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West Central Broncos ready to buck

Submitted photo Six-foot, 280-pound Erick Johnson, left, is listed as a defensive tackle/running back by way of Dassel-Cokato, Ridgewater and the Green Bay Blizzard, while 5-foot-11, 310-pound David Larson is a defensive tackle out of BOLD High School.

WILLMAR — The West Central Broncos amateur football team are nearing their inaugural season debut on April 27 at Burnsville High School against the Twin City Rhinos.

The Broncos list a 45-player roster and a 10-game regular-season schedule. The home opener is scheduled for June 1 at Hodapp Field in Willmar. Four more home games will all be played at the high school field in New London from June 15 to July 6.

Steve Peppin, a Willmar businessman and barber, owns the franchise. The former Ridgewater College defensive end played on the short-lived first incarnation of amateur football here in 2006 and lists himself on the Broncos roster.

“I’m proud of how hard these young men have worked beginning last summer,” commented Peppin in an email. “As owner, my focus is twofold: (1) Bring semi-pro football to the west-central community, which provides family fun and entertainment (2) Show our players that dreams can come true with hard work and determination not only in football but in life itself.”

Most of the players come from Willmar and area high schools or came here originally to attend Ridgewater.

Former Ridgewater Warriors include center/guard Patricio Lopez, strong safety Tarrell McDuffie and tackle Chad Anderson.

The Broncos play in the eight-team Midwest Premier Football League, which has teams at Brainerd, St. Cloud and the Twin Cities. Six teams advance to the postseason, three each from the East and West divisions. The Broncos are in the West with the Brainerd Lumberjacks, the Granite City Renegades and the Twin City Rhinos.

The Broncos head coach is Willie Holmes of Marshall, who has coached three years in the league. Last year, he was defensive coordinator for the Lumberjacks (12-4) which reached the championship game losing 27-0 to the Minnesota Sting (12-2) at Hamline University on Aug. 4.

“We’re grateful to have Coach Holmes leading the team,” said Peppin. He has over 30 years coaching experience.”

The Carlton County Stampede also joined the MPFL for the 2013 season.

West Central Broncos

2013 roster

Name (position, previous team)

Robert Allen (OLB, Pershing County)

Chad Anderson (RT, YME, Ridgewater)

Keller Anderson (WR, Tracy-MB)

Miguel Bazaldua (OL/DL)

Kris Biederstedt (DT, Willmar)

Andrew Bonnema (WR/FS, Ridgewater)

Brian Burwell (WR/FS, Ridgewater)

Shane Cole (DT, Willmar)

Travis Cole (TE/WR, Willmar)

Cory Hanson (RB/WR, Willmar, University of North Dakota)

Jeremy Hall (DL, Tracy-MB)

Erick Johnson (DE/RB, Dassel-Cokato, Ridgewater, Green Bay Blizzard)

Dan Kates (DL, Redwood Falls, Ridgewater)

Brandon Krona (DB, Ridgewater)

Adam Laidlaw (WR/DB)

Jon Lankenau (DE/LB, BOLD)

David Larson (DT, BOLD)

Chris Lewis (DB, Willmar)

Matthew Lewis (WR)

Patricio Lopez (C/RG, Ridgewater)

Tanner Manderfield (S, Montevideo)

Christopher Mathiowetz (LB/S/ST, Cedar Mt.-Comfrey)

Jarrett McAllister-Deuce (K/FB/TE, Ridgewater)

Tarrell McDuffie (SS, Ridgewater)

Dominic Montoya (WR, Willmar)

Martin Munoz (C, Willmar)

Dale Peppin (FB, Pine City)

Steve Peppin (QB/TE, Ridgewater)

Braden Peterson (SS/LB, Tracy-MB)

George Polston (WR, ACGC)

Chaz Powell (WR/FS, Fort Scott (Kan.) CC, Minn. West CTC)

Jake Ruehling (DT, Sibley East, Ridgewater)

Frank Saenz (WR)

Jerry Saenz (DL, Ridgewater)

Tremaine Scott (QB/KR, Ridgewater)

Tim Schwab (WR/FB/ST, Cedar Mt.-Comfrey)

Benjamin Sletta (QB/WR/CB, New London-Spicer, SMSU)

Matt Schirmacher (OL/DL, Marshall)

Kean Thomas (LB, South Carolina)

Adam Thompson (OL/DL, Willmar)

Franky Torres (FS, Willmar)

Brandon Turry (S, Omaha Central, SMSU)

Rene Vallejo (LB/FB/SS, Willmar)

Kyle Weinandt (LB, New London-Spicer)

West Central Broncos

2013 schedule

April 27 at Burnsville Silverbacks, 8 p.m.

May 4 at Brainerd Lumberjacks, 4 p.m.

May 11 at Granite City Renegades, 2 p.m.

May 18 at Twin City Rhinos, 6 p.m.

May 25 - bye week

June 1 against Twin Cities Titans, at Hodapp Field, 6 p.m.

June 8 at Minnesota Sting, 2 p.m.

June 15 against Brainerd Lumberjacks, at New London-Spicer High School, 6 p.m.

June 22 against Granite City Renegades, at New London-Spicer High School, 6 p.m.

June 29 against Twin City Rhinos, at New London-Spicer High School, 6 p.m.

July 6 against Burnsville Silverbacks, at New London Spicer High School, 6 p.m.

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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