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Jac’s, other local businesses chip in to support Chatfield’s second straight run at state title

“We are proud that the success of our football program is garnering some much-deserved attention for our community,” Chatfield coach Jeff Johnson said. “It’s helping to bolster support for our local businesses as well.”

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Parent volunteers help to serve up food to the team at Jac's Bar and Grill on the morning of Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.
Theodore Tollefson / Post Bulletin
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CHATFIELD — For the first time in over 25 years, the Chatfield High School football team is in contention to make a consecutive run at a state championship.

While these boys look to make another run at history for their hometown, the community that helped raise them is giving back to them to ensure they have another banner to hang in two weeks time following the championship game.

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On the morning of Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, the football team along with their coaches and parent volunteers gathered at Jac’s Bar and Grill in downtown Chatfield for a team breakfast. This is the second year in a row Jac’s has provided this for the team as they have made their way to the state semifinals.

Jamie and Robin Arthur, owners of Jac’s, along with the help of longtime Chatfield cook Becky Irish, woke up at 4 a.m. Friday morning to ensure the boys would have an athlete’s meal ready by their arrival at 6:30 a.m.

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Jaime Arthur and Becky Irish prep a pancake at Jac's for the high school football team before they leave Chatfield for Minneapolis on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.
Theodore Tollefson / Post Bulletin

Irish also has a grandson on the team this year, senior wide receiver and linebacker Sulley Ferguson, which makes this year’s run extra special for her. For the Arthurs and Irish, giving back to the football team and the community is what makes the whole ordeal worthwhile.

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“I've done it (breakfasts for state) for all the football state champions,” said Irish. “The parents and the people in our town are very helpful to us. They all come here and support us to the coaches and all those that come here. We like to do it here every year.”

“What happens today, they're always gonna cherish," said Jamie Arthur. "I played high school hockey, so I know what it means to these boys. I was one game away from going to the state tournament, and we lost the finals to go to state so I know what it takes to get to the point that we're at and how it feels and they're gonna remember this was their lives.”

While Jac’s is not the typical breakfast joint in Chatfield, the restaurant down the street from them, JW’s Silver Grill and owner John Goldsmith, helped provide the breakfast meals for the boys Friday morning.

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Parent volunteers help to serve up food to the team at Jac's Bar and Grill on the morning of Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.
Theodore Tollefson / Post Bulletin

Chatfield coach Jeff Johnson said the community support from businesses such as Jac’s, JW’s and many more means a lot to the team throughout the season.

In addition to local businesses, Johnson gave credit to the local youth football program that helped cover meal costs, catered dinners and covering costs for other key needs for the team throughout the season.

"Being the small town community we are, we are proud that the success of our football program here in Chatfield is garnering some much deserved attention for our community and is helping to bolster support for our local businesses as well,” said Johnson.

For those not planning to make the drive up to Minneapolis and see the game live at U.S. Bank Stadium today, Jac’s planned to host a community party for the game at 11 a.m. Friday.

“We honestly get more people in here for Chatfield football games than Vikings games,” said Michelle Gaynor, a cook at Jac’s. “Most people come in here on Sunday’s after the Viking games are over, but the whole place fills up and goes outside when the boys are playing.”

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The Chatfield High School Football team bus departs for Minneapolis from downtown Chatfield for the state semi-finals game on the morning of Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.
Theodore Tollefson / Post Bulletin

To send off the team Friday morning, people gathered outside of Jac’s downtown to wave goodbye to the buses. The team also received an escort from the fire department and a couple of police squad cars leading the team out of town.

With school let out in Chatfield Friday, the town plans to focus on the nearest television for the game. Chatfield plays at 11:30 a.m. against Eden Valley-Watkins with the winner advancing to the state championship game on Friday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. The winner will play either Jackson County Central High School or Barnesville High School.

Theodore Tollefson is a business reporter for the Post Bulletin. He is originally from Burnsville, Minn., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor's degree in journalism in December 2020. Readers can reach Theodore at 507-281-7420 or ttollefson@postbulletin.com.
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