Players from the 2017 Owatonna state championship football team gathered together once again at the OHS cafeteria Monday night with their coaches and families to receive their rings. Coach Jeff Williams said the ring ceremony from the 2013 title team remains one of his favorite memories from that season.

The championship banner, Jostens representatives and a large cake with a graphic of the ring greeted the players as they arrived. Williams spoke about some of the highlights and reflections on the season before giving the go-ahead to open the ring boxes. He also acknowledged the first public appearance of the newly named Activities Director Marc Achterkirch, who is also a member of the football coaching staff.

Williams said he has had the chance over the last couple of months to review video of Owatonna's games in their march to their second state title, a luxury he didn't have during the season when so much time is spent scouting future opponents. He was impressed with how dominant and disciplined the offensive line and receivers were in their blocking assignments.

He was thrilled with how well the special teams played in pinning teams deep in their own end. He spoke of the team effort on defense that led to the 12-1 season and especially in Elk River in the title game. Williams said he spoke with the Apple Valley coach, whose team gave up 701 rushing yards to the Elks, and who can't figure out Owatonna shut the team down.

Williams complimented the Huskies' scout team for preparing the squad for the title game, with how well they ran Elk River's scheme. He said it was a team effort from the 60-man roster to earn the chance to wear a championship ring.




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