Holstein football has been one of the best teams in the state. Basically every time we watched them, this team led by 15 talented seniors, has been in complete control.
But there’s one time that they weren’t in control — the 2016 Dakota Bowl.
“I remember just watching the seniors, just seeing their faces, and I just don’t want that to happen this year,” says senior Tayt Wolding
The obvious similarity between this Friday and 2016 is it’s the same team standing in New Salem’s way, but maybe the crucial difference is that this year’s team is walking into the Fargodome with some more experience and perspective.
“Last time we were maybe caught up in the moment a little bit, and I think this time it’s a little bit more of a business deal for us,” says head coach Steve Kleinjan
Because the team isn’t ready to settle for just making it back to Fargo.
“It was expected that we were supposed to get there,” says Wolding. “This year, we don’t just want to get there. We want to win.”
“It’s a one-week season,” senior Evan Henke adds. “So any time if we have two halves like the first half of Ray, your season’s over. We know we can’t do that this Friday.”
Regardless of Friday’s outcome, the harsh reality is this will be the last time we see this group of seniors on the field together. The end of a long era.
“It’s been a fun ride, especially for my last season,” says Henke. “I wouldn’t want to spend it with any other group of guys. It’s truly been a fun year.”
“These guys have been such a great part of our program,” says Kleinjan. “They’ve given so much to us. They’ve given so much to the two schools and two communities. It’s going to be really difficult to watch those guys walk off that field for the last time.”
But all of them agree that going out on top will make that walk a lot easier.
Kickoff against Thompson will be right at noon on Friday.