Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The Red Lake Nation football team hasn't won a game in years, but its coach keeps his kids undefeated


December 5, 2022

Aaron Lavinsky

The Red Lake Warriors experienced Friday Night Lights on their home field for the first time in decades this year when the school bought stadium lights. Although they lost in the home opener under the lights, the players remained upbeat.

RED LAKE, MINN. - The final home game of the season kicks off on the south side of the reservation in a few hours. That gives the football team's head coach just enough time to pick up his daughters at school, drop them at day care and hustle home to finish last-minute arrangements for Senior Night.

Aaron Lavinsky

Red Lake players, from left, Randy Sayers Jr., Steve Rainey, Justin Brown, Cade Beaulieu and Brayden Beaulieu showed their frustration en route to a 54-20 loss.

Nolan Desjarlait stays in motion to keep his mind from drifting, to live in the moment. Focus on what's in front of you, he says often. The coach preaches this advice to everyone, and the words help him carry the weight of a losing streak that never ends and grief that will never go away.

Desjarlait grew up on the Red Lake Reservation, a star athlete at Red Lake High School. He is now the school's athletic director and coaches three varsity sports. If a game is happening on the reservation, he's there.


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