Hermantown High football training camp has a new feel this August, as new head coach Mike Zagelmeyer has taken over for Daryl Illikainen, who accepted a teaching position in Orono (Minn.) in late June.
“It’s pretty exciting, actually, and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Zagelmeyer, a popular Hermantown teacher and Hawks baseball head coach, who served as a football assistant since 2003 and been with the program since 1998.
“I graduated from Hermantown, and Gary Bowen was my first high school football coach before his brother, Randy, took over in my senior year,” Zagelmeyer said. “Gary was like the godfather who had those great teams in the ‘80’s. You looked up to him. Gary was the emotional one, the motivator, and Randy was all about attention to details. Ike taught me the X’s and O’s on both sides of the ball. All three mentors were such successful coaches.”
Now, Zagelmeyer is adding his personal stamp on the Hawks’ storied program.
“I guess you could say I’m sort of the coaching offspring of the Bowens and Ike,” Zagelmeyer said. “Some things won’t change. We’ll still run the wing-T, albeit in different variations. We might throw the ball a bit more than in the past. Because we’ve run the ball so well throughout the years, defenses tend to load the box against us. So we might use our skill guys to loosen up opposing defenses a bit.”
“Our offensive line is big and skilled,” Zagelmeyer continued. “We’re very athletic, very explosive in spots. We’re somewhat inexperienced and need to develop depth, since it’s difficult to ask kids to play on both sides of the ball in 4A.”
Zagelmeyer, on the elite Hawks to watch:
HB/DB David Cornelius – “One of the more athletic kids we’ve had at Hermantown in a long time.”
HB Elliott Peterson – “A studly three-sport athlete.”
TE Reese Fish – “Monster strong, might also play defensive end.”
FB/MLB Caden Potter – “A three-year varsity standout.”
OG Dalton Plaisted – “Popeye-strong.”
QB Tate Hansen – “Converting from tight end and coming back from a knee injury suffered in the first game of the season last fall.”
Zagelmeyer, on the Hawks’ team goals in 2018: “Our primary goal is always to win the section championship, and nothing has changed. We’ll be highly competitive. We host Proctor for homecoming, which should be fun. Cloquet played in the state title game last year, so they will be a team to beat in our section.”
2018 Hawks Football Schedule
Thursday, Aug. 30 – host Moose Lake-Willow River, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 7 – at North Branch, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 14 – host Duluth Denfeld, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 21 – host Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 28 – at Duluth East, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 5 – at Hibbing, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 12 – host Proctor, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 17 – at Cloquet, 7 p.m.
Hermantown High junior Blake Biondi scored two goals as Team USA lost to Germany 7-6 in overtime at the U17 Five Nations Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia.
USA’s U-17 later defeated Slovakia 5-0 to finish third in the tournament with a 2-2 record. Click here to watch a free livestream of today’s third-place game.