It’s been a building year for Williston Football, who’s made strides on and off the field under a first year head coach as the Coyotes look to finish the season strong in our game of the week.

Building relationships with players is a hallmark of a football program coached by Mark Kennedy, something the team has noticed in his first season with the Coyotes.”

“He’s the best. Super cool and super funny. I talk with him every day, he’s an awesome coach. He tries to get to know them and have fun with everyone and just talk about life, not just football,” Junior Quarterback Alex Blume said.

“We see him in school every day. [He’s a] coach figure, father figure, says he’ll be there for us whenever we want, we can always go to him with anything. We hang out and talk with him all the time, he’s a great guy,” Senior OL/DL August Zugg said.

Kennedy has seen his team make strides on the field as they’ve become more familiar with the teammate by their side.

Mark Kennedy: “Our quarterback is able to change the play at the line of scrimmage, our lineman are talking and making calls. Backers are calling out gaps where they’re supposed to be in, everywhere. Everybody is playing faster. Other coaches have said we’re playing faster so I mean everything that we’re doing in this game, we’re getting better at,” Head Coach Mark Kennedy said.

A rapport with players also helps him teach the life lessons the game provides, something he learned first hand as a player at Minot State.

“You’ve got to work for everything that you want. Nothing in life is just going to handed to you. Life is tough and so we try to simulate some of these tough situations the kids will face once they get into adulthood, and we try to do our best at showing them how things are going to be and how to try to properly respond to those things,” Kennedy said.

The progression made this the season showed itself in the Yotes sixth game of the season as a 33-15 win over Legacy gave Williston it’s first win over a triple a conference foe since 2019

“That was really the first game where we decided to do what the coaches have asked. All season they’ve said don’t do what we want, do what we ask you to do and we finally did and it worked, it showed out,” Zugg said.