AlBrook merges with Cotton for 2010 football
They used to be rivals. Now, AlBrook and Cotton are friends on the football field. The two schools have merged for the fall season, and will be known as the AlBrook-Cotton Falcons. Coach Dan DuPay, who has spent the last several seasons as an ass...
They used to be rivals. Now, AlBrook and Cotton are friends on the football field.
The two schools have merged for the fall season, and will be known as the AlBrook-Cotton Falcons.
Coach Dan DuPay, who has spent the last several seasons as an assistant coach at The College of St. Scholastica, takes over a merged team that is long on enthusiasm and above all, long on numbers.
"The attitude of the kids has been great," DuPay said. "We have about 50 kids out for football in grades 9-12."
Those are huge numbers for a nine-man program, giving DuPay the luxury of depth all over the field. About half a dozen varsity players are from Cotton, including three seniors.
"Any time you have a change in coaching staff and a combination of schools, there might be some apprehension," DuPay said. "Yet there has been none of that here. The kids have made the transition well and help each other."
Last year's Falcons finished 6-4 and lost to Cromwell in the section playoffs.
All of the combined team's seniors will serve as captains.
"We're still learning everyone's names, but the seniors certainly stick out," DuPay said. "I ask for leadership from all my seniors. If they need a resume line or a recommendation, they can all say they were a football captain."
One name DuPay has already learned is that of Bryce Karppinen, who will compete with junior Danny Wood for time at quarterback.
"We've got two fine quarterbacks," DuPay said. "Bryce has already said he's willing to be a receiver if need be to get everyone playing time."
DuPay said his players are also eager to learn and can learn from their mistakes.
"I tell the players that it's OK to make a mistake as long as it's at 100 miles per hour," he said. "I'd rather they hit players going fast than going slow."
DuPay likes his team's depth at the skill positions, and plans to run a spread and option offense while also using some old-fashioned winged-T when the situation permits.
"It's a power game in this conference," DuPay said. "You need to adapt your coaching to fit your players. If you have speed, you have to use it. We have a nice mix."
Defensively, the Falcons are expected to show a 4-3 or a 3-3 stack in the majority of situations.
Now all that's left is to prepare for the Sept. 3 opening game at home against Littlefork-Big Falls. All the team's home games will be played at AlBrook, with the team wearing AlBrook uniforms. Junior varsity games will also be played at AlBrook but with the team wearing Cotton uniforms.
"I'm looking forward to this," DuPay said. "Getting into the high school game is exciting. The community is excited."
However, numbers at some of the other schools in the conference are a cause for concern.
"Everyone else says they are down," DuPay said. "Scott Chiabotti at Tower says his team has fewer players and MI-B [Mountain Iron-Buhl] has only 18 players. Yet those teams seem to do well every year."
"We'd like to think we are a favorite," DuPay added.