Before the first volleyball is taken out of storage, head coach Janet Erhardt sits down with her squad and makes a goals list. Despite some rough patches early in the season and a few stuffy noses recently, Center-Stanton can mark a check next to the top item on that list.
Through the course of four quarters of a high school football game, a missed route or missed block here or there are not necessarily crippling effects. However, last Friday night, those small miscues equaled a large deficit for Center-Stanton.
On any given Friday night, 21 of North Dakota’s 9-man division football teams walk off a field a little less chipper than their counterparts. For four weeks, Center-Stanton has experienced what those other 20 teams feel when that L is added to the record.
Traditionally ground-heavy schemes of 9-man football are what Center-Stanton football fans can expect this coming Friday during the Homecoming game. The Wildcats are looking for their first win and Wilton-Wing is the team standing in their way.
The average North Dakota high school football game counts down 48 minutes on the scoreboard. Center-Stanton coach Brett Eckert would have liked 12 minutes back from Friday’s game. Washburn scored 24 unanswered points in the first quarter en route to a 36-0 shutout of the Wildcats moving them to 0-3 this season.
With any road game, there is always a worry of how prepared the team is going to be after sitting on a bus. The 36 miles between Center and Underwood seemingly had the effect of a much longer trip as a slow Wildcat beginning led to their first regular season loss Sept. 1. Fellow Region 5 competitor Underwood burst out of the gates behind its 6-foot middle hitter Alix Auck for a 3-2 finish.
With all their scoring coming in the final quarter, Center-Stanton’s slow start opened the door for Shiloh Christian to earn their first school win as they downed the Wildcats 42-12 Saturday. Former regional opponents last season, the North Dakota High School Association football realignment has moved the 9-man Skyhawks into Region 1 and in only their second year of housing a football team, they earned their first win against their second opponent of the 2009 calendar.
With the continual changing landscape of North Dakota schools, it was only a matter of time before prep sports such as football were once again affected. Starting this week, the North Dakota High School Athletic Association’s most recent football class realignment will begin to show. The current two-year plan was devised according to male enrollments currently in grades 7-10.
The average power pull attempt takes less than 30 seconds to complete once the vehicle is given the signal, but in that short amount of time many tiny aspects of racing need to go according to plan. One longtime power puller found out just how quickly a small mishap can become a big problem last Friday night.
The measure of a team’s season typically is determined by its record. In those terms the Beulah-Hazen Blackjaws amateur baseball team was less than a success going 6-10 overall this summer. Just don’t tell that to any of the players. To the men wearing the black and red jerseys it’s not the measure of the victories but the amount of joy they have still playing the sport they love.