Hunters Baseball Team Prepare For Historic Trip to State
Duluth Denfeld will play Monticello in the first round on Thursday morning.
DULUTH, Minn. – After beating Grand Rapids for the 7AAA title, Duluth Denfeld is preparing for its first trip to state in 65 years and are just enjoying every part of the journey.
“Just getting pulled over by just random people saying how much it means to them and the community and it’s something that as a head coach, you don’t always notice that as much. It’s really great to see how much that means to them and seeing the reaction from the kids after the game and how much work the seniors have put in over the years, it’s just awesome to be able to do that as a team,” head coach Cal Fougner said.
“It’s like a dream come true. Going to Indiana for little league is one thing, but making it to the state championship is just a little better than going to Indiana. But as a senior, it’s one of the best things that could ever happen,” senior Matt Rukavina said.
The Hunters are unseeded for this week’s tournament and will play No. 1 seed Monticello, who is making its state tournament debut.
While the Hunters know that their defense is their strength, they know that the biggest thing they can do at state is to have fun and play loose.
“We’re all really close. We’re a close group of guys, we’re all good friends. I think it’s just really easy not to get mad at each other, to lift each other up if we’re making mistakes and just play our best game,” senior Eric Gibson said.
“We play better when we play loose, and the state tournament is something that there’s not a lot of kids that get to experience that so you might as well go down there and enjoy it, win or lose, just go down there and have fun,” Fougner added.
Duluth Denfeld and Monticello will play on Thursday at Siebert Field. First pitch is set for 10 a.m.