Eagan Football claims a victory


Post-game huddle

Kendra Held, Sports Editor

Victory never tasted as sweet as it did this past Friday when Eagan’s Varsity Football team won their game against Shakopee with a final score of 31-21. After ending last year’s season without a single win, Eagan Varsity Football was intent on coming together and turning things around this season. Although they had made progress in previous games, a tangible success was still lacking.

Going into Friday’s game the Wildcats knew they had a solid week of practice behind them and were confident in their ability to turn the tides. But instead of going in with an overconfident attitude, as they had before past games, they approached it with a modest, focused and determined attitude.

The evening didn’t start out as smoothly as the boys had hoped, with Eagan down 0-14 at halftime. However, this setback ended up lighting a fire under the entire team after halftime. Captain Kaden Hanson explains that, “scoring on the first drive really set the tone for the second half. It was like, ‘This is our game’. We flipped a switch.” The team was intent on gaining momentum. With improved communication, defense and offense both stayed motivated to do their part. Eagan solidified their win with a field goal and an 82 yard pass play that brought the final score to 31-21. Captain Ben Leiran confides, “One moment that really stood out was with about 30 seconds left in the game when the PIT started running towards the gates and that’s when I kinda realized we had pulled through and we had actually won the game.”

This year’s turn around and progress didn’t start on day one of practice, however. Many players began their training in the spring by participating in other sports, joining ES4 to stay in shape and even watching college practices to learn how to improve. On top of the physical work put into practices, this year the team has undergone an attitude change. Leiran describes it as “playing for one another instead of just playing as individuals.” Captain Mason West adds, “Our team has really been working hard and I think that everyone is more  accountable this season. We are more of a family.” Practices are more energetic and pump-up music is played to help keep spirits high.

While the team is ecstatic about this win, they are by no means complacent. The captains agree that Eagan football wants to keep their momentum by continuing to work hard and win. They went on to say that they hope the team continues to have a family mentality and a strong work ethic, both for this season and future seasons. West explains, “I think that next season the family will continue to be stronger and more people will start playing. I hope the younger generations will have a lot more players than we do.”

“That game at Shakopee really was a true family game. Everyone contributed to it.” Hanson concluded.