Rebels Reign Awaits One Missing Piece

Chelsie Brown
Updated: September 10, 2019 11:07 PM

Rebel pride runs deep among the Moose Lake/Willow River football program. It's something that's been drawn up long before the 2019-2020 season.


"I wanted to become part of a winning program," said Moose Lake/Willow River junior running back Eli Werner about how he looked up to the football team before high school.

"We have so much tradition and the legacy we've built on," Moose Lake/Willow River senior quarterback Mason Olson. "Add past years, all the alumni, everything they've built has grown into where everybody wants to play," he added about the program.

It's also something that has everything to do with Moose Lake/Willow River's Dave Louzek who enters his 21st season as the head coach. Among the players, he's looked up to.

"He's never mad at anybody, he's always upbeat and if he is, he teaches. He doesn't yell or anything," Olson added about Louzek's coaching style.

"He's such a respectable guy, but you can also just joke around. Like he can take a joke, he'll joke around with us, no one's scared of him or anything," added Werner.

With the program, he's idolized. Coming off their 12th state tournament appearance in the last 13 seasons, the team may have graduated nearly 14 seniors, but Louzek expects the Rebel reign to continue.

"You hear about a lot of coaches talking about rebuilding, having a lot of young kids on the field," said Louzek. "We go through those same kinds of things, but I have high expectations for this year's group, just like last year's group, like the group before."

However, there continues to be something missing among their laundry list of state tournament trips that include seven semifinals and three prep bowls.

"The only way you can be the best Rebel football team is to win a state championship," said Louzek.

Just as it is every high schooler's dream for their team to win state, the Rebels reason they want to win is simple.

"He deserves it. He's worked so hard for 20 something years and he's come so close so many times," said Olson about Louzek missing out on a state tournament for the program.

Accomplishing that feat isn't however what drives this program. It also won't define the Louzek legacy because his reason for coaching is much bigger than football.

"As long as I still enjoying being out with these kids on the field, I'm going to keep doing it," said Louzek. The whole point of being a coach to me is to teach kids life lessons. All the winning and everything else has been icing on the cake," said Louzek.

Moose Lake/Willow River will host International Falls on Friday at 7 P.M.


Chelsie Brown

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