Velva Aggies prepare for state semifinal
VELVA, N.D. – Velva started its state playoff run with a one-score victory over Bowman County, and then put their stamp on a 33-0 shutout of Dickinson Trinity in the Class A Quarterfinals.
“Us coming out right away and dominating up front like our big guys did really gave them a good push right away,” said Gage Florence, senior running back/linebacker.
“That game was a really good confidence booster. The linemen up front did really well. That helps up in the backfield and made it a lot easier for us,” said Jersey Selzler, senior quarterback/cornerback.
Selzler and Florence have been making highlight plays for years with the Aggies. Selzler said he likes to model his game after pro QB’s Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes, while Florence said he’s happy to fill the shoes of Velva legends.
“They make plays outside of the pocket, and just watching them I like to try to do that myself. Sometimes I can,” said Selzler.
“Seeing my idols like when I was growing up, like Shad Vedaa who played here before. Watching him play, and seeing people in professional sports playing too,” said Florence.
Aggies head coach Larry Sandy said the team will need to bring more this week in order to defeat Lisbon and earn a spot in the Dakota Bowl.
“They’re going to be able to match our physicality with what they have up front and their athletic ability, from what I can tell. From the offensive end, we’re going to have to be more versatile in our attack,” said Sandy.
Florence and Selzler are on their way to college football careers. Although their gridiron journeys won’t be over this fall, they said playing in the Star City has been special.
“There’s nothing like high school. You only get this once in your life. Thinking back on it, it’s kind of crazy how fast time grows,” said Florence.
“I grew up here my whole life, and just the history and tradition that Velva football has means a lot to us. They’ve always been a good football team, so it would mean a lot for us to come out here and get another championship for Coach Sandy,” said Selzler.
Saturday’s kickoff in Lisbon is at 2 p.m.
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