MOORHEAD - Ron Stolski and George Larson battled it out for years on football fields.
Stolski, then coaching at Princeton, played Larson's Cambridge teams often when Stolski coached there from 1965-70.
Five years later, Stolski moved to Brainerd. In the 1977-78 school year the Warriors and Cambridge became charter members of the Central Lakes Conference and the duo renewed their rivalry on the gridiron.
Larson retired several years ago with a 307-66-6 record in 40 seasons. Stolski tied his rival at 307 wins Friday night with a 33-14 victory over Moorhead.
Verndale's Mike Mahlen passed Larson as the winningest coach in Minnesota State High School League history Friday when his Pirates squashed Bertha-Hewitt 40-6.
Mahlen's career mark stands at 308-94-3. Stolski is 307-141-5.
Stolski didn't downplay the significance of the accomplishment.
"Like I've said before, the thing I'm most proud of is it's been at five schools," he said. "Brainerd is my home, the place I love, and most of them have come there.
"I could be flippant that it means you've coached a long time, but a lot of guys coach a long time and it doesn't happen. What it really means is I've had a lot of good coaching staffs, a lot of good football players, everywhere we've been.
"We're just going to keep coaching. If we win games it's because of the staff, not me. I've never carried the ball, I've never made a tackle.
"It means a lot. It would be foolish if I didn't say it means a lot. But it means a lot to me for our guys, not for me. I quit coaching for me when I grew up a long time ago."
Quarterback Scott Ramey said not many coaches can say they've won 300 games.
"The Verndale coach has done a lot too, but (Stolski's) done it in a (Class) 5A school, he's done it year in and year out," Ramey said. "Moorhead is a tough place to play, and he gets us to play hard and play with fire. I don't think there's anybody better right now."
Linebacker Alex Rahn said he was honored to be part of victory No. 307.
"It's great to win it for Stolski," Rahn said. "He's a good coach. I think he's going to be able to take us pretty far this season."
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
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