Posted at: 10/22/2012 9:07 PM
| Updated at: 10/23/2012 10:58 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Esko finished the regular season 6-2, their best record in years. Now, they're shifting their focus to section playoffs. As the two seed in Section 7AAA, Esko has a first round bye.
"Last year, we had to play on Tuesday and ended up losing to Virginia," said Riley Mudek, senior running back and strong safety. "So it's nice to have that extra bye and kind of regroup from the season."
Captain Jared Mattson says the Eskomos are using that extra time to do some homework.
"Some of us are gonna go to the game on Tuesday to scout which players we think are the most important to play against," Mattson said.
Their opponent will be Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin or Aitkin, a team they beat in the regular season.
"We know what they have and what we need to stop," Mattson said. "Greenway is more of mystery because they can change it up whenever they need to because we haven't seen it yet."
Whoever they play, head coach Bill Hudspith says the Eskomos will execute the same game plan.
"Both are solid teams who run the ball," Hudspith said. "We're gonna have to put points on the board and try to slow them down in order to win. We have our work cut out for us."
These guys plan to go back to basics and focus on what they do best.
"Defense is strong every game," said Wyatt Begay, senior running back and linebacker. "We haven't allowed many points. Defense is a strong point this year."
Due to flooding and other issues, Esko had to play some home games at Cloquet High School. But they'll be back at Esko for the section semifinal on Saturday.
"It'll be good. We'll have a lot of fans here," Begay said. "Soccer just got over so everyone will be here. So that'll be fun for sure."