Driven to Win
The 2015 Moorhead High School football season is one that faithful fans of the Spuds will not soon forget.
Taking the field each night as a team bursting with experience, the Spuds and their roster of predominantly seniors rolled to a perfect 8-0 record in the regular season.
The success continued through the playoffs, as they claimed a section championship and advanced to the Class 5A semifinals before losing a heartbreaking 17-14 battle with St. Thomas Academy.
One contributor to last year’s team who will be asked to take on a larger role for the Spuds is Sam Grove. The linebacker and fullback, who ran for a short touchdown in the semifinal loss, carries himself with a quiet sense of assuredness.
“I’m not too worried about our team,” Grove says when asked about the lack of experience on the 2016 team. “I have a lot of confidence that we can pull through.”
When asked what he’ll remember about the 2015 team, Grove is quick to point out the sheer effort of the Spuds in each contest.
“I think of how hard people played. How determined our guys were to win,” says Grove. “We worked really hard and came up just short. It should make us want to be better than we’ve ever been.”
Asked of his impression of Sam Grove, Moorhead coach Kevin Feeney paints the picture of your classic, hard-nosed linebacker.
“Sam is a throwback-type player. A very tough kid physically and mentally,” says Feeney. “And he is a proven winner.”
Grove has all the physical tools to be a defensive force this season. A decorated wrestler, he is in line to break the school’s all-time win record this winter. But first things first… Grove is excited to put in another year pushing his limits on the gridiron.
“I know how to take a guy down, I guess,” says Grove. “When you’re dead tired, (I’ve learned from wrestling) you can keep going and get it done. If you ignore the pain, you can do your job.”
A lot of new faces in the back fields on both offense and defense. We have to replace four linebackers. We face a very difficult schedule starting with the defending state 5A champions and need to develop depth and experience quickly so we can make a run at the end of the season.