CA players recall memorable seasons (with videos)
Honestly, "I hadn't thought about it in years," Doug Christians said. But on Friday night, Sept. 21, Christians was able to recall a game from the Chokio-Alberta High School football team's undefeated season in 1969.
It was the game against New London-Spicer. "We played, basically, in a snowstorm," Christians said. He doesn't remember the score but "I know we won," he said with a smile.
Quarterback Jerry Lindor never saw the game-winning touchdown. "I got knocked down. I thought it bounced off a couple of guys," Lindor said.
Players said Tom Busch caught the pass.
The players were among those from 1969 and 1993 teams who gathered to be honored during the halftime of the Sept. 21 Morris Area Chokio-Alberta football game.
Minnesota didn't have state championships in football in 1969. The CA team did knock off an opponent who won its respective conference in what was a play-off type game.
The 1993 9-man champions did play in some bad weather but the season had its own adversity.
"The teams came through some adversity and we all hung together," Jake Marty said. A player's mother died during the season while a former player died of cancer, Marty said. When the team played in the state championship, the retired athletic director and principal who kept statistics for the team had a heart attack.
The team battled adversity and overcame some low expectations as well. "We weren't expected to go as far as we did," Shannon Pring said. "We lost a lot of seniors (from the prior year). We came together as a team," Pring said.
CA played "coach (Neal) Hofland football" in 1993 which meant it had a run-oriented offense.
Assistant coach John Mithun's son Paul was the quarterback in 1993. "I think he threw 12 passes all year," Mithun said. "They were ones when we needed them."
Kyle Neitzel was a featured back. He set a record for the longest rushing touchdown and the most rushing yards in a state championship game. The team beat Le Roy-Ostrander 35-0.
John Mithun was familiar with the 1993 team because he was an assistant coach but as a player at Hoffman High School he was familiar with Chokio-Alberta football He graduated in 1968. "I played against some of those guys on the 1969 team," he said. "They beat us pretty bad."