Tom Flax takes over a program looking to take the next step in 2019.
Minneapolis missed out on the Class 2A state playoffs in 2018 by just one game, finishing at 4-5 overall. While the Lions were disappointed not to advance, they look to reload with a great nucleus of talent returning this fall.
However, Minneapolis has changes at the top as Jhon Haehn left for the head coach position in Elkhart. In his place is Tom Flax.
Flax, by way of Herington, is no stranger to building programs. In his first stop as a head coach, he inherited a Herington program on a lengthy losing streak. Under Flax’s direction, the Railers were able to turn things around quickly and registered one of its best records in a decade with Flax leading the way.
While the face at the top is new for the Lions in 2019, many faces on the actual playing field will look the same.
Minneapolis did graduate some talent from one year ago–mostly up-front–however, the Lions’ core remains in tact with the likes of quarterback, Derek Freel returning after an injury plagued year in 2018. Trent Moeckel also saw some snaps under center last year. He’ll be a two-way star once more in 2019. Kaden Griffin looks to be a talented wide receiver and defensive player, while Keyon Baccus and Cooper Thompson return for the Lions up-front.
The Lions will once again have to deal with a brutal schedule this year, though. Minneapolis started 3-1 last year, only to drop its next four of five in the brutal 2A District No. 8. The Lions will have to battle the likes of defending 2A State Champion, Phillipsburg, and top-five ranked team in Hoisington once again this year.
Minneapolis will participate in a Jamboree this week as the Lions join Ell-Saline, Smoky Valley and Southeast of Saline at Anderson Stadium in Lindsborg. Minneapolis then opens their season by hosting league-foe, Republic County on Sept. 6.
Listen below for new head coach, Tom Flax’s thoughts on the upcoming season:
2019 Minneapolis Lions Schedule: (All games start at 7 p.m. and can be heard live on 92.7 The New Zoo)
Aug. 31– @ Lindsborg Jamboree (Exhibition) (Ell-Saline, Minneapolis, Smoky Valley & Southeast of Saline)
Sept. 6–Republic County
Sept. 13–@ Sacred Heart
Sept. 20–@ Beloit
Oct. 4–@ Norton
Oct. 11–@ Hoisington*
Oct. 18–Hays-Thomas Moore Prep*
*-2A District-8 Game
**-2A Bracket Game vs District-7
Day 1: Abilene Cowboys
Day 1: Ellsworth Bearcats
Day 2: Southeast of Saline Trojans
Day 4 on Tuesday: Smoky Valley Vikings & Sacred Heart Knights
Day 5: on Wednesday: Ell-Saline Cardinals & Solomon Gorillas
Day 6 on Thursday: Salina South Cougars & Bennington Bulldogs
Day 7 on Friday: Salina Central Mustangs