Ewoniuk sets pace for diminutive CougarsEvery coach says it’s important to stay healthy, but it’s especially too true for the Heart River Cougars.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Every coach says it’s important to stay healthy, but it’s especially too true for the Heart River Cougars.
“Bottom line you have to stay healthy,” Heart River head coach Dave Hendrickson said. “Coaches always say that, but it’s going to be huge.”
Coming into this season, the team loses four starters from its offensive line — as it makes the jump from 9-man to 11-man.
The offensive line went from a handful of players that were 6-foot tall or bigger to a group that averages a height of around 5-8.
“Two of the kids that are going into the line were running backs last year,” Hendrickson said. “We just don’t have the numbers.
“They’re not very big.”
Despite having a lack of size, the Cougars plans to use their quickness on offense and defense.
“There is no question about that,” Hendrickson said. “We are a lot quicker and that goes with the territory. If you are smaller, you should be quicker.”
The offensive player who stepped up the most last season was running back Seth Ewoniuk, who was selected to 9-man all-Region 6 first team as a sophomore.
Hendrickson said the Cougars may rely on the 5-8, 135-pound speedster.
“He had a very good year last year,” Hendrickson said. “I expect that and much more, this year.”
Playing his third offensive position in three years is senior Jordan Strecker, who switches to fullback after being named an all-region tight end last season.
“We use the words all the time: ‘You got to improvise,’” Hendrickson said.
The Cougars’ bump back up to 11-man after a stint in 9-man will be met with force in their first outing of the season.
They host Watford City at 7 p.m. Friday.
“A lot of people think we are crazy for that,” Hendrickson said. “I have no problem with it. It’s a non-region game and they have a good program. It’s a good chance to see good competition.”
Heart River Cougars
Head coach: Dave Hendrickson
Last season: 5-3
Returners: Seth Ewoniuk, Jr., RB/LB, 5-8, 135; Jordan Strecker, Sr., FB/LB, 6-2, 215; Cole Hecker, Jr., RB, RB, 5-8, 140; Isaiah Marschner, QB/LB, 6-4, 180.
Newcomers: Cole Hlebechuk, Jr., OL/DL, 5-9, 175; Seth Obritsch, So., LB/OL, 5-8, 160
Losses: Sean Johnson OL, Zach Krivoruchka, DL, Pat Tangen, LB, Dalton O’Brien, RB/DB.
2011 schedule: Aug. 26–vs. Watford City, 7 p.m.; Sept. 2–at Southern McLean, 6 p.m.; Sept. 9–vs. Grant County-Flasher, 7 p.m.; Sept. 16–at Hazen, 6 p.m.; Sept. 23–at Standing Rock, 6 p.m.; Sept. 30–vs. Killdeer, 7 p.m.; Oct. 7–vs. Richardton-Taylor-Hebron, 6 p.m.; Oct. 14–at New Salem-Glen Ullin, 6 p.m.