Spartans score #1 seed in Sections

Mark Olson, Staff Writer

Bennet Ellsworth (#10) and Zachary Scharf (#69) run onto the field.


As the Mayo Spartans go into the Section Championship, it’s worth looking back at how their season has gone so far and what motivates them to keep going. The Spartan’s work started long before their first game, during summer weightlifting sessions and camps. 

Head coach Donald Holcomb has encouraged the team to be the best they can be, on the field, in the weight room, and outside of sports entirely. He has pushed things such as leadership, discipline, and a winning mentality amongst the players. This team has an intense focus on all of these things, and they work hard to better themselves as athletes and individuals.

Coach Cory Urban discusses the game with Quarterback Bennet Ellsworth.

The players themselves worked relentlessly in the weight room, becoming one of the strongest teams in recent program history. Ethan Lodgson, the team’s strength and conditioning coach said the things that make this year’s team different from those of other years is that they, “bought into the year round strength and conditioning training which has given the team a foundation to build off of.” He also stated, “the culture and comradery that they have together is the best I have experienced in my 8 years being here.” The team has added over 10 people to their 900 pound club, and 2 names to the 1000 pound club, which is on the wall of the weight room, motivating players on the team to work harder to get their name on the wall. The team is very tightly knit, all of the players are close and bring a positive energy to the field. Ethan Lodgson saying, “the energy they bring is rather infectious.”

The Mayo Spartans gather in the middle of the field before the game.

The season started with a huge win against Owatonna and set the tone for the rest of the season: pursue excellence and play to their best ability. The team was confident going into the first week, they knew they were a strong team and had been working all summer to get better. They went undefeated until week 5 when they played the #1 ranked Mankato West. Only serving to add fuel to the fire of the motivation of the Spartans. This was the Spartans only loss so far on the season as they enter the section playoffs, 7-1. 

The first 8 weeks for Mayo have been proven to be good, but not satisfactory. A unique characteristic that the team has is their humility and ability to comprehend the task at hand by maintaining all focus on the next big game regardless of their record or successes. 

The Spartans defeated the Century Panthers in their first section game last Saturday at home 49-29. They are now scheduled to play the Owatonna Huskies at home this Saturday for the Section Championship game. 

Coach Smiley studies the previous drive with the offensive line.

All photos courtesy of Donovan Paulson