Manson NW opens with televised game

Cougars to play in Channel Seed Ag Bowl on CSN Chicago

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Reid Steinberg of Manson Northwest Webster tries to shake free from St. Edmond’s Jack Rasmussen last year at Dodger Stadium. Steinberg is one of nine starters back for the Cougars this season.

SIOUX RAPIDS — The Manson Northwest Webster football team will kick off their season a night earlier than most.

The Cougars will travel here Thursday night to face Sioux Central in the Channel Seed Ag Bowl.

The game starts at 7 p.m.

The game will be broadcast live on Comcast Sports Net Chicago — the same network that airs the state semifinals and championship games in November from Cedar Falls.

“It’s really a neat deal for everyone involved,” MNW head coach Jeff Anliker said. “The kids will be wired up, as will the coaches. I think (the game) will really have a ‘Wow’ factor to it for both the players and coaches.”

This is the fifth year of the game, which was played last season by Northeast and Central DeWitt. The Iowa High School Sports Network will produce the contest.

“(St. Edmond graduate) Sam Condon and (Fort Dodge Senior High grad) Joe Hora have really been great as our representatives,” Anliker said. “They have been putting signs up all around town and doing work to make sure everyone knows about the game.”

Both schools are given a grant and other memorabilia from the game, and an offensive and defensive MVP is selected.

Manson Northwest Webster went 4-5 last year and returns 13 letterwinners and nine starters: Mark Condon, Reid Steinberg, Keegan Pritchard, Cameron Krebsbach, Blake Larsen, Brian Pearson, Derek Girard, Ben Quade and Riley Peters.

The Rebels posted a 3-6 record a season ago. Jake Hanson, Ben Hargens, Carter Beckman and Prestan Samson are among their returning players.

“It’s a Week 1 non-district game, but it really puts a lot more fun into it,” Anliker said. “My oldest son lives in Tennessee and he can watch it, as can my brother in Wisconsin. The kids get to play on TV, and it really is done up right.”

Sioux Central opened its new football field last year with an expanded press box and red end zones.

“It’s a great facility and a great opportunity for our kids,” Anliker said. “Coach (Brandon) Goodchild approached me last spring about it, and we were on board.”

The first Channel Seed Ag Bowl was played in 2013 between Central Lyon and West Lyon. Aplington-Parkersburg and Dike-New Hartford played in 2014, while Audubon and AHSTW met in ’14.

“Channel Seed’s Ag Bowl is a great way to support the local communities and to support the local kids in those communities,” said Condon, a former standout athlete for St. Edmond. “We give each school playing in the Ag Bowl money that they can use to their discretion.

“This year, Manson Northwest Webster is giving scholarships to their senior football players, which is really neat for those kids.”

MNW hosts St. Edmond next Friday night for its home opener, while Sioux Central faces the Gaels on Oct. 13 at Dodger Stadium.

CSN Chicago is channel 665 on DirecTV and channel 429 on Dish Network.