BELLE PLAINE — Competition is everywhere for Garrett and Trevin Straight.
The brothers from Belle Plaine can turn everything into a competition. School, the football field, even the dinner table is filled with competition.
“We compete about almost anything,” Garrett, a senior, said. “Who can eat the fastest, for example. Trevin can, for sure. He’s got a couple of pounds on me.”
Luckily for the Plainsmen, that competition boils over on the football field.
“Whatever he does, I try to do better,” Trevin, a junior, said. “If he scores one touchdown, I want to score two. He makes one tackle, I want to make three.”
While keeping the competition friendly and in check can be challenging some days, head coach Todd Bohlen said coaching Garrett and Trevin isn’t always about managing competitive fire.
“Their dad is superintendent, and mom is a teacher,” Bohlen said. “They come from an education background and take criticism and feedback very well.”
Last season, Trevin rushed for 825 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a team, Belle Plaine racked up 2,457 yards on the ground and 35 touchdowns. The rushing attack may look a little different this year as the Plainsmen will have to fill some gaps on the offensive line. Currently, four contenders are vying for a pair of spots in the trenches.
“Offensive line will be a question mark,” Bohlen said. “We only have 30 guys this year, so we will need to plug in a couple of guys that don’t have a lot of varsity experience.”
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Garrett will start at quarterback for the third consecutive year. Whether it’s from shotgun or under center, Garrett will have experienced receivers as options. Trevin caught 16 passes last season and sophomore Luke DeMeulenaere led the team with 223 receiving yards. If the offense can clean up some of the miscues, the Plainsmen could be a strong contender in Class A District 6.
“Last year, there was a lot of tedious stuff that got us,” Garrett said. “Last year we had a lot of mental errors like jumping offsides or fumbling the ball.
“We need to clean that up to get to the next level.”
Defense figures to be the strongest unit for Belle Plaine. While leading tackler Brandon VanNevel graduated, Tanner Meeks and Divonnoi Jones-Upah return. Both had a pair of interceptions. Ethan Gates and Trevin Straight also return. Both finished with five tackles for loss last season.
“I love contact,” Trevin said. “I’ve broken three helmets over the last two years. I just like hitting people.”
Belle Plaine, at a glance
Coach: Todd Bohlen (16th year, 76-76 overall)
Last year: 6-3 (4-3, class A District 6)
Top returners: QB/DB Garrett Straight, RB/DB Trevin Straight, OL/DL Ethan Allie, C-DL Dylan Fry, DB Divonnoi Jones-Upah, DE Ethan Gates, DB Tanner Meeks, TE Luke DeMeulenaere.
Key to making the playoffs: If the offensive lines gels quickly, the skill positions and defense can carry the load to the postseason.
Games to watch: The Sept. 21 game against Durant, which is moving down from 1A, is a big one, and the Oct. 12 game against Pekin could be for the district title.
Aug. 24 — at Grundy Center
Aug. 31 — North Mahaska
Sept. 7 — Lisbon
Sept. 14 — at Grand View Christian
Sept. 21 — Durant
Sept. 28 — BGM
Oct. 5 — Cardinal
Oct. 12 — Pekin
Oct. 19 — Highland