GREEN BAY – Green Bay East football coach Levi Nelson made a prediction ahead of the 116th meeting between East and Green Bay West on Friday.
“It’s one of those games, whether we’re 5-0 or 0-5, throw the records,” said Nelson. “It’s going to be a close game.
He was right. But Nelson hoped it would be in favor of the Red Devils.
FOLLOWING: Here are Friday’s sports results at Green Bay Area High School
FOLLOWING: Here are the results and schedule of high school football for week 7
West beat East 14-13 at Del Marcelle Stadium, scoring all of his points in the second half and blocking a potential winning field goal attempt to end a 46-game regular-season losing streak that began in October 2015.
It was also the second straight game decided by a point after East beat West 15-14 in the spring.
There have only been 10 point-decided games since schools started playing in 1905. This is the first time this has happened in back-to-back competitions.
The Red Devils have started a six-game winning streak against the Wildcats and have won 21 of the last 23 games. They lead the historic 63-50-3 series.
But it was Wildcats night. They came back twice from deficits, definitely taking the lead on a Quavious Broadnax touchdown with 6 minutes and 52 seconds remaining.
The East-West game is always special, something that many always look forward to every season.
But it’s all before and after that is often highlighted by streaks of brutal defeats and breakouts.
Each passing year provides another opportunity to examine the future of both programs. It’s often not about making the playoffs or winning a conference championship, but simply having enough players to field a team and provide student-athletes with some kind of rewarding experience.
Every player on the field Friday was years away from the last time West made the playoffs in 1996, which was also the last time the Wildcats won more than two games in a season.
West has gone from 15 to 172 since the turn of the century.
The sharp decline in the East began a little later. He was still competing in the 2000s, although the Red Devils haven’t made the playoffs since 2007. They’ve only made the playoffs four times this century after making the playoffs six times in the 1990s. .
But even John Kolstad couldn’t walk through the doors just yet and cancel the program anytime soon.
Has gone 61-129 since 2000 and 25-90 since that last playoff appearance.
The WIAA and the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association have done the school no favor by putting the teams back into the Fox River Classic Conference as part of a 14-team realignment on football alone.
East and West eventually came out of more FRCC registrations and attended a smaller Bay Conference in 2015. Neither fared better. , although returning to the FRCC will not help.
It was a decision no one wanted, but they didn’t really have a choice.
“It wasn’t that we thought we were going to go to the Bay and compete for championships every year, but it was more that we had a probably better participation rate in the lower level programs with the Bay schools.” than in FRCC schools, ”said Tim Flood, who is the after-school program administrator for the Green Bay District. “Now, coming back to the football-only conferences, have I spoken to the WIAA several times about why we are returning to this group? It’s all about registrations. The WIAA sees nothing other than registration numbers. They don’t look at the demographics of the schools. They don’t look at where the schools are.
There isn’t a lot that can be done to change the fate of either team unless they want to do something drastic.
Eight-a-side football might be an option, but even that wouldn’t be perfect. Neither would be eligible to play in the playoffs, as schools must have an average enrollment of 200 or less over three years to participate.
As for finally merging the East and West teams as schools do for other sports? Forget. It is brought up from time to time, but the discussion ends as quickly as it started.
For now, like every season before this, it will be about doing what they can to increase the numbers while also hoping, when they develop a star, that she will not be transferred to a Bay. Port or De Pere.
On the bright side, Nelson and West Skylar coach Liebzeit are both in their second seasons and neither have been disheartened even though the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some tough times.
West had to cancel his last three games in the spring because there were only 11 players left. East had 18.
The numbers are still not very good, but they have recovered. Both are growing close to 40, and the hope is that the Franklin and Washington college power systems will produce a few more next season.
“We try to define success not by the scoreboard, but rather by old John Wooden of knowing you’ve done the best you can do,” Nelson said. “We are very committed to the growth mindset in training. You can actually foster this intrinsic motivation if instead of focusing on the scoreboard, you focus on the things over which the athlete has control.
“When they walk into our weight room, do they keep track of how much water I drank today?” How long did I sleep the night before? Just all the things they feel they can be good at. That’s kind of how we define the process.
Make no mistake about Nelson. He and the team are still trying to win games. Schools don’t hold up banners for hydrating or getting an extra hour’s sleep.
But sometimes there are small wins when it comes to losses. The Red Devils trailed Green Bay Southwest 29-0 at halftime of Week 6, but outscored the Trojans 8-7 in the final two quarters.
At least that’s something.
“I was so encouraged,” Nelson said. “I know we’re not invited to banquets to win the second half, but I was so happy with our kids. We will continue to fight tooth and nail, even when we are down 29-0 in a torrential downpour. “
West can be cheered on by a great freshman class that includes promising quarterback Cory Johnson and wide receiver Dakotah Montez.
“The culture change is going to be the most important thing,” Liebzeit said. “Where kids take ownership of this culture and spread the word to their friends like, ‘Hey, get out there and play ball’. We are doing good things. This year, we are doing a lot more good than in the spring. It has spread to our school right now.
“Since school started we have almost picked one freshman per day. It’s kinda crazy. They continue to sink, which is a good thing. Just getting that playing experience and hands-on experience and allowing them to take ownership of the culture, which is what it takes to really change our two programs.
Welcome to the party
Bay Port and Pulaski clinched playoff spots on Friday, a week after De Pere.
The Pirates are the best in Green Bay Preble 49-6, topping the Hornets 324-40 in total yards.
Second-year running back Tevyn Montgomery continued to be efficient with his runs, rushing 12 times for 120 yards and three touchdowns. He’s scored 12 touchdowns on just over 50 carries this season averaging 7.5 yards per carry.
The Red Raiders beat West De Pere 21-7, rebounding from their only loss of the season to Bay Port in Week 6.
Pulaski forced three turnovers and relied on his running back duo Maverick Cole (58 yards, TD) and Aaron Maroszek (56 yards, TD) to lead the way.
This sets up a great Week 8 home showdown against the Redbirds. De Pere leads the FRCC-Nord standings, one game ahead of Pulaski and Bay Port.
Week 7 scores
Green Bay West 14, Green Bay East 13
Ashwaubenon 43, Green Bay South West 14
Bay Port 49, Green Bay Preble 6
De Père 21, Green Bay Notre-Dame 17
Pulaski 21, West De Pere 7
Luxembourg-Casco 35, Kingsford (Michigan) 6
Wrightstown 27, Marinette 19
Winneconne 16, Shawano 14
New London 20, Seymour 14
Bonduel 8, Clintonville 0
Kewaunee 35, Oconto Falls 12
Marshall 27, South Gate 0