Mahnomen and Waubun Prepare for Final Seasons Before Co-Op

High School Football Preview

MAHNOMEN, Minn. — Both the Mahnomen Indians and the Waubun Bombers football teams have become regulars in their respective state tournaments. But this past year the two announced that following the 2017 season they will join forces as a co-op in class A.

Seven straight section titles and 25 total trips to the state tournament is a resume that anybody would be impressed with. In Mahnomen football means just a little more to the community.

“It means everything,” Senior Nick Bodlak said. “You go talk to all the old people and they’re like ‘so you guys going to win this Friday.’ It’s just one of those things. It’s a football town.”

“There is a ton of pride throughout the community and surrounding area,” Head Coach John Clark said. “Kids grow up wanting to be football players. They can’t wait for those Friday night lights. We’ve had good success over the years. It has kind of built on itself so kids look forward to it.”

John Clark is in his 17th season as head coach of the Indians. Just about as long as some of his current players have been alive. Although they may have not been alive for the beginning of Clark’s tenure, they know how important tradition is to a small town.

“He’s built a great tradition in the 17 years that he has been here,” Senior Chris Busche said. “I mean it was passed down before him. We’ve always had a big tradition and he’s just kept it up.”

“You here it every day it is all about the tradition,” said Bodlak. “We have a great foundation. We got a great lineup this year. The tradition is just everything.”

A;l good things must come to an end though. Following this fall sports season, Mahnomen will co-op with Waubun in football. Making this last season as the Indians that much more special for everybody in Mahnomen.

“I think every teams end goal is to win a state championship but I think this year its really going to mean something being the last year as the Mahnomen Indians and combining with Waubun,” said Bodlak.

“We’re really hungry to make it the best season that we can. We want to make it farther than we have in the last three four years ya know,” said Busche.

A few miles away in Waubun, Mahnomen’s future teammates prepare for another run at a state tournament in 9-man. And the Bombers know exactly what their strength is this season.

“I think our speed,” Junior John Clark said.

“Probably our speed,” Junior Jeffrey Cukla said. “We don’t have much size but we got our speed and that’s all we really need.”

“We’ll try to out run everybody,” Senior Trenten Johnson said. “We’ve got a good line but we don’t have a whole lot of size there to compete with the other teams. Our line is extremely tough but it’s hard when you are getting out weighed by 60-70 pounds on average.”

What the bombers lack in size they do not lack in success. Waubun has won three section titles in the last 10 years including a trip to the state semifinals last fall. The goal for the Bombers is nothing short of a return to U.S. Bank Stadium.

“We are still feeding off of last years almost getting to the state championship,” said Cukla. “That really drives all the younger kids to want to go there again.”

“It’d be great to make it back to the Fargodome again,” said Johnson. “Maybe win a section championship. Ultimate goal would to be to win the state championship in our last year as the Bombers.”

Just like the Indians, the Bombers have a lot of pride in dawning their Waubun jerseys one last season before co-oping with Mahnomen.

“I think it is extremely important since this is our last year as the Waubun Bombers,” said Cukla. “It pushes us harder to go for that state championship.”

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