Posted at: 01/03/2013 6:45 PM
By: Dan Williamson
Duluth, Minn. - You could call it a combine in Cloquet and while a little smaller than the NFL's version, for athletes…the idea is the same. Showcase your skills and catch the eyes of the coaches. In this case, those from the Carlton County Stampede.
"We are looking for some players to come out and have some fun and gain some experience before they go on or try out at another school or maybe their prime is gone and maybe they just want to play a little longer," says Co-Head Coach Daimen Lafave.
"We are looking for speed, mobility and agility and explosiveness from off the start of the whistle. We want to see how these guys can move laterally," says Defensive Coordinator Jemal Broussard.
The Stampede once called Superior home. Now, it is Carlton County. They play semi pro ball in the Midwest Preimere Football League.
"I played high school football for Moose Lake/Willow River and college football for Minnesota-Crookston and one year at UMD," says semi pro veteran Andy Dahl.
"I decided to stick with playing football. It will get me more reps and more training to get me ready for college football," says former Fond Du Lac Thunder Player Nathan Orsburne.
The Stampede have Co-Head Coaches: Chad Olson and former UMD Bulldog Daimen Lafave. Former UW-Superior Defensive Back Jemal Broussard is their Defensive Coordinator.
"Some guys just don't know what they want to do in life and if you still have a passion and love for the game as most of us do, then you still want to get in and do as much as you can," says Broussard.
"Just because you never know when you are going to get your chance and it is a lot of fun. I have more fun playing this than I did playing high school or college football," says Dahl.
The immediate goal is to create a team and to create a unit. But long term, coaches and players hope they can create a future.
"A lot of players in the past have used these leagues. If they were 9-man football, it is a chance to go to junior college. If they are junior college, it is a chance to division two. If they division two, it is a chance to go up to division one. From there, they can move up to the semi pros at a higher level in the big cities or they can also move up into arena football, Canadian Football and who knows, maybe someday, someone will get to the NFL," says Co-Head Coach Chad Olson.
The Stampede will play their home games at James Erickson Field in Carlton. The team plans to have additional tryouts. For more information, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website: www.carltoncountystampede.net.