Mission, possible

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 1, 2001

Eric Nyquist was his usual humble self.

Sunday, July 01, 2001

Eric Nyquist was his usual humble self.

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Speaking to around 40 players at the Albert Lea Tiger Football Camp, Nyquist talked of a skinny kid who could barely bench press 115 pounds and was injured much of his freshman and sophomore years.

He almost forgot to mention the rest – that the skinny kid worked hard, earned all-conference honors, was selected for the state high school all-star game, played college football and eventually benched more than 300 pounds.

The point was that Nyquist’s high school football career mirrored his Albert Lea team, which went from literally nowhere to a 7-3 record and No. 10 ranking in the state his senior year.

Nyquist hopes – no, believes – the current Tigers can do the same, and he was at Hammer Field Wednesday to tell them so.

&uot;I can’t remember winning a game in seven or eighth grade, and ninth grade wasn’t much better,&uot; said Nyquist. &uot;After my sophomore year, I seriously thought about not playing football at all.&uot;

Instead, he and a group of friends had an idea. They figured if enough athletes went out for football and worked in the weight room, they could be successful.

It took them one year to turn it around. The team was 0-8 Nyquist’s junior year but followed with the 7-3 season.

&uot;Football is a game of momentum,&uot; said Nyquist. &uot;We were able to take a team that went 0-8 and go 7-3 the next year. Football’s a great game. Recently it’s been tough around here, but you can turn it around; if we did it, you guys can do it.&uot;