Bottineau football players learning more about teammates in return to 11-Man division

Bottineau football players
Bottineau football players(KFYR-TV)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 3:32 PM CDT
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BOTTINEAU, N.D. (KMOT) – We all want to feel special. The Bottineau Braves players said they didn’t feel special when they went more than 700 days without winning a game.

After winning two games in as many seasons, Bottineau dropped to the NDHSAA 9-Man division and reached the state semifinal. This season, they are back in 11-Man.

“We get more players on in 11-Man, get more opportunities to play. But last year we did so well in 9-Man, we were wondering what we could do this year. But it’s exciting to see what we can do this year in 11-Man,” said Eli Bristol, a senior wide receiver and safety.

The Braves return many of the pieces from last season’s unexpected run: Gabe Nero, a senior tight end; and Carson Haerer, a senior “utility guy.”

Coach Zach Keller said he wants everyone involved and ends practice by calling on players and asking for three random facts about another teammate.

“Guys come up to me and ask me, ‘hey, what is it?’ and I’m scared of heights, I’ve lived in four other states, I’m not born in North Dakota. Just talking your teammates up and learning more about some of these guys who are first-years. Or, they’ve been in your grade, and you figure out that (senior quarterback) Ryder Pollman, he’s scared of horses,” said Jacob Shriver, a senior running back and linebacker.

The Braves’ season starts Aug. 19 against Carrington. They play their first two home games at Rolette while the school’s new field is completed: even more reason to believe this is a special year.

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