by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
When all three District 728 schools — Elk River, Rogers, and Zimmerman — won their football games in the season openers Thursday, it marked only the second time in the nine-year history of the split district this has happened.
The Elks beat Big Lake 26-14, ending a 16-game losing streak, while Rogers blanked Sauk Rapids-Rice 33-0 and Zimmerman rallied to trip Cambridge-Isanti 12-7.
The only other gridiron hat trick by District 728 occurred on Sept. 8, 2006, when the Elks beat Coon Rapids 27-20, Rogers beat St. Michael-Albertville 34-12, and Zimmerman topped Hinkley-Finlayson 42-0.
This feat has been so rare because the Elks have not won much in the last six years, and before that, Rogers and Zimmerman were new programs who seldom won.