Thompson talent, superstitions lead to state 9-man title

FARGO - Thompson senior quarterback Calen Schwabe has plans for soon losing his follically-challenged moustache - or is it a caterpillar? - since his Tommies won the state 9-man football title Friday."I was planning to get rid of it earlier, but ...
Thompson quarterback Calen Schwabe runs between New Salem-Glen Ullin defenders Bailey Morman, left, and Tanner Slag in the first half of their championship game Friday at the Dakota Bowl in Fargo. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

FARGO - Thompson senior quarterback Calen Schwabe has plans for soon losing his follically-challenged moustache - or is it a caterpillar? - since his Tommies won the state 9-man football title Friday.

"I was planning to get rid of it earlier, but we kept winning in the playoffs, so I didn't want to change things up," he said. "I need to shave it off soon."

Superstitions and lucky charms can't hurt, but they aren't necessary when your team is as dominating as the Tommies were this season. In finishing their season with a 54-20 victory Friday over New Salem/Glen Ullin in the Fargodome, the dominant Tommies finished 12-0.

Thompson outscored its opponents by an accumulative 613-135, with the team's closest competition being a 44-30 playoff semifinals' win over Bismarck Shiloh Christian, which was ranked No. 2 in the state poll, just behind you know who.

Schwabe, also a standout in basketball and baseball, received the award for top player in Class B 9-man football after the game. His performance Saturday included running 83 yards for the Tommies' first touchdown and then throwing four touchdown passes, three of them to junior Cole Sorby.

"Our goal is to play 48 minutes and don't pay any attention to the scoreboard," Schwabe said. "Our off-season workouts play a key role in our success, too. We encourage each other to get better (through lifting weights)."

Sorby had a similar answer for the team's success.

"All summer, we worked hard in the weight room, which makes for better athletes," he said. "Boring? No. If you have a love for the game, you never are bored."

Another key for the title was depth available for coach Brady Schwab. The team has five sophomores who play significant roles and even more underclassmen who contribute on special teams.

"When you rotate a lot of players, it makes a big difference in the second half because they're not tired," said Schwab, with a nod to Thompson's 26-8 scoring advantage after halftime Friday.

"You don't usually see this much talent in in a small school. But the upperclassmen are dedicated and take the younger classmates under their wings."

So, Friday's result leaves the Thompson as the reigning champion in Class B baseball and 9-man football.