Augsburg Football is Ready to Take on the Best
Angie Leno, contributor
Photo of Dominic Smith and Braden Tretter celebrating a touchdown during Sept. 1 game against Northwestern St. Paul at Edor Nelson field, taken by Kevin Healy
The last time the Augsburg football team reached or won the MIAC championship game was in 1997 when current Head Coach Derrin Lamker was the starting quarterback. After coaching many successful high school programs, Lamker returned to Augsburg in 2020 ready to bring the Auggies another title.
Before Coach Lamker, the football team had a reputation for being subpar compared to a lot of the other sports on campus. Since he’s been back, there’s been nothing but hype about the program. Last year, deep in the fourth quarter of the final regular season game against Bethel University, the Auggies were a two point conversion away from reaching the MIAC championship game. The 2022 season held the first winning record since 2012 and the disintegration of their 11-year losing streak to Concordia Moorhead.
The Auggies have already shown improvement from last year to this year. Last year, the team narrowly edged the Northwestern St. Paul Eagles 23-15. The first game of the 2023 season ended in a 52-10 victory over the Eagles at Edor Nelson Field. The dynamic receiving combo of junior Dominic Smith and senior Braden Tretter combined for 13 receptions, 237 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, senior Gerald Shepherd and junior Leban Kahin both came away with an interception to give the team a boost. An unsung player in the game was sophomore Nathan Wangensteen, the team’s kicker. Wangensteen ended the night with a field goal and six extra points with no misses in either category.
One thing that lends its hand to the team’s impressive start is their large roster of upperclassmen. Of their 11 offensive starters, eight of them are returning including star quarterback senior Cade Sheehan and all-conference wide receiving threats Dominic Smith and Braden Tretter. On the defensive side of the ball there are nine returning starters consisting of the stud inside linebacker combo of senior Brandon Sjostrand and senior Justin Tverberg. There are currently 114 players on the team, making it have incredible depth. If one man goes down, there’s sure to be another highly skilled and powerful athlete to take his place.
The Augsburg football team is looking to dismantle and crush competitors with their balanced offense and hard hitting defense. The team will have to face tough conference challenges against nationally ranked schools such as St. John’s and Bethel, who are ranked fourth and sixteenth respectively, in order to get their hands on the MIAC championship trophy. Look out Minnesota, this team is the new sheriff in town with their taste for winning and drive to conquer the teams who’ve historically dominated their conference.