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Cannon Falls' Beau Rueger (2) and teammate Jonah Callister (16) fight for possession of the ball with a Byron forward Thursday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Cannon Falls. Thursday's game was the first game for the Bombers in their inaugural season at the varsity level.

Boys Soccer: Bombers take the field for the first time

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CANNON FALLS – Byron may have walked off the field with a 6-0 victory, but there was not a single player for the Cannon Falls boys soccer team feeling down after the game.

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Playing in a vacant field with no lights or scoreboard behind St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cannon Falls, the Bombers played their first varsity soccer game in school history on Thursday.

“You can see how happy the guys were out there; the guys played their hearts out in their first game,” said Cannon Falls head coach Adam Rueger.

“I’m glad it wasn’t 20-0 or something,” Rueger joked. “Having it at 6-0, that’s very respectable.”

After years of work from the town’s soccer community, the Cannon Falls school board approved adding boys and girls soccer as a varsity, junior high and middle school sport last spring.

In that time, Rueger has seen a swell of support for the teams by the community as a whole. Even the field the team played on during Thursday’s game was a gift for the newly-formed soccer teams.

“The church is letting us use this place for free; that never happens anymore,” Rueger said. “There have been so many people that have done things behind the scenes. Me getting to coach the kids, I get to do the fun job, but everyone else’s hard work is paying off. We got benches, we got the paint … It’s a ton of stuff and it’s cool to see it come together.”

On Wednesday, the team finally got its game uniforms, and once they stepped on the field amid a large crowd of fans, the pride started to swell for the Cannon Falls players.

“We were surprised at how many people came,” said senior goalkeeper Levi Prestegard. “They pushed really hard to make it a good season, so it’s good to see the support.

“It was exciting to go out there. This was my first game and it’s my first year playing soccer. It was a big rush.”

While the boys got their start on Thursday, the Cannon Falls girls suit up for their first game Saturday against Winona Cotter.

There will surely be growing pains for the Bombers, and the boys team admits there is still plenty to learn. But the team and its coaches are embracing the whole new experience.

“They should be proud of themselves for stepping up and doing something different,” Rueger said. 

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