“I think it was a good weekend for us as a whole,” said Madsen. “Our group learned they can be an elite team in this league on Friday night, and on Saturday they learned that to be an elite team they have to show up every night. It is all part of the process and growing into a championship caliber team. I’m proud of the first half of our season.”
“The course on Tuesday was a monster,” explained Sorenson. “It is a brutal course and a tough one for a lot of skiers.”
“This game was very important for our team,” explained Wright. “We have a young team and it was great for our girls to see that they are capable of competing with a good team for 36 minutes if we play well and execute. The next step will be learning how to win these games.”
“All of our kids worked extremely hard over the last year to improve our shooting and I believe we have made great strides in that area,” Devney said. “After shooting 2-for-21 from the three-point line against Annandale in the state tournament last year, the players took it upon themselves to make sure that does not happen again. If we shoot like we are capable, defenses will not be able to collapse on Adam like they did last year.”
“This is the first time that we’ve been mentioned in the Minnesota wrestling periodical newspaper with a ‘lean and mean’ status,” commented CEC coach Al Denman. “That status means we are a team who could likely be ranked in the top 10 or 12 teams in the state in Class AA as the season progresses.”
While the Eskomos knew a bit more about what they had coming into the season as far as personnel, the Lumberjacks were welcoming back coach Young, who returned to the bench for the first time in 12 years and is the last head coach to lead the ’Jacks to the state tournament back in 2004.
“We wore them down on Saturday and I felt we were really able to take control of the line of scrimmage in the fourth quarter,” Lenarz said. “In my opinion this speaks to our conditioning and the weight program in the summer and during the season. We have worked hard with the guys at Impact Sports for several years now and they do such a good job with our kids.”
At times the game had more laundry (in the form of penalty flags) on the field than a local laundromat. Both teams were flagged numerous times and the officials had all they could do to reel in the players on both sides.
“On a team that is as young as we are, you need leaders who can show them how to get things done both on and off the field. Dedicating yourself to the team, to offseason work, and in-game efforts is an important thing for those young guys to see,” Klyve said.
“The big kid (Sykes) is something we didn’t have an answer for,” said Rebel coach Dave Louzek. “We were undersized all season long and tried four-man and five-man fronts and tried blitzing our linebackers, but then their quarterback would get to the outside.”