Denfeld News

Sept. 2, 2011
Duluth News Tribune

Construction and merger make Denfeld a work in progress
By Rick Weegman

Duluth Denfeld football players have served as delivery boys at times this summer, transporting equipment from the now-closed Duluth Central High School to their renovated digs in West Duluth.

With entry into most areas of Denfeld prohibited by ongoing construction, including the weight and film rooms, and with practice times constantly changing and various other nagging issues revolving around the reduction in schools, the football team would seem to have a ready-made crutch to explain away a poor season.

But the Hunters — whether home-grown West Duluthians or transplanted — haven’t let the problems take their focus away from the upcoming season.

“We haven’t worried about those little things,” senior running back Nate Beaulieu said. “It’s still a work in progress and we understand that the transition is still happening. Good teams improvise to adjust to what they have. Right now, we’re doing the best with what we have.”

After a one-year hiatus, Denfeld opens the season at Hermantown tonight. Team captains say the school closing and integration of Denfeld and Central students never caused any problems among teammates.

“It’s been really fun for me, meeting a bunch of football players across town,” senior running back-cornerback Graham Whiting said. “There’s nothing really different between us. Once the (2010) season started we were all meshing, all playing as one. This year, it’s just carried on.”

Beaulieu played on Central’s varsity in 2009, losing to Denfeld in the final meeting between the schools, and then played alongside his new teammates during a 5-4 campaign last season.

“For me, the school switching around wasn’t a big deal,” he said. “This is a team thing. We all love the game of football. We’re here for an education, and it’s a bonus playing football.”

Key returning players include quarterback Nick Lavigne, receivers Scott Nelson and Jerome Strother and linemen Matt Macgregor, Ryan Watson, Dan Klaas, Dan Voss and Robert Crawford.

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