Posted On: 08/28/18 5:19 PM

For our final story in’s 2018 sleeper series, we highlight a 9-man program that has known success in the past and is poised to – if not equal – move toward a season on par with their state tournament appearance of 2015.

NFN’s 2018 9-man sleeper: Madelia
2017 Record: 3-6

Returning starters: Could not find a current roster but according to KEYC 12 in Mankato, they return seven seniors and basically their entire starting lineup.

An extremely young team in 2017, the Blackhawks are ready for a deep run in the playoffs this season.

To have that kind of success, they will have to have a big season from quarterback Logan Anderson. Anderson will rely on running back Josh Sletta to be a big part of the offense on the ground.

Part of the reason for the Blackhawks’ optimism is the strong finish they had in 2017. The young team started to come together and won their final two regular season games.

The improved record down the stretch coincided with the offense finding its stride. Madelia’s offense scored 48, 56 and 34 points – the last in a playoff loss – to close out the season.

On the flip side, the Blackhawks will have to hope this offseason includes an improvement on the defensive side of the ball. In six games the defense gave up at least thirty points. Anderson and Sletta will both be linebackers on – for the Blackhawks’ sake – an improved defense.

While writing this, Madelia notched its first win of the season winning a Week 0 game against rival Granada-Huntley-East Chain-Truman 32-12. The Blackhawks led 13-12 at the half and scored the final 19 points of the game.