With new starters at 19 of 22 positions, the Mahtomedi football team will shoot for yet another winning season.
Odds are the 2019 aggregation will accomplish that, as no Zephyr football team has finished below .500 since long before any of them were born. Last year’s squad was 7-3.
It starts Thursday evening at home against Park of Cottage Grove, 7 p.m. kickoff. Park, under a new coach this year, was 5-5 last year and the Zephyrs be at them 20-7.
The last time Mahtomedi had a losing season was 1981, when the Zephyrs went 2-7. Since then, the only non-winning season in 38 years was 2008 when the Zephyrs had to forfeit a 5-0 start for inadvertently using an ineligible player and still finished 6-6.
Coach Dave Muetzel, entering his 13th season with a 92-42 record, has two starters back on offense — wide receiver Tyler Tengwall and guard Jake Schetinski — and one on defense, linebacker Dominic Fedie.
“These are good kids who have all worked hard,” said Muetzel. “We are excited to try and put all the pieces together and see what happens.”
Competing for the quarterback position are seniors Benjamin Allen and Austin Schulte, and junior Johnny DeVore. Carrying the ball will be seniors Nick Weisner and Josh Praml.
The 2019 Zephyr Hall of Fame inductees will be introduced at the game. They are Jenna (Hemenway) Veenis, Lindsey (Weier) Dehlin, John Strenger, Bridget (Conroy) Johnson and Mike Dolezal.