“You are part of a family,” said Head Coach Derek Parendo.
Parendo was addressing the seniors from this year’s Proctor Football team on the field at Malosky Stadium on the campus of UMD on Novemeber 1st. The Rails had just lost a heartbreaker to the Eskomos of Esko in the Section 7AAA final game 26-28.
Although the game did not end the way the Rails would have wished it to, the season, overall, was a huge success. The Rails finished the season with an 8-2 record.
In addition other Rail accomplishments: highest state ranking of 8th, Section 7AAA runner up, second place finish in the Sea Range conference, players who made All Conference in the Sea Range: Jack Nikko, Jimmy Merling, Tanner Eckstrom, Alex Greene, Tyler Matetich and Andrew Kiminki and players who made All Conference Honorable Mention in the Sea Range: Calen Porter, Brad Morberg, Joe Thiry and Frank Napoli.
These are all wonderful accomplishments and should be celebrated. However, the Rails strive not only to be successful on the football field but to have an impact in the community as well.
This was seen this year in a number of ways, from hosting the Hylla 5k, providing a community event that is free in the Green/White game to hosting a family friendly Saturday game, the Rails were active in the community.
The Hylla 5k race in particular was a success this year. The Rails were able to raise money not only for the Hylla Scholarship but were also able to donate $950 to the Tackle Cancer inititive put on by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association.
The players and coaches would be remiss in not thanking some people. First, to the parents for all your support throughout the season. The team would not have been as successful this year withour all of your support and help.
To the Proctor community: thanks for coming to the games and cheering on these young men.
To the teachers who helped out at games and attended games: the players noticed and commented on your presence and what it meant to them.
To the student fans: You have no idea how your cheers inspired not only the coaches but the players.
“I have been coaching a long time and I can honestly say that the fan section at the section final game was some of the best cheering I have ever heard,” said assistant coach Nathan Johnson.
Johnson continued, “During the game I lost my voice from yelling to be heard. The cheering was so awesome that I could actually physically feel the cheering. It truely was awe inspiring to be part of that game and to witness our fans and students. Words simply can’t express our gratitude.”
Although the season ended sooner then the players and coaches would have liked being part of the Proctor football team is not something that goes away with graduation. The seniors will always be a part of the football family. They will be greatly missed.
The Rails are not resting however, plans are being made already for this summer and for next year.