It was an honor for the Elk River City Council to recognize the Elks Team 125 football squad Monday. Several team members and coaches made the trip to City Hall.
The amazing accomplishments of the state champion Elks will be talked about for years. I called them the most dominant Elk River athletic team in the history of the school. I also believe that the 8,000-9,000 Elk fans at the championship game was the largest contingent to ever attend an Elk River athletic event.
I told the team I thought they were first-class, both on and off the field. The respect they showed for their teammates, coaches, teachers, opponents and officials was impressive.
Being a former Elk myself (Class of 1967) the football team’s accomplishments gave me a great sense of Elk Pride. Their success had an effect on all Elk alumni. I saw Elk River letter jackets from as far back as the 1970s at the title game.
The Elk Pride extended to all citizens of Elk River. The goodwill and positive comments about the team did more for our city than $1 million in advertising would have accomplished.
The way the team reached out to Elks of the past in celebration of 125 years of football at the school added a nice touch. The Elks let all of us come along for the ride, and what a ride it was.
I wore an Elk football T-shirt to Monday’s council meeting. I almost pulled my old letter jacket out of the closet. It seems to have shrunk over the last 50 years.
It was fitting that the city honor an outstanding group of student-athletes and their coaches. They are an important part of our community.
The phrase “It’s good to be an Elk,” coined by former Elk River High School principal Jim Voight, was never more appropriate than it is today.
Thanks, Elks, for a truly great season. — John Dietz, Elk River mayor