Cascade’s 2019 varsity football team: front from left, Luke Tracey, Ben Miller, Colby Holmes, Ted Weber and Tanner Simon; second row, Cody Kremer, Isaac Hogan, Carson Staner, Mario Aguilar, Jose Nava and Casey Koppes; third, Connor Booth, Kaleb Topping, Carter Green, Jesus Barrios and Gabe Lange; fourth, Isaac DelaRosa, Jackson McAleer, Caden Reinke, Alex Aitchison, Nathan McDermott and Zach Green; fifth row, assistant coaches Ryan Altiere, Kurt Trumm and Nate Meyer, coach Tim Frake, assistant coaches Casey Honkomp, Shaylon Strub and Tyler Menke.

As the final whistle blew last October, the Cascade football team finished with a 5-4 record for 2018. This included a 3-2 district record which was a small step back from the Cougars 2017 campaign where they went 10-1. Cascade will be looking to get back on track this season.

Coach Tim Frake is entering his 15th season at the helm of the program with an 85-55 career record.

“With a difficult schedule, a competitive district, not being able to stay healthy, and consistency, that’s what kept us out of the playoffs last season,” Frake said.

The Cougars are returning nine starters from last season’s team and five other letterwinners. On offense, Kaleb Topping (OL) will be returning to the team. The defense will get back Carter Green (DB) and Ben Miller (LB). Two-way players Alex Aitchison (TE/DE), Colby Holmes (RB/LB), and Ted Weber (OL/DL) will also be on the roster this season.

With nine starters returning, that means that there are still 13 other positions on the field that need to be filled.

“Little experience is returning to the team, so this group will need to be ready to go to work day one,” Frake said. “We will have players emerge that will be ‘go-to’ guys, but I think our balance can make us a dangerous team week in and week out.”

Cascade will benefit from some key contributors from last season’s team returning on both sides of the ball. Leading rusher from a year ago, Colby Holmes is coming off a year where he rushed for 696 yards on 86 carries and totaled 12 touchdowns. They will also be returning their leading wide receiver from a year ago in Alex Aitchison. In 2018, he caught 17 passes for 458 yards which was just shy of 27 yards per reception. That 27 yards per catch was the best in the district last season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Aitchison, Carter Green and Ben Miller are the leading tacklers returning from last season’s squad.

There will be some meshing that will have to happen between the returners and newcomers. Coach Frake doesn’t foresee chemistry being an issue.

“I believe this squad will truly play as a team and have great attitudes,” Frake said.

Cascade may struggle with depth and experience this season, so the players returning will have to take a step forward.

The Cougars start their season this Friday, Aug. 30, on the road at Monticello with their first home game the following Friday against Benton.