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Keeping it in the family

6 Knights players are related through more than football

 

ALDEN — For six members of the Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons football team, using the term “family” to describe their teammates carries a bit more meaning.

Through various branches in their family tree, Isaac Burgett, Reece Nelson, Ryan Wallin, Dawson Dahlum, and brothers Austin and Wyatt Attig can all use the term family in a literal sense. Through varying degrees, the boys are all cousins.

Nelson, a sophomore at Glenville-Emmons, said it’s cool to play with a lot of his family on the same team — some of them he wasn’t even aware he was related to.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Nelson said. “I didn’t even know I had two other relatives that play on the same team as me until this moment, but it’s pretty cool.”

Nelson and Dahlum currently attend Glenville-Emmons school, while the Attigs, Burgett and Wallin attend Alden-Conger. While some of them have been playing football with each other since junior high, many of them have been on the same team since elementary school.

Alden-Conger sophomore Isaac Burgett is one of the featured backs for the Knights. In their most recent game, Burgett had 234 yards rushing and three touchdowns. – Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

Many of them are carrying on a tradition of playing football in their families, following in their fathers’ and grandfathers’ footsteps. They said being able to continue playing under the lights like the rest of their family — many of whom played at the same school — means a lot to them.

When the two schools learned they were going to play together starting in the 2016 school year, the reception was more than welcomed.

“I was originally from Glenville, so I already knew a lot of the guys. It wasn’t that bad of a transition for me,” Austin Attig said.

“To go from being rivals for over 20 years to joining teams a few years ago, I think it’s went well so far,” Nelson said. “There’s no beef between anybody between schools and it’d be great to bring up the numbers and getting more kids to come out here.”

Through two full season and four games this season, the Knights hold a record of 13-10, including an 8-2 season in 2017. They got off to a rough start this year, but the team hopes the recent Glenville-Emmons homecoming victory is enough to give them the shot of energy they need to finish out the season strong.

Even though these six are actual family, they prefer to think of the whole team as brothers.

“We’re all pretty much like a big family,” Burgett said. “We’re all brothers now and a lot of us were friends from the start and before we even combined.”

Nelson and Burgett talked about their favorite part of playing for the Knights.

“I like how everyone is going to have each other’s backs,” Burgett said. “No matter how hard we work, we’re going to see it pay off in someway.”

“Just basically having that family bond,” Nelson said. “It’s nice to go into a locker room and everyone has that same mutual feeling about it. We’re here to be a family, play hard and win.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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