Virginia Blue Devils
Posted at: 09/11/2012 8:26 PM
| Updated at: 09/11/2012 10:43 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Onfield duels with conference foes are something the Blue Devils look forward to each season like last week's victory over International Falls. But when Eveleth Gilbert moved down a class this year, it left Virginia with a bye in week seven and ended a rivalry that began back in 1904.
"It's nice to have that game just to play against the kids you know better than anybody," said Mitchell Sella, senior running back. "I think it'll help us in the long run to be rested up going into playoffs."
Head coach Ed Cremers says Sea Range competition is tough, especially when some teams outnumber others.
"It seems like the big teams are getting bigger, we're kind of staying in the middle, and the small teams are getting smaller," Cremers said. "It's a challenge because football is such a numbers game so it's tough to find games, and when you do, it's tough to find a match that keeps your kids competitive."
The Blue Devils have a smaller team than in previous seasons and they lost a couple of three year starters to early injuries. But in spite of all that, the players still expect success. "We play a lot more.
"It doesn't really matter to us, we just have to work harder in practice and condition more," said Cade Stackpool, senior quarterback.
As far as Stackpool is concerned, schedule changes and a smaller roster don't change what it means to wear a Virginia uniform.
"We've always played hard, we've always played physical, we've always played fast," Stackpool said. "We've always been faster than some other teams. People are afraid of the Blue Devil helmet."
And being a Blue Devil means playing disciplined, physical football. Which they plan to do against Cloquet on Friday night.
"We gotta play the way our coaches have coached us to play, and just go hard and leave it all on the field," Sella said.