|11/6/2012 10:23:00 AM|
Youngest Lions are undefeated league champions
by S. Lee Epps
|Spring Grove players celebrate in the end zone at Winona State where they completed their undefeated run to the 2012 championship of the Morrie Miller Youth Tackle Football League.|
defender Reese Crouch #76 fights off a blocker while Alex Folz makes a diving tackle in league championship game versus Lewiston Red. The other defender is Dylan Loppnow #22.
The varsity Lions were not the only Spring Grove football players to go undefeated while winning a league championship in 2012 as the youngest Lions - the sixth, fifth and fourth graders - swept through their six-game regular-season schedule and then took two playoff games to claim their second league championship in three years.
An enthusiastic throng of fans followed their 30 heroes and 11 coaches to Maxwell Field at Winona State University on Oct. 29 for the championship game of the postseason tournament of the Morrie Miller Youth Tackle Football League.
Lewiston Red also came in undefeated but also unscored upon after seven games. SG came away with a 13-6 victory.
The Lions had also won the league crown in 2010. Last year in 2011, the team was kept out of the playoffs by a coin flip tiebreaker.
The 2012 season began with a 31-19 win over Winona Blue followed by wins versus Rushford (32-0) and Lewiston White (26-8) before playing in front of a huge home crowd in the Uffda Bowl at Blayne Onsgard Memorial Field defeating previously undefeated Winona Black 31-15.
The boys then blanked Houston 33-0 before closing the regular season with a 20-13 triumph against Winona Orange.
In the four-team playoffs, the Lions posted a 28-8 semi-final win over Winona Blue before the final 13-6 championship decision over Lewiston Red.
The 14 sixth graders were Takoda Boyd, Tristan Brainard, Reese Crouch, Corbin Moser, Camron Sylling, Tanner Thesing, Alex Folz, Kai Bjerke, Noah Elton, Ethan Matzke, Nick Peterson and Calvin Sylling along with Mabel-Canton students Dylan Loppnow and Drew Wyffels.
There were a half dozen fifth graders: Brandon Anderson, Chandler Bergrud, Kyle Hagen, Michael Blackburn, Caleb Nerstad and Payton Leahy.
The 10 fourth-grade gridders were Isaac Gengler, Carson Gavin, Brody Christiansen, Mitchell Reynolds, Garrett Bergrud, Tristan Hammel, Caden Grinde, Isaac Griffin, Nathan Doely and Carter Holty.
The coaches in alphabetical order are George Boyd, Sue Crouch, Phil Griffin, Wade Grinde, Don Hagen, Ron Holty, Patrick Lyle, Nick Moen, JC Nerstad, Kaare Sanness and Myron Sylling.
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