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A race to January 9th: Iron Mountain football team excited to be back

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Iron Mountain, (WJMN) – It’s been quite a wild ride for the iron mountain football team whose season was greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

After a long period of uncertainty, it’s looking like the Mountaineers will get a chance to finish their season on the field.

“At the end of the day, we just wanted to have a chance to have some closure. Because if you don’t have the closure you’re going to think about it for a very long time and that’s not good for anyone. So, I guess our prayers have been answered. We have to jump through some hoops. We have to do some things in order to play football on January 9TH. So, that’s what we’re focused on right now in terms of antigen testing, following all the safety guidelines and practicing to prepare as best we can,” said Robin Martilla, the head coach for Iron Mountain Football.

The Mountaineers got to practice for the first time Wednesday afternoon as a team. They only have seven total practices to get ready to play in their regional final.

“Our kids have been great. I mean we practiced today you wouldn’t have known if we had three games this year, if we had eight games this year if we won a game, if we lost a game. It’s like the feeling you have on august 10th where you’re like ‘okay, we’re back at practice, first day, and you just go from there.’ I think that’s a credit to our kids and our coaches..they’ve done a great job,” said Martilla.

Martilla says the Mountaineers will get back to the basics, they’re attacking their upcoming game in a similar fashion to a season opener.

“You know, in that week one game, you know you haven’t played in a while, you got to be able to block and tackle in space. You got to be able to take care of the football. Hand the ball off. Run the ball. Throw the ball. Catch the ball. All those little things that you get accustomed to after playing the game of football for four, five, six weeks. You know, you get in a routine where you’re doing those things on a weekly basis. Here we havent played football in a long time. So, it’s going to be different in the repsect,” said Martilla.

Iron Mountain will avoid playing in the harsh winter weather that we see in the U.P. In January.
They will head indoors to take on Johannesburg-Lewiston in the superior dome in Marquette on January 9th.

“I think we’re very comparable teams in term of, we’re about the same size, we got about the same number of kids on the roster. Twenty to twenty-five kids. I think we’re going to play hard, I think they’re going to play hard. I think it’s just going to be a great football game,” said Martilla.

…And Martilla’s message to his team?

“Yeah you have to prepare well, you have to get in the best shape as you can, but when we kick the ball off, I’m going to tell them right before the game: This is exactly where we want to be. Here is our opportunity, now let’s go out and do the best job that we can.

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