant last year and got promoted when last year’s head coach left.
Some key games on the schedule coming up for the Eagles are against class 3A Sibley. They are a class higher than Mapleton so it will take a lot of determination to pull off the upset. They also have a rematch of last season’s quarterfinal game against Young America/Norwood. Considering Mapleton got the best of Young America/Norwood last year, the Eagles know they will be in a dog fight all night against this squad. They have a lot of seniors back and have not forgotten what happened last fall. Kratochvil says that game will be a good indicator to see where the team is at during that juncture of the season.
The expectations are high in Mapleton this fall and rightfully so. Kratochvil expects a return trip to state and believes the players would be dismayed by anything less.
“We are looking forward to possibly getting back to state again this year. The town is buzzing given we are a senior-led team and with how well this team did last year.”