FHSU football uses fall camp to prepare for 2022 season


With the 2022 MIAA football season set to begin this week, FHSU football has been preparing for the upcoming season for the past couple of weeks and working hard to get back into game-like scenarios and speeds. 

The team had long days during their preseason, hosting practice from 9 a.m. to noon, then moving on to lunch and team film. Later in the day, different position groups went back to Lewis field to work in the evenings. 

Tiger Head Coach Chris Brown said the team has been playing well in camp in advance of the season. 

“We have guys making plays, and that’s huge,” Brown said. “We don’t have to do too much, we have talented players around the field. If everyone is doing their job, we should be fine.” 

Last season the Tigers posted a 5-6 record, with four of those losses coming within a single possession. However, the team does have key pieces returning to the lineup. 

Starting quarterback Chance Fuller enters his third year as a starter for the team. Alongside Fuller on the offensive side of the ball are wide receiver Manny Ramsey, who earned all-MIAA third team honors at the wide receiver position, and national award-winning tight-end Hunter Budke. Budke is an all-American first team at the tight end position, earning the super region three awards for first-team tight end. 

Brown looks forward to what his offense is capable of this year, citing a need to get the ball to the right guys at the right time. 

“I mean, it’s part of our offense. It goes through us; we run it, get everybody lined up, and get the ball into the playmaker’s hands at the right times,” Brown said. “So it’s not a lot or as part of the position, just taking on that pressure but using it the right way. And not trying to press, not trying to do too much, and let the other guys take some of that pressure off and do what they can.” 

On the defensive side of the ball, captain Layke Heimerman is back this season after tearing his ACL a season ago and earning a medical redshirt. Alongside Heimerman is Myles Menges, who as a redshirt freshman led the team in tackles and earned an all-MIAA honorable mention as a linebacker. Menges will be a part of the defensive line and linebacker positions this year. Mason Perez will also be a key player for the Tigers’ defense. As a freshman, Perez played in 10 games and started in four of those games. Perez looks to be a leader in the defensive secondary. 

A western-Kansas product might be a huge pick-up for the Tigers this off-season as the FHSU grabbed Dodge City’s Emanuel Aguilar. While being a part of the Red Demons football team, the kicker earned Western Athletic Conference first-team honors and was an all-state honor as a kicker. This past summer, Aguilar participated in the Kansas Shrine Bowl in Pittsburg, Kansas.

The special teams unit returns all-MIAA honorable mention punter Ethan Sosson. The Australian punter looks to have a great season as he enters his second season in American football. Another key player for the special teams is Alex Schremmer; Schremmer was the primary punt returner and accrued the second most kick-off return yards last year for FHSU.

Brown spoke on Aguilar’s addition to the team and the part special teams plays in FHSU’s game plan.  

“It’s huge. You get three points in that zone, but we don’t want to feel like we left more points on the field,” Brown said. “We want to put that thing in the endzone. Hopefully, he [Aguilar] can get it done. So I hope he [Aguilar] can prove himself in the first couple of weeks.”

During the off-season, the Tigers also bolstered their coaching staff, hiring Layton Hickel from Hays High School. Hickel, a former player for the Tigers in the 2010s, left the Tigers to be a teacher and is now back as the defensive line coach for FHSU. 

The Tigers are set to start the season on Thursday at the nation’s second-best team, Northwest Missouri State. Kick-off between these two schools is set for 7 p.m. in Maryville, Missouri. 

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