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The Drill: MCC's Aanenson is a leader

SLAYTON -- Murray County Central surprised a lot of people last year in reaching Minnesota's Class A state football tournament, and Zach Aanenson was a major reason why. Now a senior running back/linebacker/defensive end on the 2017 Rebel team, A...

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Zach Aanenson of the Murray County Central Rebels football team is a tough and focused leader. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

SLAYTON -- Murray County Central surprised a lot of people last year in reaching Minnesota’s Class A state football tournament, and Zach Aanenson was a major reason why. Now a senior running back/linebacker/defensive end on the 2017 Rebel team, Aanenson continues to be both a major contributor and a leader.

Before the season began, head coach Patrick Freeman described his 5-10, 190-pound dynamo -- who rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a junior -- as “the heartbeat” of the team. And he wasn’t just talking about Aanenson’s on-field production. A hard worker and a weight room fixture, the MCC back showed leadership in the off-season by coaxing his teammates to follow his example.

The Globe spoke with Aanenson recently for “The Drill,” coaxing responses about his senior football season, the hopes of the new Rebels, and more. The video can be seen at www.dglobe.com .

Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: What kind of a runner are you?

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ANSWER: “When I run the ball, when I run up the middle, I try to get as much yards as possible no matter how many guys are on me. I call myself a beast sometimes. But when I run to the outside, I know you need speed there and I try to work my moves on the outside more than on the inside.”

Q: How have you improved as a football player? And what goals have you set for yourself this fall?

A: “I know we had a great season last year, but I always try to improve. And if I can get better every year, you know, I’m still climbing but I haven’t reached that peak yet.”

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from last year’s season?

A: “From last year’s season my favorite memory was the Adrian game in the section playoffs. I remember it being really hot, but we pulled through that overtime. It was really exciting hearing those fans. … Winning that game was unbelievable.”

(Murray County Central defeated higher-seeded Adrian 27-26 in overtime at Southwest Minnesota State University to qualify for the state tournament).

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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