Taylor Kunkel

Mayville American Legion coach Taylor Kunkel has led the Patriots to a 22-12 record entering the state Class B tournament in Oakes, N.D.

Taylor Kunkel stood with his hands on the dugout fence and gathered his team into a huddle moments before the start of the District 6 championship game July 22 at Northern Cass High School.

“We came here to win the championship,” the Mayville American Legion coach said matter-of-factly.

Maybe Kunkel’s team didn’t need to be told twice.

But the Patriots head coach wasn’t taking any chances.

“We came here to win the championship,” Kunkel repeated, drawing a series of nods from his players before they raced out of the dugout to face Thompson’s Post 181 in the District 6 title game.

The Patriots seemed to take Kunkel’s message to heart.

Less than two hours later, Mayville had dispatched Post 181 for the second straight day, beating Thompson 8-4 in a back-and-forth thriller that forced the Patriots to come from behind twice to win.

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