Thursday, November 18, 2010

Prep Football Capital of Wisconsin

from today's Waukesha Freeman --


Memory of 2009 playoff losses motivates Division 3 opponents
By Lee Fensin Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – Two football teams that had some forgetting to do will meet for a state championship Friday. Catholic Memorial will take its 11-2 record against an undefeated West De Pere (14-0) team for the WIAA Division 3 state championship at 10 a.m. Friday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

M e m o r i a l as close to having two straight appearances in the state title game but lost to Reedsburg 16-13 on a 13-yard pass play with one second to go in last year’s semifinals. Reedsburg drove 90 yards in eight plays with no timeouts in the final 1:33 of the game. “That game has always been in the back of our minds,” senior guard Matt Baldwin said. “Back at school in the weight room, we even have a poster that read: ‘Reedsburg – every second counts.’ “That’s been our whole motivation all year, to get back to this point, to win and to get to state.”

Reedsburg went on to beat West De Pere 34-27 in the 2009 championship game the following week. The loss to Reedsburg hit Memorial coach Bill Young hard. “Heartbreaking is the best phrase I can use,” Young said. “It was just tough to deal with. I felt really bad for those seniors. But our kids have drawn from that experience this year. We overcame a lot of injuries and are peaking at the right time.”

The Crusaders, with five starters back on defense from last year’s team, have lost only to Division 1 finalist Waukesha West and to perennial state power Arrowhead in Classic 8 Conference competition.

“We had ‘Reedsburg’ written on all of our wrists (Saturday) because that was a tough game to lose there at the last second,” Memorial senior fullback Pete Karczewski said after Saturday’s semifinal game, a 30-20 Memorial victory over Delavan-Darien. “I just remember sitting on that sideline feeling like the wind had been knocked out of me. “Today, we were shutting them out for a while, but we wanted to make sure to keep going all four quarters because we did not want that to happen again.”

Memorial relies on an opportunistic defense that has 35 takeaways this season while committing only 13 turnovers, including a 12-3 turnover ratio in the playoffs. Young said the number of opponents’ turnovers are the result of work in practice by the Crusaders. “We do a circuit once a week on ball extraction,” Young said. “We’re constantly trying to yank the ball out.”

It’s hard to yank the ball from Karczewski, the heart of the Crusaders’ offense with 1,178 rushing yards this season after leading last year’s team in scoring...

for the rest of the article, click here

Also contributing: freelance writer

Photos: Top -- Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman Quarterback Dominic Zanoni calls signals for the Catholic Memorial High School football team. Bottom -- Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman Catholic Memorial’s Casey Townsend looks for daylight against Delavan-Darien on Saturday.

No comments: