On paper, it was the best season for Rosemount football since 2016. After starting the season 1-2, the Irish won six of their last eight games and advanced to the 6A state quarterfinals. Off the field, the season meant much…
On paper, it was the best season for Rosemount football since 2016. After starting the season 1-2, the Irish won six of their last eight games and advanced to the 6A state quarterfinals. Off the field, the season meant much more. For the community, the team, and junior Sean Appold, the season was played not for wins alone, but teammate Cap George.
“It was a good season working with all the people and playing my first year of varsity football, but not being able to play with one of my teammates,” Appold said, “that made it a different atmosphere. We all went out hard for our teammate. It was a community environment around him.”
George was diagnosed with cancer before the start of the season.
“It was a tough season. There was a lot on my mind because of one of Cap, but I had it in the back of my head that I am not just playing for myself. I am playing for a team and for one of my teammates who couldn’t play. I went out every time and balled out for him.”
Appold played a new but familiar position.
“I have played corner since 4th grade. As a sophomore, I played safety because we were short on safeties. This year I thought I was going to play safety again, but one of the cornerbacks went down, so I played corner this year. It was a good experience to learn both positions.”
Appold usually lined up on the defense’s left side. A year away from the position forced some adjustments.
“It was hard – I wasn’t used to corner,” Appold admitted. “I was used to playing the run as a safety. I had to adjust from reading the line to reading the quarterback and his drops.”
The transition to varsity was hard too.
“It was a big step,” the 5’11” 175-pound junior said. “I was surprised I played as much as I did. I had to play with a mindset that I belong with these guys – I can play with these guys. Most of the guys are bigger than me, but the coach put me up here for a reason.”
Playing both corner and safety has made Appold a well-rounded defender, but he knows where he needs to improve.
“With my experience at safety, I have a good run read. I can stop most runs to the outside well. I have to get better defending quick passes and need to work on my feet. It is a matching game. If a receiver takes a step, I have to match it.”
To match those receivers, Appold’s offseason training has been focused on two specific areas.
“I worked on my footwork this winter and worked on getting bigger. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I would do speed workouts, and I would have been in track, so I did some hurdles. On Tuesday and Thursday, I would be in the weight room.”
“In track, would do hurdles and jumping events,” Appold continued. “I would compete in whatever they wanted me to. Now, I am doing footwork drills. I run, and we just purchased a lifting set before the pandemic so I can do most of the stuff I would normally be doing. It just has to be modified a little bit.”
College recruiting has been modified a little bit too. Appold has an offer from the University of Mary.
“I am the first person in my family to go through recruiting. It has been a lot of virtual chats,” Appold explained. “I am being recruited mostly by DII schools around the area. I have been talking to Mary, Duluth, and Moorhead. Most coaches talk about me as a corner, but a few talk to me about safety. I think they like my footwork and my vision. They like how well I support the run.”
His teammate and friend – George – tragically passed away this spring, but Cap George left a lasting impact on Appold and the Rosemount community.
“I have been playing with Cap since 3rd grade. It was difficult to see him go through that. I don’t take anything for granted.”