Updated: 09/24/2013 10:33 PM
Created: 09/23/2013 6:07 PM WDIO.com
By: Laura Kennedy
In the small northern communities of Cook and Orr, football is a way of life.
"There's nothing like it," said Jeff Chaulklin, Grizzlies assistant coach. "I think the parents and kids, we all breath and eat football. I think football is the number one thing."
Three years ago, the two high schools joined together to become North Woods. Led by head coach John Jirik, the Grizzlies have been a force to be reckoned with in the Big North conference.
"You had two communities that were strong in football," Jirik said. "You had Orr and you had Cook and they came together. Both schools over the last 15 years had probably six or seven section championships."
North Woods is not a formidable team in terms of size.
"When we come out on the field, we look like a ninth or tenth grade team because we're so small," Jirik said.
But senior captain Corey Strong says the team compensates in other aspects of their game.
"Our line needs to be quick off the ball. Once the ball is snapped we need to stay low, go fast and sustain a block for a couple of seconds to let our backs through," Strong said.
So far, that strategy works well. Junior running back Travis Hooper found the endzone more than once in the Grizzlies' win over Chisholm on Friday.
"We're not as big, but I think we're a little bit quicker, a little bit faster than we have been in the past," Hooper said. "When we hit a hole, there's a chance we could be gone every play."
"It might take a quarter or two to figure out how to overcome that battle, but our kids are smart enough and quick enough to get that," Chaulklin said.
North Woods has some tough matchups on the horizon, but the Grizzlies are ready to put their best paw forward and finish strong.
"Just stay focused, get to sections and hopefully get everything going," Hooper said. "After that, just see where it leads." in cook, lk, ews.>
Special Report: Hypothermia Year-round Threat in Lake Superior
Last week we told you about signs on Park Point Beaches indicating E. coli in the water. There is another hidden danger to warn you about: hypothermia. It is an all-year problem on Lake Superior.
Park Pointers Still Frustrated with Public Access Plan
Residents of Park Point are expressing frustration again over city plans for public access to the beach through avenues near their homes.
Lightning Strike Ignites Duluth Heights Attic, Causes 35K Damage
The attic of a Duluth Heights home ignited Tuesday night after lightning struck the roof of the two-family dwelling. Firefighters said they responded to 3955 Fountaingate Drive around 8 p.m. When they arrived, they say smoke and fire was visible.
Duluth Woman Raising Money For Unpaid Maternity Leave
Nikki Bollman works at a Duluth daycare center and is expecting her first child. Her work doesn't offer paid maternity leave, so Bollman is getting creative. She created an online fundraiser for her cause. The concept is called crowdfunding and it's something that's gaining popularity.
Minimum Wage Increase Set for Friday
Some area businesses could take a hit when the state's mandatory minimum-wage increase takes effect Friday.