By Matt Gruemmer
You don’t have to travel far from the state’s capitol to find a football team that is annually committed to improving in every facet of the game. In his 11th season with Indianola, Eric Kluver looks to build on that sustained success following a 5-4 regular season and first-round playoff loss to eventual 4A state champion Dowling Catholic in 2014.
The Indians will need several fresh faces to step into roles on both sides of the football this year after many constant contributors on both offense and defense received their diplomas from last season’s squad. Brothers Trey and Cameron Bunting who totaled 23 of the team’s 31 touchdowns from a year ago are just two players whose shoes will need to be filled.
Senior QB Jack Jenson looks to lead this season’s offense after throwing for 536 yards in 2014. Jenson split roles with Trey Bunting behind center last season and completed over 63 percent of his passes for five touchdowns. Wide receiver Blake Upchurch also returns and will likely be a favored target through the air after he led the Indians with 28 receptions for three scores last year.
An upperclassmen-heavy defense looks to balance Indianola in 2015 led by DB Schaefer Orwig and LB Jimmy Aiello who combined for 90 total tackles last season. Junior Chris Brandt also brings experience in the kicking game after he hit five of nine attempts last season with a long of 36 yards.
This season’s schedule is another constant that Indianola welcomes back along with these returners. It’ll be an identical nine-game slate in 2015, beginning with a rematch against Ankeny at home on August 28.
Coach Kluver’s staff welcomes the challenge of grooming a new set of stars for this year’s Indianola squad, and it will be these incoming athletes that will set the tone in 2015.
2014 record: 5-5 overall, 2-3 conference
Head Coach: Eric Kluver, 11th season, 43-63 record
Returning offensive starters
QB Jack Jensen, SR
WR Blake Upchurch, SR
OL Nathan Woosley, SR
OL Karl Kaale, SR
OL Eagan Lickiss, JR
Returning defensive starters
LB Jimmy Aiello, SR
DL Anthony Pottebaum, SR
DL Brock VanLoon, SR
DB Schaefer Orwig, SR
K Chris Brandt, JR
Total returning letterwinners: 27
Offensive Scheme: Pro I
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
Team Goals: Have several players contribute at a high level on both sides of the ball
2015 Schedule (district games in bold)
08/28 vs. Ankeny
09/04 vs. Des Moines, Abraham Lincoln
09/11 @ Des Moines, East
09/18 @ Ottumwa
09/25 vs. Urbandale
10/02 vs. Fort Dodge
10/09 @ Waukee
10/16 vs. Mason City
10/23 @ Marshalltown