By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV
ROSEMOUNT, Minn., (WCCO) — Rosemount is off to a 2-0 start this year and has been in the state semi-finals in two of the last four years, but 12 years ago that would have seem liked an unachievable goal.
Numbers were down, and the team was just getting by.
In 1998, the Rosemount football team had 28 kids on varsity. Today, they have 83.
But if you ask Coach Jeff Erdmann to pick out one individual most responsible for the turnaround, he won’t do it.
“We are going to emphasize team and that’s a big thing for us. We are going to appreciate everybody in their role in the program,” said Erdmann.
Erdmann took over Rosemount’s football program — coincidentally or not — 12 years ago. But he refuses to take credit for the numbers increase, or the team’s state semi-final runs in two of the last four years.
Instead, he and others credit the coaching staff, the players, and the community as a whole.
“We think Friday night football here is as special as it is anywhere in the state of Minnesota. And we’ll put 3,000 to 5,000 people in here in a game with the fans, and the fans are tremendous,” said Mike Manning, the Assistant Principal & Athletic Director.
That’s why it’s not about individuality here because it’s not just the players that are making this work.
“We don’t wear wristbands and tape our shoes … That’s not what we are all about,” said Erdmann.
What they’re about is a quality work ethic and having fun. The Irish are off to a 2-0 start, but aren’t looking past their next game. They have made it a team creed not to get caught up in a numbers game.
“We hope that we give our kids an experience that when their done with their senior year they look back and they just have fond memories of Rosemount football. And for us as coaches, that’s everything,” said Erdmann.
In grades 9 through 12, Rosemount had almost 250 kids try out for football this year. That’s compared to less than 100 in 1998.