from today's JSOnline.Com -
Catholic Memorial's Young is coach of the year
If you're not careful, you can become numb to the success Bill Young and his staff enjoy at Catholic Memorial.
The Crusaders have made the playoffs nine times in 12 years in the WIAA and reached the state final three times. This year they were once again the smallest school in the Classic 8, with the closest in enrollment, Waukesha North, listed with 478 more students, according to the WIAA website. Most of Memorial's league rivals are at least twice as large.
There is a competitive advantage larger schools enjoy. It is the reason schools are split into divisions based on enrollment for the playoffs. It is also the reason conferences, for the most part, are not only determined by geography but also by enrollment. Having a significantly smaller pool of talent to draw from has drowned other programs, but Memorial continues to defy that logic.
For Young and the Crusaders, the 2012 season may have been the sweetest example of that, as they rallied from a 2-2 start to win their final nine games and capture the school's first WIAA football championship.
For their work, Young, with the help of his staff, is the Journal Sentinel area coach of the year.
"There's no one more passionate and more dedicated to coaching football than Coach Young," Memorial offensive coordinator Bob Hall said. "There might be some people out there who are the same, but there is no way someone is more than that."
After closing the season with four straight victories to finish tied for second in the Classic 8 with Mukwonago, Memorial defeated unbeaten Pewaukee and Wisconsin Lutheran in the second and third rounds of the playoffs and later took care of previously undefeated Waupaca, 42-7, in the WIAA Division 3 championship game. It was the Crusaders' first title since they won a private school crown in 1996.
The turning point, however, was the second half of the Muskego game in Week 5. Down, 18-13, at the half, Memorial outscored the Warriors, 21-0, in the second half to win, 34-18.
"I think what happened in the middle of the year that kind of caused the turnaround was Coach Young leading the discussion of what is this team's identity and what are we going to be known for," Hall said.
The Crusaders continued to run the ball, but it was the added wrinkles for junior fullback John Clark and junior running backs Jake Piette and Alec Kocour that helped take some of the pressure off senior tailback Matt Hubley and helped him blossom into the Associated Press state player of the year.
Pewaukee coach Justin Friske was struck by Young's ability to manage a smaller roster through the Classic 8 and have the team clicking heading into the playoffs. Young is 282-103 in 35 seasons.
"Those guys are completely, totally prepared for what they're going to see," he said.