Team-first mentality fuels Sting

Sports Reporter

by Eric Oslund

Sports Reporter

It’s hard to believe the Spectrum Sting were looking to further improve their efforts after a 56-26 blowout win over St. Paul-Humboldt in their first game of the 2017 regular season, but that’s exactly what their mindset was on Sept. 8 when Minneapolis Roosevelt came to town.

Neither Spectrum’s players nor coaches were happy that they gave up 26 points in the game, or that they were only able to score eight in the second half after wracking up a 48-8 lead in the first.

Dillon Swenson takes the field against Minneapolis Roosevelt through the cheers and high fives of his teammates. (Photo by Eric Oslund) Alex Glenn scored the first two touchdowns for the Sting in their game against Minneapolis Roosevelt. (Photo by Eric Oslund) Fisher Marberg drops a Minneapolis Roosevelt player for a safety after Gunner Maas' kickoff pinned them at their own 5-yard line. (Photo by Eric Oslund) Carsten Cross brings down a Minneapolis Roosevelt ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage. (Photo by Eric Oslund) Parker Stockwell (10) throws the block that springs Sam Cooper (44) for a touchdown. (Photo by Eric Oslund)
Fisher Marberg drops a Minneapolis Roosevelt player for a safety after Gunner Maas' kickoff pinned them at their own 5-yard line. (Photo by Eric Oslund)

The scoreboard at halftime looked much the same Week 2 as it did Week 1, with the Sting leading Roosevelt 40-0 at the break, but it’s what happened after that tells the story of this team and their pursuit to achieve perfection.

They came out in the second half of the game and kept the pedal down. They didn’t take things easy, or anticipate they would win the game, they continued to battle on both sides of the ball. Attacking their opponents as if the game was still tied. A mentality that continued to carry over even as the starters left the game and the No. 2’s took over.

“As a team, we talked about everyone selling out and everybody giving great mental and physical effort on every play, no matter who was in the game and no matter what the score was,” head coach Seth Mills said. “We wanted to establish who we were, and for the program to be involved, not just the starters.”

It was a mentality that began with the coaches and seniors on this team, and ended up resonating throughout. All three facets appeared to be playing with a chip on their shoulders, and working alongside each other to make sure the team succeeded, not just the individual.

Special teams was making an impact, which would then lead to a big play on defense, which would in turn spark a touchdown by the offense. Everyone was working for one another, and there is nothing that will make a coach happier than seeing that.

“That was the beautiful thing of the guys playing a team role,” Mills explained. “If Fisher (Marberg) is getting yards then that also means (Sam) Cooper is blocking well and (Alex) Glenn is blocking well, and the line, and vice versa the other way. I think that’s the beautiful thing about it. When all three facets of the game are clicking, then it’s hard to defend. Also it’s an ultimate representation of how it played out. It was a total team effort and I really think they bought into that. Everyone was happy, no one was thinking they need to get more carries, or more exposure. Everybody was talking and understood what was there and what wasn’t. I think it was a good mental approach by all of them, being mature like that and selling out for the good of the team.”

The Sting would power through to a 56-7 victory, which improved them to 2-0 on the season, with Roosevelt’s only touchdown coming with 1:36 remaining in the game when one of Spectrum’s second-string defensive backs misread a pass play in front of him.

It was the type of team-oriented, dominating effort that Mills loves to see from his players, and he knows they will be tough to beat if they continue to play that way.