Lathrop Malemutes Football Receive Championship Rings
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Five months after winning the 2021 ASAA Division II state football championship, the Lathrop Malemutes football team has received their championship rings. This championship was the first state title Lathrop has won in program history.
It was a season to remember for the Malemutes. In August, Lathrop handed Soldotna their first loss ending a twenty two game winning Stars winning streak. Fast forward to the final game of the season, Soldotna earned the rematch, and everyone knew what was on the line.
Senior quarterback, Jarren Littell, was responsible for all six touchdowns (four rushing; two passing). Beating any team twice in a football season is no easy task, but Coach Balash had his squad prepared the response Soldotna had set.
“We’re state champions. The first in school history,” said Jarren Littell. “Now, we have the rings to prove it. We can tell all of our kids that and families about it. In twenty or thirty years from now, to look back on that moment? It’s incredible.”
In addition to the obvious excitement any player gets when receiving a championship ring, the senior class recognizes the significance of the game and what so many of other good teams hadn’t done in years before. The ring also symbolizing plenty of memories before the seniors graduate and disperse into the next chapter in each of their lives.
“Just spending time with the team in general, like getting to build friendships that I never thought I would have,” said senior Dean Silva. “Just unbreakable bonds I’ll have for the rest of my life.”
“We definitely have all grown up with each other,” Jarren Littell added. “A couple of us have been best friends since we were four years old. We’re definitely going to keep in contact when we go our separate ways because you can’t break that type of bond... It’s kind of sad, but you got the ring to remind you of all the great times.”
One of those long-time friends was junior, Peyton George, who walked away from football when he was in eighth grade. “They tried to bring me back into it,” mentioned George. “They wanted me to play with them during their final year because they won’t be here next year, and they wanted me to be there with them for one more time.
Looking out the window at the beginning of April, it certainly feels like high school football is far away from its start, but Coach Balash has his players working hard this spring to restack for another season, and for the first time ever, they’ll get the chance to defend a championship title.
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