Rise of the Warriors

Caledonia graduate and author Mark Esch poses with head Warrior football coach Carl Fruechte at a recent book signing held at Smooth Toe in Caledonia.

The book, Rise of the Warriors, follows the journey of culture changes that occurred in the Caledonia Warriors football program from the 1980s until present day. A positive shift in the program culture transformed a small, southeastern Minnesota community.  This high school football team has won 5 consecutive state championships with a 68-game winning streak. “It’s possible that disappointments from the 80s and 90s fueled the Warriors. Once they tasted the sweetness of a championship, they never wanted to let it go,” said author and former Caledonia Warrior, Mark Esch.  

But it’s more than that.  Over time, the Caledonia football program has developed high-caliber qualities that are present in all great teams, which has translated to success on-and-off of the field. Two United States Navy SEALs, a pair of NFL football players, and two championship prep high school coaches played football for Caledonia High School. Dozens of other former athletes are difference-makers in their respective fields and in life. This book gives one-of-a kind insight from alumni and others who have witnessed the transformational coaching of current Caledonia head football coach, Carl Fruechte. “He is not average, but he lives average. He lives with humility. Former players want to make him proud, and they know they can do that by living a good life.  They don’t have to be rich or famous, just be humble, work hard, and be willing to sacrifice and give back.  That’s what makes Carl proud,” said Esch.   

Rise of the Warriors provides a powerful, thought-provoking perspective about how teams can win not only on the field but also in business and in life with practical advice.

Rise of the Warriors is available for purchase on Amazon.  

Go to www.riseofthewarriorsbook.com for more information.

About the author:

Mark Esch is a 1995 graduate of Caledonia High School. He received his Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education with a coaching emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Mark received his master’s degree from the University of South Dakota in Exercise Science. He has coached football for 18 years, including 11 seasons as head football coach at Mankato West High School in Minnesota. The West football program won two state championships during his tenure. Mark, his wife and their three children live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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