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MHS football coaches move into new roles

With the 2014 season fast approaching, the Mitchell High School football program will have several new coaches throughout all grade levels.

When former defensive coordinator Arend Kuyper, who had previously coached with the Kernels since 1988, decided to retire from his physical education teaching position, the coaching staff was in for some changes.

Walt Moody is the new varsity assistant, while Travis Carpenter will move to take over the defensive coordinator duties.

Moody brings a strong presence on both sides of the ball for the Kernels, according to MHS head coach Kent VanOverschelde.

“He brings experience as a defensive coordinator at the freshman level,” VanOverschelde said. “His knowledge for (wide) receivers will also be a big plus for our offense.”

Moody has been involved with the Mitchell football program for the past 12 years and has spent his last four as the head coach of the Mitchell freshman football team.

With Moody joining the empty spot on the varsity coaching staff, his previous role of freshman head coach will be filled by Brett Flemmer, who was the offensive coordinator on the freshman team for the past four years.

The final two new coaches joining the Mitchell program this year are Eric Witte and Jeremy Borgan.

Witte is a recent Dakota Wesleyan University graduate, where he was a three-year starter at center for the Tigers. He is a new assistant junior varsity coach. VanOverschelde said Witte has already been working with the team by helping lead the offseason weight lifting program.

“He’s been a huge contributor to our summer weightlifting program with his degree at DWU being in exercise and wellness,” VanOverschelde said. “He’s hopefully going to be a huge asset to our program for years to come.”

Borgan, a physical education teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary, will be working with the middle school program and the eighth-grade football team.

“We’re excited to have a teacher and coach of kids at his level. He will work well with our middle school program,” VanOverschelde said.

With all the changes being made to the coaching staff, VanOverschelde said some of the best teachers and coaches in the program play a huge role in development by coaching at the middle school level.

“The willingness to buy into the varsity program and teach the scheme of the varsity program at a young level provides great experience for all kids that want to play football,” he said.

The Kernel varsity program holds its first practice Thursday and has its season opener against Yankton on Aug. 30 at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.