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Huskies love their new home
Roy Koenig, Sports Analyst
Roy Koenig, sports wrap, steele county times

The first athletic season is in the books for the new Owatonna High School campus.

“The response we’ve had from all our visiting teams, opponents, from the community, parents coming in, our athletes… Everyone is just in awe of the facilities,” said Activities Director Marc Achterkirch on the Owatonna Live Coaches Show.

A football official, who is also a state legislator, told Achterkirch, “This is the hot topic in the whole state that Owatonna has built the model of what high schools should look like. Not just athletics, but in our academic wing as well.”

“The new stadium is really nice. The turf and the practice turf fields, they are nice. Especially with the weather right now, it’s nice to have turf and not be playing in muddy grass,” said Owatonna offensive lineman Will Wottreng.

He enjoyed the pre-game hype video as well.

“It makes it so much more exciting and fun. It gets you a lot more hyped up and excited for the game when you run out of the tunnel.”

Owen Beyer caught the first touchdown pass at Federated Field.

“It was a sweet experience. My mom mentioned one of her work friends texted her and said they’ll have a trivia night one day and ask who caught the first touchdown at the new field,” said Beyer.

The entire OHS band played for each home game.

“Frankly, it’s the only way to be heard. Outdoor venues demand one thing: power. We hope that we were able to communicate that to our audience. Rather than just a game, Federated Field is an experience,” said Director of Bands Peter Guenther.

About 30 OHS grads joined the band on opening night.

“It was a celebration of our community as a whole,” said Guenther.

He likes the blend of live and recorded music and appreciates the communication with Eric Hancock in the press box through a wireless headset.

Girls’ soccer closed their season with a game on the new turf. Molly Achterkirch called it “super memorable.”

“It was awesome. The energy was up. Everyone just wanted to be there, and we got a really good crowd,” said Achterkirch.

The Owatonna Dance Team performed during homecoming. Junior Chloe Walerius said the artificial turf added a challenge.

“We couldn’t turn on it. It was not slippery. That was different,” she said.

Walerius also said they had to be careful about sliding to avoid turf burn.

Overall, she said it was an amazing experience.

Dance will host a meet for the first time on Dec. 9 in the new gym. Kennedy Katzung can hardly wait.

“I definitely feel like we’ll have a lot more confidence walking into this because it’s a familiar space. I also feel like having that home advantage will help us,” said Katzung.

Samantha Bogen helped break in the new gym.

“We had a good volleyball season, especially getting into the new environment with a lot of updated things that we’ve been waiting to have,” said Bogen.


Mark your calendar

Friday, Dec. 1:
Boys’ basketball Husky Havoc, 4:30-8 p.m., OHS gym

Saturday, Dec. 2:
Danglefest Blue Line Club Fundraiser, 6 p.m.-12 a.m., Owatonna Country Club

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