Mountain Lake Area eyes fourth-straight section title appearance
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Mountain Lake Area 9-man football squad is taking the 2021 season to new heights. After two recent trips to U.S. Bank Stadium, the Wolverines are determined to prove their dominance with a tougher regular-season schedule.
“Last year, we had one of the toughest schedules in the state, this year we have a very tough schedule too and that motivates us. We want to play teams that are maybe better than us or teams that maybe are our level, because we’ve had a few years where we’ve won a lot of games by a lot of points, but I don’t know how much that does to make you better. It’s great to win, but that’s the motivation is to get back and get a shot at that section championship again,” head coach of MLA football, Tim Kirk said.
Mountain Lake Area is eyeing their fourth-straight appearance in the section title game for a shot to qualify for state. The effort will be led by 13 seniors.
“I try pushing kids, I help them when they need it. I’m not trying to let my emotions get in the way, because I’m a senior, this is my last year. I don’t want to get angry with the younger kids, I just want to lead them to a path to make them better for the next season,” Wolverines senior receiver, Kolby Kremmin said.
The 9-man team returns all three of its starting interior lineman, Wyatt Wall along with Kaden Haberman and Kade Wassman who started on the 2019 championship team.
At quarterback, first-year starter, senior Marcos Deleon, gets his call following two starts last season.
“Usually my quarterbacks start as sophomores or juniors, not seniors. But, this kid has put in the time and knows everything that’s going on,” Kirk said.
“I think he’s an excellent replacement from last year from Ethan Nickel that we had. I love that he is willing to listen to teammates, he doesn’t berate others, he’s just a great leader in that way,” Mountain Lake center and middle linebacker, Kade Wassman.
“I want to play the best and I feel like I’m ready for that, our team’s ready for that. But, we’re just going to do our best. I think we’ll be very good,” senior quarterback Marcos Deleon said.
In last year’s abbreviated season, Mountain Lake Area went 4-4 including a 52-7 loss in the 9-Man Section 3 Championship to Hills-Beaver Creek.
“Last year, they handed it to us pretty good. Me as a junior last year, I felt that, I was very disappointed, almost to the point of being mad at it. This year that’s been a real big motivation I know for my group of seniors, even some of the juniors, hitting the weight room, running, just preparing for that game,” Wassman said.
“The score of last year’s game against Hills is on the white board. I didn’t put it there, but a lot of kids are motivated. We have a lot of work to do. Obviously they lose a lot of kids too. We lost some primetime players, but we have a very very good 9-man football district down here. Some people don’t realize it, but year after year we have very good teams. It’s very competitive and when you have teams like Hills, Edgerton and Red Rock - a lot of well-coached, good football teams, that motivates us to play the best,” Kirk said.
The group opens up the 2021 campaign against Red Rock Central on Sept. 3, at 7 p.m., at home.
“Our state team was a crazy team, no one could beat us in the state that was for sure. But, now our competition is equal to us, so every game is going to be a battle, going to be a fight, so we’re ready going to have to push through,” Kremmin said.
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