Beyond the Playbook: Esko Cross Country team runs 47 miles to deliver game ball
With just 30 minutes until game time, all seemed normal at Esko. The players were getting warmed up, the fans were out in full force, but there was something missing: the game ball.
“The kids started at 8:30 this morning,” said Esko Cross Country coach, Jerimy Hallsten. “They trekked 47 miles. They were quite quick.”
The Esko cross country team took the scenic route from Two Harbors all the way to Esko to deliver the game ball. Both Hallsten and captain Spencer Hipp said the way to survive the 47 miles was teamwork and dedication.
“We had 12 different legs and so we figured well everyone would have to run at about six or so. But we had one kid run 20 today. I mean everyone probably ran more in a day than they have before,” said Hallsten.
“We were probably over planned and under planned at the same time, said Hipp. “We had a ton of stuff set up and it ended up being, you kind of just run when you wanted to and everybody wanted to the whole time.”
At 5:00 p.m., the team came around the corner and emerged from the street. The team of 14 runners made it to the field to the tune of Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” performed by the Esko band.
When asked about the future, Hipp said, “15 years from now hopefully it’s still a thing. To continue a tradition that’d be awesome.”