Eight is enough players to play a prep football gamePublished 9:18am Monday, October 22, 2012
Column: Aaron Worm, Behind the Mic
I got the chance to call my first eight-man football game on Friday in Northwood, and I have to tell you it was extremely entertaining to watch. Before the game I joked on the air, wondering if there was an eight-man football for dummies book to help me prepare for the broadcast. It was a fast-paced game with lots of scoring and unique formations you don’t see in 11-man football. A couple of times on two-point conversions Don Bosco set up for the play with a center and a quarterback in the middle of the field, a wideout to the right, and then the other five players lined up way on the left. Eight- man football is brand new to the area, with this being the first year of it for the Vikings. Nineman football is played in Minnesota by area teams, Glenville-Emmons and Alden-Conger, but is not as popular nationwide as eight-man. According to Wikipedia, in 2010 there were 21 states that played eight-man football, compared to just three for nine-man (Minnesota and both the Dakotas). Northwood-Kensett only played three home games this year because of work on its new football and track complex. What a beautiful stadium. They have a video screen on their scoreboard that shows video highlights, pictures and even graphics like “first down,” and “de-fense.” There was wonderful people in Northwood, and I look forward to going down there again next year.
After the 40-19 win by the Albert Lea football team on Wednesday over Austin, the seniors on the team gathered at the 50-yard line well after the game was over. There was a lot of smiles, high fives and hugs. It looked like the guys were taking a moment to soak everything in after playing their final home game. As adults we know how special those moments are in high school sports, and I am sure we all still look back on them five, 10, 20 and 40 years later. The seniors will try to continue their careers after Tuesday night when they face Waseca on the road for the section tournament. Albert Lea lost to the Blue Jays by 35 on opening night but are a much better team in all aspects of the game since that game in late August.
Another Albert Lea team to watch is the cross country team. Watching a cross country race is a lot different than watching any other sport because the action doesn’t stay in front of you, it literally runs away. If you haven’t experienced a race live before, Thursday in Owatonna would be a great place to start. Both Albert Lea teams compete in the section meet; with the girl’s team one of the favorites to be in the top 2, which would mean a trip to the state tournament. Advice for watching: start at the starting line, then find a spot where it’s easy to watch the runners coming by at least twice, and then the finish. Being a former runner I will always have a ton of respect for runners. It is as mentally tough as it is physically. My coach in high school always believed in this slogan, which I know is on the back of an old cross country T-shirt of mine, “The body can only achieve what the mind believes.”
KATE Radio Sports Director Aaron Worm’s column appears each Monday in the Tribune. He can be heard from 6 to 11 a.m. weekdays on The Breeze.