This is my 12th year of covering Minneota football. In those years, I’ve experienced very few defeats, not much frustration and only a little anguish. But all of those things were rolled up into one game Friday night at Tyler.
I’ve got to admit was expecting an easy victory over a team that had just this year gone from nine-man football to 11-man and tossed into the tough rigors of Section 5A football. Maybe I also forgot how young our team is this year — and how they are an ever-changing, ever-evolving football team.
Whatever, I found myself watching as Russell-Tyler-Ruthton took an 18-14 lead and drove the ball deep into Minneota territory — to the two-yard line, in fact. I looked at the scoreboard and noticed there was just over four minutes to go. My mind began to play the scenario over-and-over again.
RTR scores, it’s at least 23-14 or worse, 24 or 25 to 14. We’d need to score nine, 10 or 11 points in just four minutes. It just didn’t seem possible. I guess old dogs just don’t learn new tricks. After all I’ve witnessed in these 12 years, you’d think I’d know better.
I’ve seen a team with their best player injured and out of the championship game in the first half — then come back and beat a team (North Minneapolis) that everyone said could never beat. I’ve seen them lose a section championship to Wabasso, then come back the next year and beat Wabasso for the state championship.
I’ve seen them completely re-build their line with almost all new players. After I’d pronounced them dead and gone — they won the state championship. I’ve seen them bear arch-rivals Adrian and Dawson-Boyd in the state championships.
And I’ve watched when everyone called it an even game between Minneota and Dawson-Boyd and Minneota won, 40-0. I’ve see all that. Yet, here I was, trying to figure out how the season was going to change for the Vikings after they’d lost a game. And, how was I going to write a story about an early-season loss? I haven’t had to do much of that.
As I stood there contemplating all these things, the Vikings did something I just “didn’t see coming.”
They held on the two yard line — then drove the ball 96 yards down the field, scored a touchdown and two extra points and won the game. If I’ve learned one thing about Minneota over the 11 years I’ve been in the community, it should be, “Never give up on Minneotans. They don’t quit — and they don’t like losing much!”
By-the-way, we’ve come to depend on a most reliable coaching staff. They’ve pulled some rabbits out of their hats in the past years — and Friday night they did it again.
Great going, Vikings!
LAUGH A LITTLE: Fill in the blank. Recently an employer had a job opening, so he posted it in the Classified Ads. A lady walked in and asked for an application. The boss smiled at her and handed her one. When he got it back he read over it quickly. In the block where the employer asked for a salary range expected, which said, “Salary,” the women had written in the word ... ‘YES.” Wonder if she got the job!?
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “This is a world where you can be whatever you want to be. So ... be yourself.” Ole Pappy didn’t much like it when I wanted to be somebody else. He convinced me there was “Only one you, so enjoy it.” Thanks Ole Pappy!