The ball wasn’t hitting the Norris High School turf much during passing drills Friday outside of Firth.
Considering it was senior quarterback Cooper Hausmann who was throwing the balls, it makes sense.
Hausmann and his Titans are looking for another successful season in 2021 after going 8-3 with an appearance in the quarterfinals of the Class B state playoffs last year.
On Friday at one of Norris’ last practices of the week, the 6-foot, 190-pound Hausmann looked strong and in control. As a junior at the helm of the Titans’ offense, he passed for 1,839 yards and 27 touchdowns against five interceptions. He was also the team’s second-leading rusher with 299 yards and two scores.
Hausmann will need to be in even more control during the season as the Titans lose some talented players from 2020. Head coach Ty Twarling will need to replace his top two receivers in James Carnie, who caught a team-high 38 passes for 594 yards and 11 touchdowns, and CJ Hood, who had 23 catches for 405 yards and six scores. The Titans also lose their top tackler in Dylan Meyer, who racked up 155 stops.
Those are big shoes to fill, but by the looks of things on Friday, Norris has plenty of weapons to fill the voids.
Let’s start with the running back and middle linebacker, senior Ben Landgren.
Landgren led Norris in rushing last year with 549 yards and six scores. He also caught 16 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, he posted 100 tackles, second on the team.
On Friday, the 5-10, 195-pounder showed off good footwork while going through running back drills. He was clearly calm, cool and collected as he led every drill he and his teammates did. On one rep, Landgren was signing the lyrics, word for word, to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “Still D.R.E.”
Norris’ also returns its speedy do-everything athlete Kale Consbruck.
Don’t let his small stature fool you — Consbruck, who runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, can play and showed what he can do with the ball in his hands last season as a junior with a team-high 785 all-purpose yards. He was also a big part of the defense with 47 tackles and two picks. Without Carnie and Hood, expect more passes and handoffs to go Consbruck’s way when the Titans have the ball.
Two seniors will lead the way on Norris’ O- and D-lines in Gavin Novotny and Dawson Burenheide.
Novotny, a 6-foot, 240-pounder, and Burenheide, a 6-1, 230-pounder, were working well together during O-line drills on Friday. They’ll help pave the way for Hausmann and Landgren in the run game, which averaged 123.7 yards per game in 2020.
Look for those two to improve on their defensive numbers from their junior campaigns, too. Burenheide recorded 41 tackles while Novotny had 15 and one sack.
More key parts to the defense that return include seniors Colton Wahlstrom (44 tackles, three interceptions), Cooper Spaulding (42, 1), Andrew Harvey (35) and Trevor Ozenbaugh (32).