A need for speed at St. Anthony Village

It took a while for the St. Anthony Village High School football to find some victories last season. If the Huskies want to improve on last seasonís 2-6 regular-season record, they’ll need to use their speed and avoid injuries.

St. Anthony head coach Todd Niklaus sees more speed on the roster this year but size and depth could be a hindrance.

“We are faster but smaller than in years past,” said Niklaus, who is in his 16th season as the Huskies’ head coach. “Depth will be an issue and we have to stay healthy.”

St. Anthony returns a decent number of starters with five back on offense and four returning to the defense. 

Junior Josiah Johnson is back at quarterback after starting last year as a sophomore. Niklaus said Johnson is a smart quarterback with a strong arm.

Among Johnson’s expected targets at wide receiver are senior Dan Carpenter and junior Talon Bradley. Carpenter is a two-year starter who Niklaus expects to have a solid season. Bradley possesses speed and good hands. 

St. Anthony also returns two starters on the offensive line in senior Jacob Pfaff and junior James Abreu.

Senior Jackson Millasovich is a running back who had started since ninth grade but was sidelined early last year. He returns after suffering a season-ending knee injury that occurred on the fourth play of the season.

“It really hurt us when his season ended,” Niklaus said.

On defense, Bradley and Carpenter return at defensive back and Abreu and Pfaff will again spend time on the defensive line.

As far as the Twin City Maroon District goes, Niklaus expects St. Paul Central to be the favorite after winning the title a year ago. The Minutemen won all eight of their regular-season games in 2015 but their final record was actually 6-2 after they forfeited two victories because of the use of an ineligible player.

For the second straight season, the Huskies open the regular season against Mound Westonka, this time at the White Hawks’ home stadium. The game is Friday at 7 p.m.

Mound Westonka was one of the biggest surprises in the state a year ago when it went 8-0 in the regular season. That win total matched the White Hawks’ regular-season number of wins from the previous 10 seasons combined.

St. Anthony’s home opener is Sept. 9 against St. Paul Central and the Huskies also face St. Croix Lutheran, Brooklyn Center and Fridley at home this season. Their other road games are at Minneapolis Washburn, St. Paul Highland Park (on a Saturday afternoon) and Minneapolis Southwest. 

Last year, St. Anthony picked up victories over Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis Southwest in the regular season and Minneapolis South in the playoffs.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

2016 St. Anthony Village High School football schedule 

Sept. 2 at Mound Westonka 7 p.m.

Sept. 9 vs. St. Paul Central 7 p.m.

Sept. 16 at Minneapolis Washburn 7 p.m.

Sept. 23 vs. St. Croix Lutheran 7 p.m.

Oct. 1 at St. Paul Highland Park 1 p.m.

Oct. 7 vs. Brooklyn Center 7 p.m.

Oct. 14 vs. Fridley 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Minneapolis Southwest 7 p.m. 

 

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