Enderlin Eagles set for first season as own football team in over a decade – InForum

ENDERLIN, ND — For the first time in over 10 years, the Enderlin football team is going it alone as the Eagles prepare for their first solo season after cooperating with Maple Valley.

“We’re branching out after about 11 or 12 years with a co-op with Maple Valley,” Eagles head coach Eric Bergstedt said. “It’s pretty amazing. For a school our size to be able to do that, I think, is unique. We are definitely the only team in our region that is its own non-co-op team. So we’re pretty proud of that. The question was always if we did that, would the kids come out? And so far, they certainly have.

Twenty-two players have come out for the Eagles – whose helmets feature their mascot for the first time since 2004 according to a social media post by Enderlin Area Schools – for 2022. With the Eagles on their helmets and wearing the colors of their school, Bergstedt said Enderlin’s team had had a surge of positivity.

“I think kids, in particular, have a bit more bounce in their step,” he said. “With the new uniforms, it’s always fun to find your own colors.”

While the Eagles have experienced returning players, more than half of the team is new to the sport.

“We have 13 new players out of 22,” Bergstedt said. “We’re excited and yet obviously there are challenges in becoming your own team and we certainly see those challenges. But, we are progressing and the start of the season is going incredibly fast like that.

Among those returning is three-year starter at quarterback Trey Wall senior.

“He’s kind of the heart of our offense,” Bergstedt said of Wall. “He does the readings and the calls and all that. He does a good job for us.

The 6-foot-5 Caden Amerman will fill the tight end position this year with juniors Brenan Bartholomay and Ayden Glarum joining him on the offensive line.

Some of the newcomers this season include athletes from other sports such as 6-foot-6 senior running back Carson Bartholomy at wide receiver, who plays basketball, and Kashden Wadeson who wrestles. Anthony Wendel will join Wadeson in the backfield as running back.

Bergstedt is also in a new role as he prepares for his first year as head coach. However, he is far from new to football.

“I was an assistant coach for 10 years and this is my first year as a head coach. I was a co-op assistant and became a head coach,” he said. “Then we have two new assistant coaches. So a little inexperienced on our side too, so we’re together.

“You’re still worried about what you don’t know you were supposed to have done already.” But other than that, the workings of it all are kind of the same, other than being in charge of all the different aspects.

Last week, the Eagles had the chance to gain some experience on the court, with a scrimmage against the Lisbon Broncos.

“It was eye-opening to get the guys to see what it’s like when you’re not going against your own JV,” Bergstedt said. “They had very talented kids and I’m excited to see what that brings.

Despite their inexperience, Bergstedt hopes the Eagles can make a breakthrough in the playoffs.

“We’ve spoken with young people, if we’re not in contention for a playoff spot, we’re going to be a bit disappointed,” he said. “Even as young and inexperienced as we are, we believe the kids who are out are quality enough athletes and, combined with the kids we have back, we can be a challenge for just about anyone on our schedule.”

The Eagles open their season at 7 p.m. Friday as they host Tri-State: Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah-Rosholt at Hendrickson Field.

“It will be a good challenge for us,” Bergstedt said. “It’s a good game for us because we know a bit about their style and know what to expect. We’re excited and the kids are excited to come out and play that first game.

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