Elk River-Rogers football games were a treat to watch and sportsmanship gushed

I attended both of the Elk River-Rogers football games in the last two weeks.

Both games had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish with both contests going right down to the last play.

Since Elk River High School split into Rogers and Zimmerman more than a decade ago, the football rivalry between Elk River and Rogers has become one of the most intense in the state.

Highway 101 bragging rights are on the line each time they face each other.

Despite the intensity I was more than impressed by the sportsmanship showed by the players and fans in both games.

The student sections of both schools cheered loudly, but the cheers were to encourage their team, not minimize the opponent.

I saw many instances where once a tackle was made a hand was reached out to help the opponent up.

Both games were hard fought but played within the rules.

The closeness of the two teams was amazing. If you total the scores from the two games, the teams were separated by two points.

Rogers had a very well-balanced offense while Elk River used their trademark power rushing game.

I have always felt that high school athletics, especially team sports, are a big part of the overall educational process.

Coaches Steve Hamilton of Elk River and Marc Franz of Rogers have taught their players lessons that go way beyond football.

Each team won one of the two games but the real winner was our school district.

We should be very proud of the way our athletes and students conducted themselves in victory and defeat. — John Dietz, Elk River

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