Who are we? Hawks.

Where we from? Chaska.

And we are? No. 1.

Jamal Akons, senior on the Chaska football team, came up with the cheer at a Homecoming pep fest, exciting the gymnasium of students.

Chaska had a record of 4-1 at the time. There's no way he could have been certain that eight games later, roughly 2 1/2 months later, those words would come true.

The Chaska Hawks, No. 1 in all of Class 5A Football.

"This one feels really good," indeed. The first words Chaska Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Jon Summer came up with at the welcome home celebration following a Prep Bowl victory by a 10-7 score over St. Thomas Academy Nov. 30 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

A Chaska team over the course of the last three seasons that captured traveling trophies from Chanhassen (three times) and Waconia. That captured the Minnesota Vikings Prep Showcase Series hardware from a win over Apple Valley at TCO Stadium. Two-time Suburban White sub-district championship. Back-to-back Section 2-5A titles.

"Last, but not least, the first time someone in my position has been able to say this, football state champions," Summer said.

Winning a state championship in any sport takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of teamwork. It takes a lot of coaching hours preparing for the opponent.

And it takes some breaks.

Only one team in each class prevails. Owatonna was undefeated in the regular season, looked ready to make a title defense. They lost in the state quarterfinals.

Robbinsdale Armstrong did something no other team could do against the Chaska defense. Figure them out, scoring four touchdowns in a week four meeting. As good as the Falcons looked, they were unable to make it out of sections.

It takes breaks, but it all takes an exceptional team, and Chaska was just that.

Multiple teams failed to score when the game was in doubt. Multiple teams failed to top 100 total yards over four quarters. Chaska's defense was one for the record books.

A dominating front-seven, a secondary that kept passing attacks in check. Big plays just did not happen against the Hawks.

"Give credit to Chaska. That's a really, really good football team. Physical football team," St. Thomas Academy coach Dan O'Brien said following the Prep Bowl.

In two meetings this season, the Cadets totaled 76 and 107 yards.

And when Chaska needed one drive from its offense, a unit that wore down defenses throughout games, they got it. A drive that will always be remembered among Hawk fans.

"They have an explosive offense," said St. Thomas Academy safety Stephen Betts about the Chaska offense. "Three really huge backs. Just physicality, focus, discipline. We did a great job to only give up 10 points. That's a pretty darn good job. We just came up a little short on the last drive."

CAPTAINS SPEAK

One by one, the five Chaska senior captains spoke at the welcome home celebration. The theme was "thank you."

"I want to thank the coaches. They take a lot of time away from their families with what they do, to watch film. They're really smart, and they know everything about football," Chaska's second-team All-Metro linebacker Marcus Holasek said.

"One common thing all of us seniors felt after watching the 2013 team. We saw them lose in the semifinals, and we promised to each other we were going to come back and take that state championship," Chaska center Eric Spielberger said.

Spielberger also noted the 2013 and 2019 teams both had the same youth coach in Matt Arnold.

"He's the true foundation of our team. He put us through so much work, prepared us. I just want to thank you, Matt," Spielberger said.

"This is a dream come true," Chaska senior running back Matthew Kuntz said. "I want to thank my family, my brothers back there. This is an unbelievable team with great chemistry. There's no one I'd rather be here with."

"I want to thank all the fans for not only being at the state tournament, but also all the home games. Seeing the stadium packed, to see all of you there, it was really special to us," Chaska two-way lineman Max Lommel, a second-team All-Metro selection, said.

"I got one more thing to say. Soar Hawks baby," Chaska quarterback Grif Wurtz said.

BEST TEAMMATE

Logan Anderson could sense the moment. Chaska had just taken the 10-7 lead, less than a minute on the clock.

The Hawks were so close to its state championship goal.

Anderson rose one arm, then another, getting the Chaska crowd on their feet for the final defensive drive. Classmates Sam Larson and Max Loosbrock joined him.

Anderson was named Chaska's "Most Valuable Teammate," honored during the trophy presentation. A senior that made his team better, gave it his all, and embodied the spirit of a Hawk.

It was Anderson who started the Chaska championship rouser with the Superfan students on the field at U.S. Bank Stadium. His teammates refusing to start until Anderson had made his way to the front of the pile.

Logan isn't the first state champion in his family. His dad, Jon, was on the 1979 football team at Gaylord that won a state title.

Jon Anderson's best friend, Doug Walsh, also on the Gaylord team, has a son on Chaska's team as well in Mason Walsh.

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