Ranked No. 8 to start last season and sporting one of the more talented squads in recent memory, senior quarterback Josh Hanson said there was only one way to sum up the Augustana Vikings 2011 campaign.
"I'd say disappointment," Hanson said. "To lose five games by 24 points was pretty difficult. We learned a lot but will be better for it now."
It was certainly a trying season for the Blue and Gold, who rallied from an 0-3 start to finish 6-5. While it didn't always look pretty, there is something to be said about righting the ship.
"It was a disappoint overall but I liked the way we battled back," third-year coach Mike Aldrich said. "We rode a lot of young guys and they will be there for us this season.
Offensively, Hanson will lead an NSIC offense ranked No.2 in passing last season. However, he won't be at it alone, returning great weapons in receiver Isaac Jorgenson and tailback Dajon Newell.
"I think we have great receivers, running backs, a true quarterback and a deep offensive line," Newell said. "If we all do what we should, we will be pretty good."
On defense, playing four quarters will be the key. Preseason NSIC South Defensive Player of the Year, linebacker Austin Lueke, leads one of the best front sevens in DII football.
"If we can stay healthy, which is what every team wants to do, the sky is the limit; we have high hopes for this season," Lueke said.
Dylan Scott KSFY Sports
dylan scott ksfy sports