1Change of scenery: Northfield and Red Wing have left the defunct Missota Conference to join the Big Nine Conference, and it’s now a 12-team league. Red Wing also made a change in its coaching staff, bringing in former University of Minnesota quarterback Rickey Foggie to run the show. Foggie previously coached at Park Center. The Wingers are 1-17 over the past two seasons. Their only victory during that span was against Big Nine foe Austin. The two teams also square off this year.

 

2Challenge accepted: Becker coach Dwight Lundeen is the third-winningest coach in state history, with a career record of 317-144-3. He also isn’t one to back down from a challenge. His Class 4A Bulldogs will travel to Class 6A power Minnetonka for the season opener. Becker won the Class 3A state championship under Lundeen in 2005.

 

3Significant jump: Tom Kish has averaged only four wins per season during his seven-year tenure as coach at Zimmerman. He is optimistic that will all change in 2014. “A six- or seven-win regular season is very realistic,” Kish said. “Finishing second behind Becker in the Granite Ridge Conference is very possible.” He has a deep team and will have the fewest players starting both ways in program history.

RON HAGGSTROM