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Heath Hotzler, Published November 06 2008

Valley City wrapped in excitement

Valley City football coach Scott Roehrich says the town is abuzz as his top-ranked Hi-Liners prepare to host Hazen in the North Dakota Class 2A semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Hannah Field.

“The last game we hosted was the loudest I’ve ever heard our field for a football game,” Roehrich said. “A lot of the town is behind our kids. Signs are up all over town. It’s a neat thing to be part of.”

This kind of excitement might have seemed impossible just two years ago.

Valley City finished 0-9 in 2006, the final season of longtime head coach Dave Corwin.

Roehrich took over before last season, and led the Hi-Liners to a 4-5 finish. The team missed the playoffs.

However, Roehrich said he knew the team could be successful this year due to the nucleus of seniors on the roster.

“I don’t worry so much about the wins and losses,” Roehrich said. “I knew I had a good group of kids that played hard coming back. I thought we had a chance of having a pretty good year. I thought we would be able to compete.”

The Hi-Liners (10-0) rolled through the regular season, before defeating Dickinson Trinity 46-15 in the opening round of the postseason.

There is no secret to Valley City’s success this season.

The Hi-Liners have pounded teams with their Wing-T offense, running for big yardage each game.

Senior halfback Derek Elliott has racked up 1,130 rushing yards, senior Jade Olstad has 800 and fullback Riley Adams 515.

All three have the ability to change a game, making it hard for opponents to game plan to stop just one of them.

“We’ve been able to run the ball pretty effectively,” Roehrich said. “I think it was just getting our kids to believe that hard work pays off. To lay it on the field every time they are out there. If we are going to play football, let’s play football. If we are going to practice, let’s practice.”

A victory Saturday would put the Hi-Liners on the brink of their first state title since 1936.

South to host playoff game at high school

The top-ranked Fargo South football team will host Bismarck Century at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Class 3A semifinals at South High School.

The Bruins wanted to play the game at the Fargodome, but were unable due to the venue hosting an all day production of Sesame Street Live – Elmo Makes Music.

The forecast for Saturday is 29 degrees with a 30 percent chance of snow. Gusty winds could also be a factor, according to weather.com.

South has won three of the last four Class 3A championships. The Bruins (8-1) have won eight in a row.

Century (7-3) defeated Wahpeton 27-21 in the first round of the playoffs.

Odds and ends

Hillsboro’s Ashley Doeden was named District 3 volleyball senior of the year. Hatton-Northwood coach Jodi Lloyd was named District 3 coach of the year.

Readers can reach Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562 or hhotzler@forumcomm.com. Hotzler’s blogs can be found

at www.areavoices.com