North Prairie takes over #1 ranking, hosts New Rockford-Sheyenne Friday night

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 4:57 PM CDT
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ROLETTE, N.D. (KMOT) - There’s a new team on top of the 9-Man Poll.

The North Prairie Cougars overtook reigning state champs New Salem-Almont in this week’s poll.

North Dakota State commit Nate Tastad, a senior, alongside his younger brother Brett, anchors one of the strongest offensive lines in the division, but the rankings couldn’t mean any less to these guys from Rolla and Rolette.

“Staying focused at practice and focused on where we’re going to play the next week is the most important thing, really. We can’t look into the rankings. The guys that do the rankings aren’t from here. Shoot, we could be the fifth-best team, it doesn’t really matter,” said Nate.

The Cougars lost to the eventual champion Holsteins in the state semifinal last year.

Despite their starting quarterback and a handful of other key players graduating, this team believes they could eclipse the expectations from last year.

“It was looked at as the ‘22 year, last year. Everyone in the area looked at it as last year, but I thought that this year we were going to be good, too,” said Cole Henderson, a junior.

“You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself. It’s not arrogance, but you got to know that you can punch them in the mouth and give them heck every play,” said Nate.

The Cougars host New Rockford-Sheyenne Friday night in Rolette.