Esko football focused on follow through after two straight state trips

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The Esko football team has seen a ton of success the past two years putting up back-to-back undefeated regular seasons with state tournament berths.

However the goal of winning a state title hasn’t changed, and after falling in the Class AAA quarterfinals last year the hunger to get to that next step is more than ever.

“The last couple of years the losses have come because we weren’t paying attention to the details,” head coach Scott Arnston explained. “We really got to do a better job at practice, making sure those little things are taken care of. I don’t think at the end of the year we’ve always been the best Esko team we could be. So that’s really our focus is that we’re playing our best football at the end of the year.”

Esko fell in the Class AAA state semifinals in 2021.

The responsibility of finding that end of season energy doesn’t just fall on the coaching staff, but also this season’s senior captains. They include quarterback and linebacker Joey Antonutti who last season posted a team best 21 tackles.

“Our last two years were both successful years for us, we just haven’t been able to get the job done,” Antonutti explained. “Pretty much everyone here has got the same goal in mind starting off day one. We’re looking to get back to the state tournament and hopefully take home first. We just make it to the state tournament and then can’t follow through, and this year we just need to focus on following through.”

Esko kicks off their season Thursday, August 31 visiting Duluth East.