By John Lauritsen

SARTELL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Sartell football program has been to state four times in the past eight years, twice advancing to the Prep Bowl.

Coach John Ross retired last year, leaving the reigns to defensive coordinator Scott Hentges. And as a first-time head coach, Hentges decided to get someone on board who has a little more experience than he does: his father, Bruce.

“He was always coach when I was growing up, so it didn’t seem odd to me,” Scott said.

Bruce last coached a team 20 years ago. He was previously in charge at St. Cloud Tech, where he coached the fathers of three of the players currently on this year’s team.

“I put on the headset and I said, ‘You know what? I’m nervous for the first time in 20 years,'” he said. “Coached the parents of three of the kids and coached against the dad of one of the kids. It’s kind of a neat thing to be around and watch the whole thing come full circle.”

The Sabres are having success early under the “like father, like son” coaching regime. They are 3-0 this year and have state aspirations once again.

“I think it’s good. I like it. Everyone’s on the same page,” said senior defensive end Quinn Anderson.

Scott knows that sometimes father knows best.

“When he has something to contribute he’s not afraid to say it,” he said.

And as long as the Sabres keep winning, all’s well. Scott says he is grateful his father is on board, and Bruce is more than happy to put the headset on once again.

“I said before he was much more prepared to be a head coach than I was when I became a head coach. And I really respect a great deal his ability to teach. Being a good teacher is going to make you a good coach. And he certainly is,” said Bruce.

Bruce has done a little bit of everything, even playing scout team quarterback on occasion. Scott says his dad’s leadership and organizational skills are invaluable.

Sartell plays Grand Rapids this Friday.


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