Hermantown football ready to defend The Hammer in season opener at Proctor

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The Hermantown football team not only kicks off their season this Friday, but they will do so in rivalry fashion. The Hawks are set to visit Proctor for their practically annual Hammer Game that dates back to 1941.

Swinging the Hammer the last two seasons the Hawks don’t plan to stop now.

“My expectation is it’s going to be a physical game, it always is with Proctor [and] Hermantown. I think both teams are ready to let loose a little bit coming off of the scrimmages. I think both teams have corrected their mistakes and we want to come up tackling, hitting,” head coach Mike Zagelmeyer said. “We’re looking for a great performance with no mistakes, no turnovers. High school football is about memories and obviously this is a big memory for both schools.”

While the Hawks won the Hammer Game last year they have now graduated 12 seniors from that squad, a team that led them to a section semifinal appearance.

However, now a senior himself, wide receiver and University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) commit Peyton Menzel is confident this squad is ready for 2023.

“It’s different not having guys older than you telling you what to do. You got to take that spot as a leader and tell other people what to do and just be positive, help them out and get them to learn the game better. It feels good to be the old guy. It feels good to know what you’re doing and have everybody else follow you,” Menzel shared.

The Rails narrowly lead the 71 game series 36-35. Kickoff Friday is set for 6 p.m. at Proctor’s Egerdahl Field.