Osseo perseveres, gets through roller coaster season

The Osseo football team, shown here huddling before a recent game, was set to open the playoffs on Tuesday night against Edina. (Photo by Tom Fenton)

This season, probably more than ever, was about life lessons as well as on-the-field growth for the Osseo football team.

The Orioles were one of the fortunate teams who completed their reduced six-game regular-season schedule, and they scheduled to take on Edina in the first round of the Section 2AAAAAA playoffs on Tuesday night (after this edition went to press).

Osseo started the season 2-1, including a dramatic 29-25 victory over eight-time state champion Totino-Grace. But the Orioles couldn’t keep the momentum going, losing their final three games to Maple Grove, Blaine and Centennial. Against the Cougars on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Osseo dropped a 35-22 decision.

“I felt our young men handled themselves, football, school and home with grace during this time of uncertainty,” Osseo coach Ryan Stockhauser said. “We fought hard each week in a tough district. We had many chances week in and week out to win. At times, we struggled with turnovers, tackling and injuries. At times, we looked fast physical, explosive and in control.”

They’ve been able to score points, but defensive struggles hindered progress. The fact the Orioles completed their season can be considered a victory as 74 teams statewide, including Maple Grove ended their seasons before the playoffs began due to coronavirus. There is talk that Tuesday’s games might be the last for all Minnesota teams due to dramatically rising cases.

“This season was a roller coaster as I’m sure it was for most,” Osseo coach Ryan Stockhauser said. “Dealing with the sudden changes during the pandemic really taught our team about adversity and staying in control of what we can control rather than letting the uncontrollable beat us down.

“Our players understood that depth was a big thing and no matter where you are on the depth chart, you could be a day away or a few plays away from playing, so everyone needed to be ready at all times. This included coaches as we lost a few to quarantine as the season went on.”

“Our group of young men is strong and resilient. They are stronger after managing this season. There will be many success stories that come from this group and they have fun playing the game they love.”

The 2-4 Orioles faced a 1-5 Edina team that was coming off a 29-12 loss at Shakopee. The Hornets’ lone victory was a 14-13 decision over rival Minnetonka on Nov. 6.

“Versus Edina, we look to play clean football,” Stockhauser said. “We need to tackle well, run the ball effectively and take care of the football. We need to limit big plays and control the clock. I want our young men to have fun this evening and create memories. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed in a season like this. We hope to leave it all on the field tonight with no regrets.”

VOLLEYBALL UPDATE    

The hot streak continued for the Maple Grove volleyball team as they earned 3-0 victories over Spring Lake Park, Park Center and Totino-Grace to improve to 11-0. The Crimson have not lost a set in six consecutive matches.

Osseo was scheduled to play host to Osseo on Wednesday and travel to Champlin Park on Monday.

Osseo lost a 3-2 home decision to Park Center on Monday night and lost 3-1 at Spring Lake Park on Thursday. The Orioles (1-10) are scheduled to face Robbinsdale Armstrong on Friday night.

Follow the Osseo-Maple Grove Press & News on Facebook @OsseoMapleGrovePress

Load comments