Football seniors and leaders, from left, Dalton Holmberg, Luke Schmieg, Isaac Swendsrud, Griffin Webster, Kyle Serich, Braden Tyrrell, Mason Nyhus and Scout Strickland. (Staples World photo by Mark Anderson)

Football team building through culture

Cardinals start football season on Aug. 31

The Staples-Motley football team is counting on all the work they put in together as a team. They lost a lot of seniors from last year’s team and are looking to develop leaders to replace them.

“We don’t have as much size, but we are smarter,” said senior Braden Tyrrell. “We are faster, too,” said Isaac Swendsrud.

The team put in a lot of work over the offseason, with a spring camp, minicamp and many players attending the SMSU camp right before the season practices started.

Even with all that work, the players felt one of the most significant things they did was working with the younger kids in the Staples-Motley program during camps and summer programs.“We carried pads for the younger kids and got to know them,” said Scout Strickland. The players though it not only will help the program but it was good for the team to get back to the basics and see the early levels where they started playing.

It has brought them together as a team. “We get along better and we have chemistry,” said Strickland.

With many spots to fill and players competing for each spot, Mason Nyhus said “it’s been a battlefield in practice.” The players said it is positive competition, as they want to challenge each other to get better.

Coach Travis VanOverbeke said they are building the team by implementing a culture. The coaches are asking the players to step up and take on the responsiblity. He said the real measure of a football season comes 20 years after the season ends, when you can see what the players grew up to be like.

The Cardinals have a scrimmage at Sauk Centre on Saturday, Aug. 26, then open the season at Pequot Lakes on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Staples World

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Staples, MN 56479
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