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Deacons enter 2021 season with championship dreams with kickoff days away

The Fargo Shanley Deacons enter the 2021 season eager to build off a 4-4 2020 campaign which ended in the playoffs.

Shanley Football practice.jpg
The Shanley Deacons football team practices blocking during a fall camp practice.

FARGO -- The Fargo Shanley Deacons enter the 2021 season eager to build off a 4-4 2020 campaign which ended in the playoffs. As players hit the field this fall, the seniors can't help but take in their final days.

"I sat in my car before I walked out to practice and I was like, 'You know this is the last time. It's now or never, so you gotta go out there and put it all on the line and work your hardest just like we did all summer,'" said senior center and defensive end Brady Boyle.

Boyle's fellow seniors know that as each day passes by, each practice repetition gives them a chance to pass down the Shanley tradition.

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"It's a big part of what we do.," said senior wide receiver and cornerback John Gores. "Pass something down like that, and then they can pass it down to the younger kids."

"As a Shanley football player we just wanna show that we may be a small school, but we have the athletes that can get it done on and off the field. The rich tradition of Shanley. That's what it's all about," said Boyle.

With the new realignment of high school football in North Dakota, this Deacon team feels like they have a chance to break out in the newly formed Class 11AA.

"Last season, a lot of us came in without very much experience. And I think this season we have the tools and the team chemistry we need to get it done," said Boyle.

It won't be an easy task, and the Deacons have their work cut out for them. They'll know where they sit early on.

"We'll really see how we are after the first couple of games of the year. We got a really tough schedule, so it'll be a good indicator," said Gores.

That first couple of games includes the 25th Street Showdown with the Fargo Davies Eagles to open the season. It's a game both teams get up for, and one the Deacons desperately want to win to begin this year.

"It's really what you wait for. Day of school when you're playing those games, it's all you can think about," said Gores.

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"We haven't gotten the result we wanted the past two years, and we're looking to get our revenge on them and hopefully bring that trophy back to Shanley," said Boyle.

This senior class hopes to end their careers the same way they started at Fargo Shanley; champions.

"The way those seniors left a legacy on the team, ending out in a win like that and just seeing the joy on their faces after they won. I really want to replicate it," Gores said.

The 25th Street Showdown kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday at Davies High School.

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