Wednesday, November 21, 2012

For Kocour brothers, it's brothers' keepers

from today's Lake County Reporter -

For Kocours, it's brothers' keepers

Kocour brothers of Merton help CMH win state football title 


It was a storybook finish the past few weeks for brothers Brad and Alec Kocour of Merton. If we're talking "feel good" stories, this one just might top them all.

The two Waukesha Catholic Memorial high school students played prominent roles last Friday for their CMH football team that made school history when the Crusaders captured their first WIAA Division 3 state championship at historic Camp Randall Stadium in Madison by whipping previously undefeated Waupaca, 42-7.

Brad, a senior, started at free safety for CMH and delivered a first half interception that stopped a Waupaca drive, preserving Memorial's 14-0 first half lead. The 5-8, 165-pounder finished the day with five tackles. He played a key role in allowing Waupaca to score a single touchdown in the game.

Alec, a junior, played strong safety on defense next to his brother and running back on offense. The younger Kocour (6-1, 182) finished with seven tackles on defense and scored a touchdown that all but put the game away early in the fourth quarter. That score came on a 25-yard pass from senior quarterback Pat White.

Best of the best

If that wasn't enough good news for the Kocour brothers, the day before the championship game, Alec learned he had been named to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association's All-State first team as a defensive back. He also was a first-team Classic 8 Conference selection at the same position.

"There's no doubt winning the championship was a great way to finish the season," Alec said. "We knew we had a good team even though we lost two conference games in a row to Arrowhead and Mukwonago. We just regrouped after that and practiced and played as hard as we could. It was nice to be named to the All-State team, but I don't focus on the individual stuff. I just wanted the team to do the best we could."
And how good was it to be playing next to his brother in the secondary? Brad said it was a special feeling, especially the way the season ended on the hallowed turf at Camp Randall.

"Not many guys get to play high school sports on the same team as their brother," Brad said. "And we both play safety so we have to work together all the time. And then to finish the season by winning the state championship; that was something I'm sure neither one of us will forget"

Bad break for Brad

Brad almost wasn't able to finish the season. In the second game of the year, he suffered a broken right ankle when he fell awkwardly while trying to return a punt against Waukesha South. He left the game at that point and went home after the game. The next morning, he went to the doctor and was told he had broken his ankle. A cast was quickly put on his foot and he was told at the time that it would take 12 to 13 weeks to heal.

Hoping to come back for the playoffs, Brad started doing the math. The cast was put on Aug. 31. If the 12-week layoff was accurate, his comeback date would be the week after the state championship game.
"I was pretty upset when I found out I had broken my ankle," Brad said. "I didn't want my senior season to end being on the sidelines. I just tried to stay as positive as I could. I rehabbed it the best I could and things worked out. I was back on the field in nine weeks. It felt great to be back out there with the guys."

Brad missed the first-round playoff game against Brown Deer but got back on the field in the second round against Pewaukee. He got into the game for the first time when fellow senior Mitch Meindel hurt his shoulder.
"All the guys were very happy to see Brad back on the field for us that night," Alec said. "Going into the season Brad was one of the key players for us on defense. He's helped me a lot the last two years. I think it got everybody excited when Brad ran onto the field against Pewaukee."

As for living in the heart of the Arrowhead school district and playing against rival Arrowhead, both Kocours enjoy competing against the Warhawks.

"Living here I know a lot of the guys from Arrowhead," Brad said. "It's a good rivalry. They have a very good team every year and I love playing against them. I'm happy that both of our teams won state championships."

Photo credit:   Russ Pulvermacher -- CMH's Brad Kocour #11 going over backwards and keeping his eye on the ball and making the interception with Waupaca's Joseph Nelson #7 watching.

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