Champlin Park football will have a lot of new faces on both offense and defense with not a lot of experience back in 2021.
The defense will be the hardest hit in terms of production with the top eight in tackles all graduated. But the offense also lost most of the production from the running back and wide receiver positions and at quarterback.
The 2020 season, of course, was very strange with the COVID-19 pandemic first forcing the season to be moved to the spring before it was moved back to the fall for a shortened six-game schedule.
Before sections were completed, however, the 2020 football season was shut down for good. The Rebels finished 3-4 overall a year ago with a loss to Shakopee in the 6A section ending the year.
Senior 6-foot-3, 224-pound defensive lineman Daniel Walker is one of the lone guys back on defense that had playing time in 2020.
Walker finished with 22 tackles, including two for a loss and 3 1/2 sacks.
But a lot of other playmakers from last season leave gaps in the starting 11.
The linebacker corps took a hit with graduations to Hayden Sanders (66 tackles, 10 for a loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles), Eric Bryant (40 tackles, four for a loss, sack, fumble recovery) and Triston Sanchez (27 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, forced fumble).
The secondary will also have a new look with the losses of defensive backs DJ Myles (53 tackles, seven for a loss, two sacks, four forced fumbles), Cam Hammonds (52 tackles, one for a loss, sack, four fumble recoveries), Jeff Walsh (26 tackles, two forced fumbles) and Edmund Ocansey (14 tackles, one for a loss, two forced fumbles, two interceptions).
Defensive end Charlie Hansen (37 tackles, four for a loss, 3 1/2 sacks, fumble recovery) is also gone from 2020.
There are several rostered in 2020 with limited playing time who could see more reps this season.
The secondary has options according to the 2020 roster in senior defensive backs Sekouna Sidibe (6-1, 175 pounds), Karter Khamsisavang (5-6, 135 pounds), Xavier Robinson (5-10, 155 pounds), Josh Addo (5-9, 150 pounds), Brodey Welter (5-9, 150 pounds), Alex George (5-8, 150 pounds), Homaan Biramo (5-9, 150 pounds) and Obi Nwosu (6-1, 160 pounds).
Senior Lorenzo Andrews (5-11, 175 pounds) is listed as a defensive back and a wide receiver on last year’s roster.
The middle of the defense is expected to have senior linebackers Elijah Petersen (6-1, 175 pounds), Carlton Douglas (6-3, 205 pounds), Eniedi Isuk (6-0, 190 pounds) and Jaedon Easley (6-2, 210 pounds).
The defensive line has options to go with Walker with the return of senior defensive end Max O’Brien (6-3, 195 pounds), senior Andrew Lemmer (6-2, 210 pounds) and junior Ben Bremer (6-3, 185 pounds).
The offense lost Evan Hammonds (17 receptions, 277 yards, two touchdowns) and Ocansey (six receptions, 190 yards, three touchdowns) from the wide receiver group. Running back Shawn Shipman (820 yards on 138 carries, 104 yards on seven receptions, eight touchdowns) is also a big loss for the offense.
Senior 6-0, 165-pound quarterback Cade Fitzgerald was expected back, but he transferred to Osseo High School before the start of the season.
Fitzgerald was 42-for-106 for 712 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions last season. Fitzgerald also had 412 yards and four touchdowns on 72 carries.
Senior 6-2, 195-pounder Darius Givance is a weapon that was used for goal-line carries or short-yardage carries the past few seasons. Seniors JJ Robinson (5-10, 205 pounds), James Gbanjah (5-9, 170 pounds) and Leo Juusola (6-2, 17-0 pounds) are also listed as running back returners.
Junior quarterback Sean Erickson (6-0, 165 pounds) was also on the roster last season and might be taking over under center. Three offensive linemen are back from last season’s roster – seniors Jake Torgerson (6-0, 270 pounds), Clarence Dalmeida (5-11, 245 pounds) and Trevone Slater (5-8, 260 pounds).
Senior wide receivers Julious Zinnah (6-1, 150 pounds), Branden Shaffa (6-1, 170 pounds), Jabin Moore (6-1, 150 pounds), Mathias Vu (5-9, 145 pounds) and Corey Sampon (5-8, 110 pounds) and senior tight end Koda Caston (6-1, 220 pounds) are potential weapons to throw to this year.
There is also turnover on the special teams with the loss of kick returners Cam and Evan Hammonds and kicker Myer Schmitz (7-for-7 extra points).
Givance was the main punter last season with a 29.4 yards per punt average. He had five punts for 147 yards was 5-for-5 on extra points, as well.
Senior 5-8, 16-0 pound kicker Weston Carter was 3-for-4 on extra points last season.