HFC Football - Hendler

Nick Hendler, Holy Family Catholic junior back

A two-way player, Hendler rushed for 562 yards and two touchdowns in his first year as the feature back. Also had 10 catches for 122 yards.

Holy Family Catholic sat with a 2-2 record at the midway mark of the 2018 football. A solid win over New London-Spicer, losses to Delano and Litchfield that could have gone the other way just as easily.

Where would the season go for the Fire from there on out?

Back-to-back shutouts, one over Glencoe-Silver Lake, a dominating win over a ranked Dassel-Cokato squad, Holy Family Catholic found itself finishing off the schedule with five wins over the last seven games.

A section runner-up finish to an overmatched Jordan squad.

And while Holy Family Catholic had heavy graduation numbers from that team, returning just five starters, it was about finding ways to win that carries over into the 2019 season.

"We are in a tough district. It is always tough to tell, lot of great teams with great coaching staffs," said second-year Fire head coach Tim Triplett of where his team may finish. "We all find ways to win games."

If Holy Family Catholic is going to find ways to win games, it's likely going to come with a little mix of run and pass. The Fire showed that kind of success in a scrimmage at Benilde-St. Margaret on Aug. 24.

Nick Hendler, a third-year starting tailback, rushed for nearly 1,000 yards last season, scoring 13 touchdowns.

He'll run behind two experienced linemen in Seth Thompson, an all-state caliber blocker, and Mark Roane, both with multiple years of experience on the line.

Captain Nathan Tinucci (13 catches, 169 yards, three touchdown) looks to be the main target for junior quarterback Jacob Kirsch. Triplett called Kirsch "athletic and mobile."

Defensive back Chris Bauer, defensive lineman Logan Radick and linebacker Logan Lembke, all seniors, figure to be impact players for the Fire as well.

"Tough and smart player who can put himself in positions of advantage," said Triplett of Radick.

"Agile and can move well in space in a position we need him to. Gets to the ball," added the coach of Lembke.

Week one opponent Mound-Westonka -- 7 p.m. at home in Victoria on Aug. 29 -- is one of two new teams on the schedule along with Milaca replacing Delano and St. Cloud Cathedral.

Of the eight games on the schedule, five are at home.

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