A BUSY TWO WEEKS FOR MANY

I last wrote a bit about the hectic week trying to confirm all the information/stats/records on the Washburn vs. Mellen 8-player game. However, there was other activity.


11-Player Records:

The same day of the record setting events in the Northwoods down in the southeast-central part of the state Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran/Christian was playing Kiel in Kohler. In a frenzied battle, Kiel prevailed 56-42 but the KSLC quarterback, Matt Breitenbach passed for a state season (So far) high 468 yards (35th most yards in a single game) and he’s only a sophomore. He went 35-56-3-468-6 on the game and his main target was senior Noah Heinen who caught a state record 24 passes for 336 yards (Second all-time) and two scores. That took me only a few moments to add their stats to the record book unlike the Northwoods shoot-out.


500th career win

All the while I was digging for the 8-player stats I was looking forward to the St. Mary’s Springs vs. Lomira game results on Saturday night. Why? How could you NOT know that Bob Hyland of Springs was going for his 500th career win. Springs is the #1 ranked Division 6 team by WisSports and the #1 ranked Small School in the AP poll. So, with this past Saturday, October 7, approaching I began to troll for new stories on Coach Hyland. There was a picture of him on WisSports in a story about the top upcoming games that week from around the state but no story on him. When I talked to him this past summer…FROM THE SPRINGS A GIANT AROSE…THE LEDGERS AND BOB HYLAND (wihifootball.com) he really wanted to focus on his players and not really on himself.

As usual, Springs dominated on Friday beating Lomira 35-7 but there was a plot twist. In the third quarter, according to the Fond du Lac Reporter newspaper Coach Hyland walked onto the field to find out from the ref’s what was taking them so long to figure out a holding penalty against Lomira. They hadn’t fully indicated the call after discussion for several minutes and he spoke his mind to them. That led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and then another was tossed and so was Coach. With 1:40 left in the period he had to leave the field and watch the game along the outer fence with some other fans. The Springs fans became livid, and a third unsportsmanlike penalty was thrown. He said afterward that the officials asked him to come out but then things happened. He was his usual self upon reflection as to him it was “just another game”. He knew the #500 win was coming sometime as others keep track, but he now was focused on next week. But for now, Coach can reflect in his own way he is now the third winningest active coach in national history and the fourth overall. John McKissick of Summerville SC retired in 2014 with 620 career wins. John T. Curtis of John Curtis Academy in River Ridge LA is still at it and currently has 608 career wins. Mike Smith of Hampton VA retired last season with 505. Springs has one more regular season game and if they make it to Madison and win it all Coach Hyland will be all alone in the number three spot, one win ahead of Smith. He plans on coaching until 2024.


The Biggest Comeback in State History??

Next up was an email from Tanner Peterson of the Amery Free Press who asked the question, what is the greatest scoring comeback of all time? I have no official record on that stat, but I have to believe that last week’s 62-58 Amery victory over Somerset has to be at the top or very near it. With 5:40 left in the third period Somerset scored to make the score 52-20. Then a furious comeback occurred as Amery reeled off six of the next seven touchdowns that would be scored. With 2:40 left in the game the Warriors crossed the goal line and kicked the final extra point Amery had comeback from a 32-point deficit. Is this the greatest? Let me know of other big comebacks.


New Players in the Game

On Friday, October 7, I was keeping stats for some friends who are assistants for Milwaukee Vincent. Chanell 12 the ABC affiliate in Milwaukee was at the game as Vincent faced Milwaukee North. I called my wife and asked her to record the 10pm news. When I got home, I watched to see the highlights and discovered a side story about a female, Ava Metz, who started at quarterback that night for Pewaukee. Yes, a female. Then I received another email from Paul Barnes of the Ashland Daily Press who I had communicated about the Washburn/Mellen game the previous week. He asked if I had any information about females playing high school football. I told him about Ava Metz, although details of her performance for her team vs. Milwaukee Pius was limited at that time. He responded that Washburn had a female playing several positions. I then wrote Todd Clark, the WIAA Director of Communications, asking if the organization had totals of females playing football this year. I’m still awaiting a reply.


Having females play is not new but unusual. In my book I had a chapter about “The First Touchdown and More”. Donna Wilborn of Mount Horeb scored a touchdown, the first for a female in Wisconsin, in 1979. In the future there would be a few females playing but as kickers. The most notable was Kassy McCarthy from Waunakee who kicked 72 extra points for the state champions. More in a future blog about female players.


Team Shutdowns

When I got home before, watching the news, my wife told me that Waukesha South had cancelled their season. They were to have played Arrowhead that Friday and this week they were to play Waukesha North. For a once proud program they were lacking healthy bodies. Their roster on WisSports shows 50+ players but the school said there were overwhelming injuries. This brings other issues. At the beginning of the season Delafield St. John’s Northwestern cancelled their varsity season due to have a small number of players, few that were juniors and seniors. They played a JV schedule this season.


MPS has a lot of issues as well. Here’s an example: Vincent has, in combination with other schools, around 1,150 students but has a roster of about 32. At the start of the season, they had 23 that were academically eligible. When they played North on October 7, North only had 13 players out of the school with 440 students. They also had the same problems as Vincent. This is a tough situation for MPS. Injuries and a lack of student support. There are other schools that found the numbers issue a problem and switched to 8-player football. That’s ok if your school is small but not for schools exceeding 200 students. As we get out of the drastic part of the Covid situation and things settle down maybe the participation numbers and support will get better. I hope so and I’m sure you too feel the same. The Vincent/North game was homecoming for Vincent. You would have expected a MUCH bigger crowd than the ones that showed up. It seemed like just about 100 people were there. It was homecoming and almost no one came.

Sad.