It’s been said that once you climb the mountain, the second time up can be much easier. Those words can perfectly describe this year’s Langdon-Edmore-Munich Cardinals 2019 football team. The Cards, who won their first-ever State Class A 11-Man title last season in a thriller over Hillsboro-Central Valley, proved that it can be much easier trying to run the table a second time. The Cardinals did not have a close game all season (their closest game was 28 points) in winning their second straight crown with a 42-14 victory over Bishop Ryan at the Dakota Bowl at the Fargodome on November 15. With the win, the Cards ended their season with a perfect record of 13-0. They now have a winning streak of 25 games going back to the state championship game of 2017.
By Jake Kulland
Langdon-Edmore-Munich had 11 players on their roster that had title game experience from the 2017-18 championship game run. That veteran leadership has shown through all fall, especially in their post-season wins over Northern Cass, Oakes, Lisbon and Bishop Ryan. The senior captains, Jesse Fetsch and Jackson Delvo, along with juniors Grant and Simon Romfo, led the way to the promised land. Fetsch incredibly played all this season with a torn ACL from an injury suffered at an off-season football camp this summer at NDSU.
When asked how difficult it has been to play with such in injury, Jesse or “Chief”, as he is nicknamed, said, “It hasn’t hurt too badly. I basically try not to think about it.” He said about winning another state crown, “It feels great. It’s hard to explain what it feels like, just a lot of fun to do it again with all my friends.” Fetsch, while playing all season as a lineman and linebacker with a huge knee brace, showed the definition of “Heart of a Champion”. He is scheduled to have knee surgery on November 25.
Delvo, who caught 15 of quarterback Simon Romfo’s unreal 39 touchdown passes this season including one at the Dakota Bowl, said about the title, “Some guys don’t get to play in one of these games once, and we’ve played in three. It’s unbelievable.” A big part of what got the Cardinals back-to-back championships was their swarming defense and about that Jackson said, “We all know that as long as we all do our job on defense, we will be all right. It always feels good to see that goose egg on the board.”
Langdon-Edmore-Munich coach Josh Krivarchka won his third straight Class A Coach of the Year award, and when asked about this year’s team he said, “This is just a great group of kids, on the field and off the field. They’re leaders in the classroom, and they’re not just one sport athletes, they play multiple sports. They are going to be good in other sports, too, which is great to see as a coach knowing that these guys will put the time and effort into everything they do. To win back-to-back titles is a pretty rare feat, and it’s very special for all our guys. It hasn’t really sunk in to me yet as a coach, but I know we’re all going to be living on cloud nine for a few weeks.” And about the coaching staff, Fetsch concluded, “Our coaches are great. To come out and work hard for them at practice every day- they chew our butts once in awhile, but to win two out of three state championships makes it all worth it.”
The Cardinals have climbed the mountain twice. Next year, with another great team nucleus returning, they will look to climb it a third time and make it back-to-back-to-back. Along with Fetsch and Delvo, hats off to Cardinals seniors Sean Gette, Brett Myers, Noah Anderson, Sid Ullyott, Peyton Ullyott, Alex Feil and Wyatt Kartes on ending their careers with a second state championship trophy. It’s an experience they all will remember for the rest of their lives.