Wildcat Football Stands Tall

Rayyaan Usmani, Sports Writer

Following a regular season that included many highs and few lows, the boys’ football team ended its postseason run with a close section playoff loss to Prior Lake High School, falling 20-14. Though the season ended with a heartbreaker, the team ended the season with a 5-5 record, one win away from making the state tournament.

“Well, obviously we wanted to make the state tournament, but we fell short,” senior quarterback and captain Sam Zenner stated of the Wildcats’ overall season. He praised the entire team’s effort, both as individuals and as a unit. “We accomplished a lot of goals that we had set before the season started. I think we had a great football team.”

Senior offensive lineman Isaiah Pritzl shared that the team’s success can first be attributed to the senior captains, who motivated the team each and every day. The captains – seniors Joe Kovach, Sam Zenner, Brandon Carl, and Jake Ossell – brought the team together during the season, through actions and words. But Pritzl, as well as Zenner, believes that the contributions that every member of the team made ultimately led to the success the Wildcats had towards the end of the season.

“The team really stepped up and worked hard,” specified Zenner. To say that would be an understatement, especially for him. With some help from his offense, Sam Zenner broke numerous Eagan football records. He broke the season record for yards with 1,457; the season record for 100-yard games with eight; the single game record for highest completion percentage against Farmington with 90.9%; and the single game record for highest yards per completion against Farmington with 16.8 yards. Zenner also managed to tie the season record for yards per attempt with 8.9, a record held by his brother Zach Zenner.

The speedy offense, coupled with the tenacious defense and special teams, helped the Wildcats win a key game against Wayzata; beat Lakeville South not once, but twice; and beat down both Farmington and Shakopee. “This season was successful. Why? Because we put Eagan Football back on the map after two seasons in which we won a total of three games,” said Pritzl.

Whether it was the offense’s unstoppable run game, kicker Josh Edelstein’s long field goals, or the ball-hawking defense, this was a special year for Wildcat football. Though the team did not finish the season the way it wanted, the boys fought hard and made good memories for us all. And for that, the Eagan PIT thanks each and every member of the team.