The Connell Eagles: Farm Boys at Heart - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Connell Eagles: Farm Boys at Heart

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CONNELL, Wash. -- The Connell Eagles certainly have a lot to be thankful for. Last season, the Eagles finished as 1A state champs with a 14-0 record. This year's Eagles play Omak Saturday at 4pm at Lampson Stadium for a ticket back to the state championship game.

The 2010 Eagles make winning look effortless. Their stud tail back Matt Hadley has set a school record this season with 44 touchdowns to date. Defensive end Bryant Anderson currently holds the school record with 27 sacks in one season. More important than individual accomplishments, the team is one win away from reaching its 4th state title game in 5 years. That is in large part due to the team's work ethic.

"We live in a farming community," said Hadley. "A lot of the kids on our team are raised up as farm boys and know how to work hard."

"We've been working since we were little kids," said Andersen. "So that work ethic, it has always been there for us."

"Ever since I was a little boy I've worked on a farm," said Connell Quarterback Chandler Salisbury. "My Dad taught me how to work. That's transferred over to the weight room. We're always in the weight room, always lifting."

"That's what's fun about coaching," said Connell Head Coach Wayne Riner. "These kids know how to work. Matt Hadley, poor kid, I mean he'll just get beat up on a Friday night and his Dad will have him tagging cows, that poor boy. Sometimes after the game I tell his Dad, 'Let your boy sleep in today, give him a little rest, would you?'"

"I'd always go to his [Hadley's] house and help him on his dairy and stuff," said offensive lineman Tyson Brook. "I think that really helped me out a lot with the whole work ethic and bringing us closer as a team."

"You know we are a bunch of farm kids so we're working all day anyways," said Andersen. "The culture is we love to play football. We love to win."

A win against Omak this weekend sets the stage for another school record. If Connell takes home another state title this season, it will be the 1st time in school history a team has won back-to-back state crowns. If that happens, you can thank their farm boy mentality.