Northern Star: Mountain Iron-Buhl Football Team

The Rangers kick off the the 9-man state championship game, Saturday at 10:03 AM, at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn.- The Mountain Iron-Buhl football team is on the brink of history. In less than one week, the team will compete in their first state title game in 50 years.

“We’ve been working for this since fourth grade and everyone over there, it’s been our dream really so it’s really exciting, surreal feeling,” says senior wide receiver, Nikolas Jesch.

Just two weeks ago, MIB walked into U.S. Bank Stadium ready to play and walked out winners, with an opportunity to play on the biggest stage high school football has to offer.

“Most of the guys were already crying by the time it was over, with tears of joy. It was a huge relief and I feel like that’s when the dream come true feeling came in for all of us,” says senior quarterback Asher Zubich.

“Emotions were really high. Happy, just amazed. Everything paid off it felt like. I mean not yet but felt like it a little bit,” says Jesch.

On snow covered turf, the Rangers prepare to  play out a dream that has stuck with many of them since they first picked up the game. Now, alongside their brothers, that dream us a reality.

“We’ve all basically been together since elementary school. We are all really close, we’re all like brothers, we all love each other, we all have each others backs and that obviously translates to the field and how you play. We never get down on ourselves and I think that is the biggest piece of our success,” says Zubich.

“I’ve always been proud of them. Me and a couple of the other guys have coached them the entire way from fourth grade all the way up and so we know everything about them, some of them are our own kids but they all feel like they are our kids so we’re real proud of them,” says head coach Dan Zubich.

The Rangers have their sights not only on making their mark on their program, but also in section seven.

“The focus is on section one. Section one has won every title going back to 2012, except one. We are happy because our section hasn’t been there in 32 years, when section seven played for a title,” says Coach Zubich, “These guys have played a lot of football and they’re not done yet. They don’t want to think, ‘Hey we made it there, that’s good enough,’ That’s not what’s going on at all.”

The seniors on this year’s team first stepped foot in U.S. Bank as freshmen, back in 2019 when MIB played Hancock in the state semi-final game. Now, four years later, those same seniors are the example of what’s to come for the future of the program.

“I think it kind of just sets the tone that you’re able to do this, we’re able to really make that statement to people that we should there and I think coming years we will be there,” says Jesch.

“You know , it’s going to be a battle. We know it won’t be easy, it’ll definitely be the hardest game. It’s good knowing it’s my last game ever, because I wouldn’t want it any other way so that just makes it even more of a chip on my shoulder and for all the other ten seniors we have on this team. We know it’s going to be a long hard fought game, we know we’re going to have to earn it,” says Zubich.

The Rangers kick off the the 9-man state championship game, Saturday at 10:03 AM, at U.S. Bank Stadium.





Categories: High School, Sports