Coming off of a .500 regular season in which they dropped their first playoff game, expectations for the Hawley Nuggets' 2016 season likely were cautiously optimistic. Even though the program was just two years removed from three straight Section 8AA…
Coming off of a .500 regular season in which they dropped their first playoff game, expectations for the Hawley Nuggets' 2016 season likely were cautiously optimistic. Even though the program was just two years removed from three straight Section 8AA titles, junior Donnie Loegering didn't know what to expect from himself or his team.
“I didn't know I was going to be starting so I was working really hard,” Loegering said. “We just had a lot of people that grinded in the offseason and at practice and got a lot better – people stepped up.”
Although the regular season was uneven, Hawley put it together in the post-season. They advanced to the section final game before falling to Barnesville.
Defensively, Loegering felt they were better against the run than the pass, but when the Nuggets were most successful, they were handing the ball to Loegering and letting him run behind a talented offensive line.
“The line made holes for us, and we were able to run behind them well.”
A running back his whole life, with a senior in the backfield, as a sophomore the coaching staff moved Loegering to wide receiver before moving him back to his natural position in the backfield in 2016. As a junior, NFN's 348th ranked player from the Class of ‘18 played both ways.
“I think I can see the field and find holes,” the running back told northstarfootballnews.
Loegering played right outside linebacker in the Nuggets' 4-4 and sometimes 4-3 defense.
“I guess I hit people pretty hard and am a good tackler,” Loegering- who enjoys duck and deer hunting – explained.
This offseason he played basketball and baseball. Between those sports, he wants to improve his ability to break tackles.
“In basketball, I am a wing and was the sixth man,” said the 6'0″ 170-pound junior. “I didn't score very much. I played good defense and did the dirty work.”
On the baseball field, Loegering is a pitcher and a shortstop.
“I am kind of a leader on the baseball team. I throw pretty hard and have a good curve ball.”
This summer Loegering – who rushed for nearly 1400 yards and scored 25 touchdowns as a junior – is planning on going to camp at North Dakota State and Minnesota State-Moorhead.
“I went to Minnesota State-Moorhead for a visit,” Loegering, who as of now is being recruited strictly as an offensive player, said. “Minnesota-Duluth has been contacting me and asking me if I want to go to a camp and visit there.”
With Loegering settling in at running back and linebacker, the two-year starter should see his college options increase, and he just might help his team back into the state tournament.