Esko football heads to state with experience and a top national recruit

Esko football heads to state tournament with experience and determination

Esko football heads to state tournament with experience and determination

After the way Esko football’s season ended last year in the state quarterfinals, they’re out for revenge this year, as they’ll make the trip to Brainerd to take on Annandale.

Although this kind of success has become the standard at Esko, Head Coach Scott Arnston says the job has just begun.

“It’s a business trip for us,” said Arnston. “Our goal every year is to get into the tournament. Hopefully we’re playing our best football. That’s what we’re working on now, is trying to make sure that we’re playing as well as we can possibly play. If somebody can beat us at our best, then we shake their hand.”

Annandale, who are coming off a 14-8 section title win last Friday. For Koi Perich and Esko, just because the opponent is changing doesn’t mean the mentality has to.

“They’ve got a good QB, obviously good linemen,” said Perich. “They’re pretty fast but I think we’re all of that and more so we’ll come in there with that mindset that we’ve had all year, to dominate.”

It’s been an extra exciting week for Perich. On Monday he received his 13th Division I offer from the Ohio State University. When asked about his decision, he said he’s still committed to the Minnesota Gophers and will announce final plans on Decision Day.

Esko football’s Koi Perich talks Division I offers

Esko football's Koi Perich talks Division I offers

“It’s very exciting, you know. Not many people out here get recruited at high DI. So just getting opportunities is obviously very cool. All the schools can offer a lot. So just being able to pick up and just choose what I want the best is the hardest opportunity, hardest choice that I’ve had to make.”

Annandale and Esko met in the 2019 state tournament, with Annandale winning 33-13. Esko looks to avenge that loss and their quarterfinal loss from last season when they kick off in Brainerd on Saturday at 1 p.m.