CHASKA, Minn. — Eli Mau and Nic Snuggerud became best friends when they were little.
“My mom let me know, I think when I was three, that there's a kid down the block about five houses, why don't you go introduce yourself to them,” said Mau.
“It made it pretty easy when Eli came down, rang the doorbell and asked if I wanted to do something,” said Snuggerud. “That's how it all started and we've been hanging out pretty much every day since.”
They played youth sports together and against each other. The two actually attended different elementary schools in the Chaska district, but stayed best buds.
They are still friends even when their teams are big rivals on the prep football field. Eli is a senior top linebacker for Chanhassen while Nic is a star player for Chaska.
“It’s fun to look across and see Eli. Usually we just laugh,” said Snuggerud. “I think the most important thing is we get a chance play each other again. That's all that really matters to us even if there’s zero fans. It’s better than not playing at all because the rivalry matters and it’s fun playing each other.”
Not even COVID-19 can keep them apart, or stop the good-natured pregame fun their parents started and still do in preparation for their district matchup. Friends for life with football sprinkled in.