Week 1 High School Football Notes
Week One of the high school football season is in the books. I had a chance to see Fond du Lac beat Oshkosh North 27-21 and St. Mary’s Springs fall to Green Bay Notre Dame 18-9 over the weekend.
Here are some general thoughts I came away with from the weekend,
First from the Fondy-North Game
I think I may have seen two of the better quarterbacks in the FVA Friday night. Fondy’s Ben Anderson showed pinpoint accuracy all night long. He threaded the needled on a long pass down the right sideline to Sean Little in the 2nd half that was simply unbelievable. He also showed good touch on his 25 yard scoring strike to Kyle Senn and threw another deep ball down the left sideline to convert a 3rd down that was perfectly thrown. He’s going to be fun to watch this year. On the other side of the field, North’s Juston Wara had some jaw-dropping moments as well. Wara’s first half TD pass to Josh Murphy is as good as you’re going to see in high school football. He should have been sacked three times after he was flushed to his left, but somehow broke the tackles and threw back to his right, very similar to Brett Favre in that playoff game in Detroit where he hit Sterling Sharpe for the winning score back in the early 1990s. By the way…how may Wara’s are there in the city of Oshkosh. Much like the Dieners of the 1990s in Fond du Lac. There seems to be always another one coming up.
The Fondy defense will need to improve if they want to be conference contenders. They couldn’t get off the field on Friday night. I can’t count how many 3rd and 4th downs were converted by North. Way too many to beat a conference contender.
I was also disappointed to see Paul Biolo get banged up Friday night.. On the sidelines it looked like he was begging the coaching staff to get back in the game. Let’s hope Paul can recover and get back on the field sooner than later. He’s one of the better athletes on the Fondy team and is a playmaker in all three phases of the game. He’ll be missed, but someone will have to step up.
Also on Friday night I was happy to see Coach Koz get a win in his first game. It will be a great confidence boost for the team and the new system that the kids have been working hard to establish over the last few months.
On to Springs, the Ledgers fell to Notre Dame 18-9 in the final meeting between the teams in the long series. The teams won’t play again for various reasons including enrollment disparities, and Notre Dame’s conference expanding, which means less non-conference games. Until this year, the last few games haven’t been all that competitive.
On Saturday the game was played at St. Norbert’s field in DePere, which has a great feel for football. It’s got the old school lights and the sounds of the game really project throughout the stadium.
This one looked like it was going to get ugly early as ND’s Kevin Rotherham has to be one of the better athletes in northeast Wisconsin. He returned a punt for a score, and also caught a TD pass in this one. He missed a big chunk of the 2nd half battling cramps. If he was on the field the entire game and healthy the score may have been a little different.
As for the Ledgers, I give them credit. They fell behind 12-0 early, but didn’t fold up the tent. They stuck to their guns, and Steve Mueller carried the mail between the tackles to get Springs back into it on a long scoring drive that was capped by a Mitch Schneider TD run. The defense was stingy the rest of the way, but the offense couldn’t get over the hump.
After the game I saw ND’s coach Nowak go over and address the Springs players in their post-game huddle. I didn’t hear what he said, but I’m sure it had something to do with the Ledgers playing tough, hard-nosed football.
Springs will be right there when it comes to their conference race this season.
Here are a few other notes from the weekend….
I’d like to thank WLA head coach Mark McCormick for stopping up and visiting us in the broadcast booth at halftime of the Springs game. The coach made the trip up watch the Ledgers on Saturday afternoon. It’s always nice to chat with coaches from around the area, and please, if you are at a game, stop by the broadcast booth and say hi.
Coach McCormick also said his son Josh is adjusting to life as a Division I walk-on at Northern Illinois. Josh will get to suit up for home games this year for the Huskies, but will have to wait his turn to get on the field. I think that with his athletic ability, he’ll be on the field somewhere for Northern Illinois in the future.
Also, it was nice to see North Fondy have a decent showing in their opener at Waterloo. Yes, they lost, but to bring a program back from the dead, that first game could have gotten ugly…ie 55-0. That wasn’t the case, from reading the newspaper article, it sounds like they competed and took a step forward. The Orioles will be at home this Friday night and I hear that their booster club is doing a big pregame party to celebrate the return of football.
Next Friday night, Fondy is back home at Fruth Field against Kimberly. You can hear all the action on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ. The Trepanier’s Backyard Grill Friday Night Kickoff Show will begin a bit later than the normal 6pm start time. The Packers play at 3pm so KFIZ will have that game on and the game broadcast should be done about 6:15pm or so. We’ll have the show right after the Packers wrap up. The Cards and Papermakers kickoff at 7pm.
If you’re heading to Fruth Field on Friday night, please be sure to give yourself some more time because 9th Street is tore up because of a bridge project. You are asked to get their early and park in the North Parking lot, which is the one off of South Street where you enter behind the visitors bleacher. I actually talked with Public Works Director Mark Lentz today about the timing of the project right when the high school football season started. He told me that it was budgeted for earlier in the year, but state funding was denied, and about a month ago the funding was approved by the state, so they had to do it now. So blame the state, and not the city.
Wow…this was long……have a great week, and I’ll see you at the game!