Sept. 2, 2011
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
“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
“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.