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Coaches Corner Week 11

By Coach Lombardi, 08/23/14, 3:15PM CDT

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Two nights ago, a group of players took TCF field and poured every ounce of what they had onto a field and came up short. The disappointment and sadness shown by them, parents, fans, staff, faculty and the community was as painful as any night will be for those involved, but it also showed just how much that team and those Seniors did for Maple Grove. From the time they came in three years ago to the final seconds they left the field, the group of seniors that left that field transformed and developed a culture throughout our school and football program that has allowed those around it to believe and flourish. Maple Grove has truly become a family and for that I cannot be prouder of a group of young men than those you witnessed on Thursday night.

The passion, love and heart they have poured into ETS, summer, the season, the community, and each other is unparalleled and they carry themselves in a manner every day throughout the school that makes me proud to be their leader. Even though on the field, the result was not what we wanted and we still are fighting tears at different times of the day, seeing those stands filled as students and parents waited after the game and hearing the fans chant "Crimson Family" at the end showed what a great high school truly is. These boys helped develop that spirit through hard work, dedication, class, confidence, and doing things the right way, and they should be forever proud because they were handed nothing and earned every ounce of what they received.

To all of the seniors, you have left a legacy that will ring throughout the halls of Maple Grove for as long as that building is standing, and for that you should always be proud. I know I will always be. I want to thank the parents, family members, administration, student body, youth program, community members and businesses who have all made unbelievable sacrifices to help Maple Grove football to seek a standard that we want to become. We hope daily to make you proud, but we can never do it without you believing. But most of all, I want to thank the players. Words cannot describe the love I have in my heart for you and the appreciation I have in everything you have done. To watch you achieve a 19-2 record over the last two years, win two conference titles, a trip to state, and make Maple Grove a program worth talking about within our community and out has been so rewarding for me because I know all you did to get us there. Remain leaders! Remain Dreamers! and Please, always approach everything like a champion. Even though you will have moments of disappointment like Thursday, you will never have a moment of regret because you know you poured every ounce of your heart into something that was a worthy cause. Your approach and love for each other has showed many just how a team can come together and achieve things that others did not think possible at times in their lives. What makes me proud is now it is how you are approaching life, not just football, and you truly became men. You are forever attitude changers, and you can go to bed knowing YOU have made a difference. How cool is that?! I am proud, and Maple Grove will never be the same because of you. Thank you for being great!

Lombo