Road Logistics

St. Mary heads west to pick up playoff win


St. Mary football team members prepare for the six-hour bus ride back to Dell Rapids after their quarterfinal win over Faith.

You’ll have to forgive players from the St. Mary football team for being late to school on Friday.

Thursday was a very, very long day.

The Cardinals are looking to get back to the Dakota Dome for the Class 9B football championship game for the first time since 2009. After a forfeit win in the opening round of this year’s postseason on Oct. 22, St. Mary’s next hurdle was a game in Faith, located in northwest South Dakota, in the state quarterfinals on Thursday night.

Father Shane Stevens gives the St. Mary football team a blessing on Thursday morning before the team made the six-hour trip to Faith.

Thursday started normally for the Cardinals, for about 10 minutes. Players were dismissed from school at 8:35 a.m. and headed to a charter bus that awaited them to make the trek west river. 

An overnight stay wasn’t an option, so the Cardinals were looking at a six-hour bus trip to Faith, with a playoff football game sandwiched between the six-hour trip back to Dell Rapids.

The giddy traveling party was set to begin the trip, but center Jon Bares was on the receiving end of the team singing “Happy Birthday.” Moments later, Father Shane Stevens blessed the team before the bus left the school grounds at 9 a.m.

NEVER BEEN WEST RIVER

St. Mary football players pose for a photo at the Dignity monument in Chamberlain on their way to Faith for their quarterfinal football game on Thursday, Oct. 29.

For many on the team, the trip to Faith was the first time they’d been west of the Missouri River in South Dakota, and it was their first time through Chamberlain to see the majestic scenery that greets passengers heading into the Mountain time zone.

The team stopped at the Dignity statue in Chamberlain. They took in the sculpture and the Lewis and Clark lookout. During their walking tour of the area, running back Connor Libis said the team took a keen interest in a “Beware of Poisonous snakes” sign.



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