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Dear 2020 Dayton/Waitsburg Graduates


Congratulations on graduating from high school.That seems normal to say this time of year, but as we all know too well, nothing is normal now. Watching all the social media posts, the downtown banners, and the school pride displays has educated all of us on how special this class of 2020 truly is.

As a High School coach, I always think back to what the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) says about participating in High School activities. "Activity programs instill a sense of pride in school and community, teach lifelong lessons and skills of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitate the physical and emotional development of the nation's youth." As you graduate into this new world of uncertainty, know that you are more prepared than you believe because of your participation in extracurricular activities from your Dayton and Waitsburg High Schools.

To my football student athletes: It is hard to even write down how proud I am of each one of you. As freshmen you came into the first DW Combine football program with 18 seniors to learn from. With such a large team, you competed for JV playing time and fought hard for your positions. And fight you did, working hard to give the varsity the best scout looks possible, and always ready to fill in on Special Teams or even to fill up water bottles. After the run to the state quarterfinals we never thought the next three years would be such a struggle. My love for you grew day after day as you guys defined what the football brotherhood is all about. It would have been easy for you to walk away and concentrate on something else. But what I saw was a class willing to put in the work when nobody was looking, and a class willing to play multiple positions. Playing those multiple positions in a single game, is not ideal or easy to do. Many times, when we would fundraise usually the only student athletes showing up was from this class of 2020.

You will be successful in the future at whatever you choose to do. Over the last four years I have talked to you a lot about football being more than just a game. You represent what NFHS learned from their studies. "Participating in football has shown to give you better educational outcomes: enhanced school engagement and sense of belonging, positive youth development/life skills, healthier behaviors, post high school positive results, developing as better citizens, and school and community benefits." I am confident in whatever path you chose that when an obstacle arises you have the skill set to be successful. Be confident that you can work within a team environment, and that individually you know how to work and dig deep inside yourself to find the answer. And don't worry if you have a setback, you will come out of it stronger. Remember there are no losses, there are just opportunities to learn.

Know that as I sit in my office deleting each of you off the 2020 roster, you will always be in my heart as the leaders that saved the football program. Without your leadership, determination, and love for the game, football might look different here today. Instead you laid the foundation for DW football to rise again.

I will always be here for you.

Your Coach,

Troy Larsen


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