Chaska football celebrates 5A semifinals appearance - KMSP-TV

Chaska football fans celebrate despite loss

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CHASKA, Minn. (KMSP) -

Chaska made a State high school football tournament appearance for the first time since 1974, and despite falling to Brainerd by one point, the entire community caught Hawk Fever.

For many Chaska football fans, the Metrodome is tantamount to foreign soil -- they had yet to have a chance to support their team in a playoff game. Regardless of the 20-19 loss, most fans say they'll still savor this moment.

The Chaska Hawks beat Fridley Grace, now called Totino Grace, in 1974, earning them a championship spot, eventually losing to Alexandria at Parade Stadium when Jeff Soderlind was just a freshman.

"I think they scored at the end, but it ended not being too close of a game," he recalled.

Fast forward to 2013. After an undefeated season, the Hawks made it to the Class 5A semifinals, their first playoffs appearance in 39 years.

Before the game, fans young and old in Chaska enjoyed a pregame meal at Cuzzy's and talked Hawks football, citing the special relationship head coach Lambert Brown shares with his team.

At Chaska High School, students loaded onto buses headed for the Metrodome, furiously publishing their excitement on Twitter.

"I think there are ton of high school players and coaches that wish they were in this position right now," Brown said.

While coach Brown wants to win more games, he hopes the lessons like team work and character building are more important to his players.

"Lessons they're going to take with them when they go off to college, in the future when they are husbands and fathers," Brown said.

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