The Luther College football team has been picked to finish fifth in the American Rivers Conference. The announcement was made today when the preseason coaches' poll was released.
First year head coach Caleb Padilla returns 23 letters winners from last year's squad that finished second in the league standings a year ago with a record of 5-3, 6-4 overall. Six starters return on the offensive side of the football, while five return on the defensive side. Padilla was promoted to head coach December 28, 2018. Prior to taking over the head coaching duties, he had been Luther's defensive coordinator for three years.
Top returners for the Norse offense include fullback Yassine Ouazzani (Sr., Tampa, Fla./King), wide receiver Justin Montgomery (Sr., Dallas, Texas/Hebron) and quarterback Ian Kuykendall (Jr., Riverview Fla./East Bay). Also returning are lineman Andy Johnson (Sr., Hudson, Wis.), Grant Heller (Sr., Rochester, Minn./John Marshall) Kris Wolfe (Sr., Tavares, Fla.) and tight end Trevor Joiner (Sr., Carlisle, Iowa).
Defensive back Dante Joseph (Sr., Layton, Utah/Northridge) returns after being named first team all-conference a year ago. Also returning in the defensive back field are Chris Highum (Sr., Waterville, Minn./Waseca) and Chris Pinkney (So., Colorado Springs, Colo./Pine Creek). Michael Noll (Sr., Lake City, Minn./Lincoln) is the lone starter returning on the defensive line, while Patrick Beatty (Jr., Spring Hill, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin) is the only starting linebacker from a year ago.