Hopson and North Pole build relationship on the gridiron

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) On Friday, Hopson Middle School faced the team that helped set up their improbable journey to Fairbanks, taking on North Pole.

The touchdown run by Benjamin Taaqpak Akootchook-Malabed embodied Hopson's football program. They battled to be here, raising thousands of dollars to travel down to the Golden Heart City to play three games over the weekend.

"You know this was the one that I was the most excited for," said Hopson Head Coach Shaun Cramsey. "Coach Hutch and I we were talking about it ever since it started. This was the first game we were suppose to play. We got lucky we got two other games, but originally this game was the only one. Luckily the Fairbanks league got two more teams involved. This was the one the guys were excited for. They were excited to play these guys."

North Pole's coach at the end of the night told all of the kids in the huddle for both programs that the score didn't matter.
It is the fact that they got to play the sport, and through it they build a relationship between the Interior and Utqiagvik.

"Well overall it's a true blessing for them to come down here and play," said North Pole Head Coach Steffan Hutchins. "Giving us another opportunity to come together as a team and build a relationship with another town. Hopefully for the future they can continue to come down here and play."

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