MANLIUS — The Bureau Valley Storm and Hall Red Devils renewed acquaintances last year with the Red Devils’ entry into the Big Rivers Conference. With the area football waters now flowing through the Three Rivers, the Storm and Red Devils will meet Friday night to kick off the 2013 season at Storm Stadium for a crossover contest.
Their meeting is the BCR Game of the Week for Week 1. Both sides are ready to roll.
“We are looking forward to playing a game, the kids have worked hard in the off-season and in camp to be ready to play,” BV coach Jeff Ohlson said, now in his sixth season. “Practice has been good and full of enthusiasm and execution. We are healthy other then the normal bumps and bruises associated with football. We have had a couple of surprises emerge, so we will have to see how that plays out.”
The Storm bring back 12 lettermen with six starters on offense and five on defense. Talented junior Parker Neuhalfen takes over at quarterback from Day 1 this year and has a strong supporting cast of juniors and seniors around him.
“I know they had a good sophomore class. We look for it to be a good test for. They’re usually a pretty good team,” Hall coach Randy Tieman said.
It is the Hall senior class, which came in with much fan fare a year ago unbeaten at the sophomore level. They were unable to live up to the hype, finishing 1-8. They are determined to turn things around starting Friday.
“The Red Devils will be ready to play and so will the Storm,” Ohlson said. “Coach Tieman will have his kids ready to play, I know they do not want to start off like they did last year. They will be physical and present some problems that we will need to adjust to. We look forward to some good football.
Hall lines up with six returning starters on offense and four on defense with 11 lettermen. The Red Devils gained a boost with the transfer of senior quarterback Taggert Venegas from rival St. Bede, who has proven to be a quick team leader.
Both teams have adjusted their practice plans this week to deal with the heat, going later in the evening rather than right after school. Tieman said they’ve had water at each drill station and a couple of kiddy pools filled with water and ice in case someone gets overheated.
The Hall coach said with several players going both ways they will keep a close eye on everyone and continue to remind them to stay hydrated.
Ohlson, the BV athletic director, said they will be working with the game officials on game management.
Bureau Valley won last year’s opener 35-27 at Hall.
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