FAIRMONT, Minn. (KEYC) — The Fairmont football team impressed last season with a deep run at the state tournament ending in a runner–up finish.
We caught up with the Cardinals as they try to return to the Class AAA state title game in 2019.
“We just have high expectations, we hold them accountable, we start with our seniors, we make sure they’re on board, and we let the seniors lead and that’s made the biggest difference come November,” said Fairmont head coach, Mat Mahoney.
The Cardinals graduated a number of key playmakers from a year ago, but the squad is ready to fill in the blanks.
“We’re expecting a lot of guys to step up more so. Last year we had a lot of standout players, but this year it’s going to be more of a team effort and everyone is going to have to step up,” said Carson Toomer, Fairmont senior.
“It was good experience for them because they got a lot of scout time, and they were able to put in more work and experience what those games were like,” said Caden Baarts, Fairmont senior.
Last year the squad fell in week two, bounced back in week three with a win against Waseca, and went unbeaten until the Class AAA title game.
This season, Fairmont opens up with a tough AAAA opponent, Marshall.
“We love it, we love playing against a quality football team in Marshall, they’re a top ten football team in Class AAAA. I think that just makes our expectations even higher out here knowing that we have to play against a really good football team. I only think it makes us better, it doesn’t hurt us one bit,” said Mahoney.
That contest against the Tigers takes place Friday, August 30th, in Fairmont as the team prepares to make another run at the state tournament.
“My goal is to go out with a bang, and hopefully end out on top. It’s going to be a lot of work and hopefully we’re all ready for it,” said Toomer.
“The atmosphere of playing in the state tournament, that’s a taste that you get in your mouth, and you want more of it. These guys have been motivated all winter, all spring, and all summer,” said Mahoney.
The Cards have won the past two Section 3AAA titles and will try to make it a three–peat in 2019.