October 23, 2013

Season ends on a bright note

By STU MERRY

The cleats, shoulder pads and helmets have been hung up for the season. The 2013 football season for the Garrison-Max Troopers is in the books. The Troop finished the season 3-5.

The team closed out the season Oct. 15, defeating the Mandan High JV 45-19. The final game left a good taste in the mouths of coaches, players and fans.

"Tuesday was a good way to finish," said Coach Jason Mattheis. "It has been a long time since we won the last game of the season. It was definitely a good feeling going into the off-season."

The last time a Trooper football team won more than one game in a season was 2005 when the team finished 3-4.

Mattheis grins as he reflects on some of the moments from the past season.

"We thought that we had several really good individual performances," he said. "Reid (Groninger), Levi (Hummel) and Tyler (Jacobson) were definitely the most obvious, but we got great defensive contributions from Nick Thompson, Dakota Rand and Noah Sloka (when he was healthy)."

One major bright spot was the offensive line, anchored by Koleton Barth, Dominic Ruhland, Levi Kinn, Nick Thompson, Christian Uhlich, Dakota Rand, Dylan Stumvoll and Sam Larson.

"We aren’t able to put up the numbers we did without those guys," Mattheis praised.

The Troop had a vaunted passing attack this season. But Mattheis said the staff would like to have brought a two-pronged attack to the table.

"We would have liked to run the ball better, but we felt that this has been the most solid offensive line we have had in several years," the coach said.

From that line, the only loss next year will be Koleton. "He has played a lot for us in his four years, but we think he leaves that group in better shape than when he came in as a freshman."


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