an Order of Football
The 1814s will bring in an American
quarterback, looking for someone who could blossom in the system of Coach Johansson. Look
for Eidsvoll to have a well qualified starter here. Leif Snilsberg has
shown steady improvement but is a few years away from being a good starter.
Some old and a couple of new faces. The
1814s looks to be potent on the ground this year. Lars Bråten is a
smallish speedster who can take some physical abuse. Swiss star Roger Graber
is a monster whereever you put him. He is highly respected by other teams. Eric
Payton is a new import this year whom 1814s feel will contribute to their running
game. Also, there is some excitement over new fullback Bent Andersen who
has made the switch from Tight End.
Micah Deckart will not
return which is a huge loss. But there's still some talent left in speedy Roy
Andre Høgseth, speedier Tor Helge Bakken and converted lineman Jarle
Østhagen. However, there isn't much depth. But the 1814's will be fine as long
as the combined deep threat of Bakken and Høgseth are on the field.
The O-line was voted as the team's
offensive MVP's for the 98 season. This line remains almost intact and is a big reason for
the 1814s recent success. LT Kenneth Andersen has been around since the
team started rolling. RT Idar Hansen is a rookie whom the 1814s are high
on. The guards will be powerful Torbjørn Johnsen and technical competent
Asbjørn Brandlistuen. The C will be former LB Ulf Andersen.
Andersen is viewed by many as one of the finer linemen in Norway. Expect this line to be
dominating with coach Johanssons fine-tuning. Backups Knut Halvor Wenger
and Øystein Henriksen could figure in the picture.
Some new faces at the D-line this year. Ronny
Støen has speed and strength. He received a team award for "Most Improve
Player" last year, and should continue developing. The team is confident in Ronny
Myhrer and Øystein Henriksen. Henriksen is the strongest player
on the team. Also expected to start is Ragnar Liaker. Look for more
pressure on opposing teams from this unit. The 1814s needs more of a "push" from
this unit than last year, to put pressure on the QB without using the blitz.
The team's strongest unit. Roger
Graber, Bård Aune, Leif Snilsberg and Tor
Hundstad returns. Graber is a terrific talent who punishes the opposition once.
They never go there again. Snilsberg is very athletic and is seldom caught out of
position. Aune has experience and the 1814s consider Hundstad their best Norwegian
linebacker when he is motivated. Also look for imported American Eric Payton
to make an impact from his position. Depth is maintained with Thomas Hansen,
a player who has shown excellent practise habits.
This was the 1814s weakest link last
year. Has been looking better and better during practise the last few months. Espen
Bøhnsmoen, Halvor Dahlen and Roger Slaatbråten
are expected to start here. Slaatbråten has excellent quickness and may surprise this
year. But this is an area of the team that will be severely tested by opponents looking
for weak spots.
The Eidsvoll 1814s have one of Norway's
best punters/kickers in Bård Aune, who gives them a scoring threat
inside the 30 and usually good field position. Lars Bråten is
electrifying on returns and is joined by another speedster; Tor Helge Bakken.
Whenever spectators turn their eyes away from this return unit they risk missing a TD.
Bråten is the best returner in Norway at the moment.
Head Coach Jan Johansson
has the players eating out of his hand, and has done just about everything right since he
joined the 1814s. It remains to be seen how he does on gameday. Defensive Coordinator Vince
McGee will return in May and is a wizz coaching the lines. Also look for the
imports to have an impact in the coaching department.
The 1814s feel very comfortable about their team this year, and have very high ambitions. Only one season away from playing in the 2nd division, they are one of the three top candidates to win the national championship. In addition, they will be playing in the EuroCup. Expect this team to play hard all year long. But remember; the element of surprise is gone. Nobody will take them lightly this time around.
Team overall: B-
*= Preseason game.