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Varsity football season draws to a close

The Orioles season ended with a loss to Spring Lake Park

Sam Birnberg, Adam Johnson, and Jacob Stillman

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Junior running back, #15 Kai Mckee gets brought down by two Spring Lake Park defensive backs.

When senior captain Zollie Kaplan looks back at his final football season, he is thankful for all the time he spent with his teammates during four years playing the sport he loved.

The Oriole linebacker, Kaplan, said his favorite memories from his experiences at Park were not from playing in games, but rather the daily time spent with his teammates.  

“I think overall just going to practice everyday with the guys I have been with for four years (will be my favorite memory),” Kaplan said. 

Varsity football head coach Ben Wolfe said he also enjoyed practices and the effort the team put in over the course of the season.

“I enjoyed the work that the kids put in, and it was a joy to be around. I think mostly positive things about the season,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe said he was proud of how the team faced adversity this season and worked well together as a team. Wolfe also said he thought the team truly understood how to play football.

“They played the game the right way, they didn’t trash talk or (do) senseless things. I think they respected the game like that,” Wolfe said.

One of Wolfe’s favorite memories of the season was the team’s first win against Park Center. The biggest highlight, however, was the win against Southwest during Sections.

“Getting the shutout and scoring a lot of points, that was fun for sure,” Wolfe said.

Kaplan described his final season as bittersweet. He said although he would miss playing for the team, he looks forward to building upon his experiences with the Orioles for the future.

“It is really sad, but at the same time it is the beginning of a new era because I am looking at hoping to play in college; so gotta move on to that, bigger and better things,” Kaplan said.

Wolfe said it was an honor to have the senior players in the locker room this season. He said they were leaders on the field and role models for the younger players.

“They definitely helped the younger guys. I think they will leave here with a good legacy for the work they put in and the time they invested over their four years,” Wolfe said.

For Wolfe, even though the season just ended, he looks forward to continuing to work with the team in the off-season to begin again next fall.

“It’s a whole offseason of work and grind, and I am looking forward to that,” Wolfe said.

The Orioles’ season ended after losing to Spring Lake Park, 14-35 on Saturday, Oct. 29th. Park finished the season with a record of 2-8.

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Varsity football season draws to a close