Coming off a 9-2 season, a Prairie North Conference championship and a runner-up finish in the Section Championship game to eventual Class AA State champion Holdingford, the 2015 version of the Otter Tail Central Bulldogs is poised to be in the thick of the battle in the new Midwest Conference and in the Section 6AA race.
Don Seipkes begins his 43rd year as a head football coach and will be assisted by Eric Olson (Defensive Coordinator), Dan Peterka (Special Teams/JV) and Ryan Emter (Freshman Coach).
The Bulldogs bring back a talented and accomplished core of players, led by seniors Tony Ukkelberg (QB/OLB, All-Conference, Team MVP Offensive Back), Cody Seedorf (FB/MLB, All-Conference), Andrew VanErp (SE/FS, All-Conference, TEAM MVP Defensive Back) and Cort Ebeling (OG/DE, Honorable Mention All-Conference), and junior Daniel Ukkelberg (OT/DT, All-Conference, Team MVP Defensive Lineman).
Tony Ukkelberg threw for 1200 yards, ran for 677 yards and had 4 interceptions as a junior. He also handles the punting and kicking chores as a three-year starter for the Bulldogs. Seedorf, also a three-year starter, ran for 848 yards and was second on the team in tackles. VanErp had 548 receiving yards and 4 interceptions as a third-year starter and Daniel Ukkelberg led the defense with 9 quarterback sacks.
In addition to that strong group of proven varsity returners, Coach Seipkes will benefit from the return of seniors Wes Olson (RB/OLB), Malik Gill (TE/DE), Ethan Franze (OG), Sam Naddy (MLB) and Kolby Thalmann (CB), juniors Eric VanErp (SE) and Tommy Seidel (OT) and sophomore Dustin Olson (C/DT).
Key newcomers for OTC will be seniors Caleb Bellig (OG/DE) and David Holm (OG/OLB), juniors Derrick Christensen (C/DE) and Austin Eckhoff (OG/MLB) and sophomore Ramon Lopez (FB/MLB).
Seipkes sees Frazee and Osakis as favorites in the Midwest-Blue Conference (Sub-District), with Breckenridge being the team to beat in Section 6AA.
Teams in the Midwest-Blue Sub-District included Frazee, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, United North Central, Osakis, Staples-Motley and Wadena-Deer Creek.
Section opponents for OTC are Breckenridge, Holdingford, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Osakis, Pelican Rapids, Staples-Motley and Wadena-Deer Creek.