MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Orono Spartans are a football team with great team speed.

“We have a couple kick returners, both the running backs and receivers that every time they touch the ball it’s exciting because they could go all the way,” Coach Jeff Weiland said.

They also have a great senior class.

“I think back to the days of youth football, you know, fourth-grade football, fifth-grade football with all the guys,” running back David McCuskey said. “And we’ve always kind of sniffed it out that there was going to be something special this year, and that this senior class had something to bring, so it’s been really amazing to all come together.”

They will need both because the unbeaten Spartans play the unbeaten — and number-one ranked defending state champion — Becker Bulldogs.

“We respect every bit of them, and they know that. They showed it last year they’re a great team, and they got the guys coming back to show they’re a great team again,” quarterback Hank Seward said. “The record shows it as well. It should be a great game come Saturday.”

What it really means is this team gets to play in a very special game on a very special night with the stands full of football fans — and that means life is good.

“You work hard, and the nights you get to play football, that’s just living life, and that’s what it’s all about,” Weiland said. “Try to turn that nervous energy into just excitement and for all the work youv’e put in before it.”

The Class 4A section championship game between the Spartans and the Bulldogs is Saturday at 7 p.m. in Orono.

Mike Max