November 19th, 2015 Finals

It’s Playoff Time – Level IV and V
Level IV
Division IV
Lodi 23 Omro 0

Division VI
St. Mary’s Springs 34 vs. Grantsburg 7

Level V
Division VI
St. Mary’s Springs 39 Darlington 20
Congratulations to the Ledgers on winning yet another State Championship. For the second year in a row they are the only team we follow to win a gold ball.

It is generally accepted that success in football equates to larger donations from alumni. Athletic success equates to financial success. Based on that, I am assuming that our long-time loyal reader who is a graduate of St. Mary’s Springs will be increasing the amount of his donation to his alma mater. I am hoping that he increases it to the point that he can also procure one of those St. Mary’s Springs Football 400 Wins golf shirts for me.

Our team of the year, the Amherst Falcons also won a State Championship, defeating Spencer/Columbus Catholic 42 – 0. I am surmising that St. Mary’s Springs was glad to be competing in Division VI, and not in Division V.


On the college level, Division III, St. Scholastica, who lost to Ripon College 17-16 in Week #1, in a bad game between two teams that weren’t very impressive, at least not on that day. St Scholastica won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) by winning its next nine games. How bad must that conference be? In any event, St. Scholastica plays its first NCAA D-III playoff game against the WIAC champion Oshkosh Titans at 3:00 p.m. Saturday in Titan Stadium.

If anybody cares to wager, I will take the Titans.

And as we put to bed the final edition of Friday Night Lights for 2015, I would like to make our readers aware of a change coming in 2016. Borrowing from a tradition started by the Wisconsin Badgers; each week we will have a honorary captain for the week. I will select each week’s honoree, and the honoree must have played football, or else have been a cheerleader. We may choose to honor somebody from outside of the football realm of our loyal readers, and maybe venture to sports other than football; but that decision will be made by me.

But to start with we will be recognizing readers for their football exploits. One of our readers was the most valuable player on the freshmen boys’ basketball team at his high school — for four years in a row. Now impressive as that never duplicated feat was, it is not really Friday Night Lights worthy, is it?

And as we close for the year, I invite anybody who has ideas for Friday Night Lights next year to forward them to me. I will do my best to ignore them completely.

October 3rd, 2015 Friday Night Lights

Early version this week as we are off to Camp Randall.
Three teams that we follow are playing this afternoon, so we will update those scores this evening.
Next week we will update the playoff (PLAYOFFS! YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS?) possibilities for all teams. Some are already in, some still have work to do, and others, to use the common vernacular, are already toast.
And following week #9, we will award the regular season awards.

So this week the emphasis has shifted from mascot issues, to issues with the playing fields. In St, Louis (it will be Los Angeles next year) there was a fire in the Edward Jones Dome when a pregame pyrotechnics display got a little out of hand and caused the turf near the end zone to briefly catch fire, which delayed the start of the game by approximately 30 minutes.

And at Ingalls Field in Ripon one of the goal posts tilted to an angle, and eventually collapsed. I believe it was due to gravity, with an assist from some Ripon College students. I have superimposed the angled goal post in front of a portion of an announced crowd of 6400 at a Ripon Red Hawk game. Also note that at this time the 25/40 second clock was functioning. And as the Ripon Red Hawk public address announcer (PA-III) might have called it, “That is another Red Hawk goal post down.”



And then we had Alabama coach Nick Saban, who in an appearance on the “Feherty” show on the Golf Channel, made the following statement about fans (short for fanatics) when asked about how he deals with the “haters.”

“I just think that in every sport, there’s about 20 percent bad fans. They don’t get it. They’re disrespectful. They do things and say things that don’t really need to be said; that aren’t helpful; that don’t reflect the image of what college football is all about, or even what sports is all about. You should appreciate the competition.”

Saban when on to say that for a lot of people, college football is an escape, which often leads to over-the-top expectations.

So we have 30 plus readers of Friday Night Lights, which, arithmetically, would make six plus of our readers bad fans. Well we have the public address announcer, and Notre Dame fan, referenced above, who once asked Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema if Mr. Bielema, as the highest paid public employee in the State would show his support for the protesting teachers by forgoing his $800,000 salary increase. Me. Bielema stated that “he had never met a Notre Dame fan who wasn’t arrogant”, and quickly moved on to another table.

And then we have yours truly, who was once asked by Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, who interrupted my question to him to inquire of me, “What do you do; don’t you ever make any mistakes?” Plenty of mistakes, but then I wasn’t getting paid $1.8 million per annum. And then there was the time a friend of mine asked me while the PA announcer in Camp Randall was reading the Big Ten Sportsmanship Code, “Are you listening?” I informed her that, “That doesn’t apply to me.” Supposedly my worst was when I screamed towards the field, “Get him off the field; shoot him if you have to.” But that was just LLLLoyd (one L for the number of losses he experienced in a normal season) Carr — that hardly qualifies.

But then I have never been asked, by the officials, to vacate the premises during the course of a game. That did happen to two of our readers, at a girls’ basketball game in Oconomowoc I believe it was. No names, but one gentleman is a distinguished alumnus of RHS, and the other is a graduate of one of the highly respected private schools that we cover. Both attended college as well.

But as Avery Brundage, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) declared at the memorial service — held for 11 Israeli athletes slain by terrorists — in the Olympic Stadium in Munich in 1972, “The games must go on.”

Week five of conference play in the East Central Conference
Waupun 18                            Ripon 12
First win of the season for the Warriors; Tigers have 7 TDs (42 points) in 7 games; no PATs. RYE inbounder Pascal Rinnert holds the school record of 9 PATs — in one game.
Kewaskum 21                        Berlin 6            Kewaskum wins the battle of the undefeateds
Plymouth 15                          Winneconne 14
Campbellsport 26                  KLM   23
Omro 47                                 Lomira 14

The Omro Foxes were WSN Sports team of the week last week for handing St. Mary’s Springs its first Flyway Conference loss since 2010; the Foxes defeated the Ledgers in 2010 as well

Cassville                                 Benton/Scales Mound (IL)      Saturday afternoon.
WLA                                      St. Mary’s Springs             Saturday afternoon
Pittsville 29                             Auburndale 8                         
Mayville 23                             Laconia 20
Luxemburg – Casco 42         Clintonville 6                         
Markesan 26                          Oshkosh Lourdes Academy 7
Cambria-Friesland 48           Randolph 7    
Wautoma 41                          Westfield 6                
Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran/Christian 35             St. Mary Catholic 32
Jefferson 26                          McFarland 6
New Berlin Eisenhower        Pewaukee                                            Saturday afternoon
Kenosha Bradford 30           Racine Park 0
Mukwonago 49                                              Waukesha North 27 
Grafton 21                                                     Port Washington 6
Kiel 34                                                            Brillion 21                               7 – 0 for Kiel
Xavier 37                                                        Green Bay East  6                   7 – 0 for the Hawks
Watertown 18                                                Beaver Dam 6
Montello/Princeton/Green Lake 27             Pardeeville 6
De Pere 54                                                      Pulaski 7
Neenah 27                                                      Wisconsin Rapids 9

Our intrepid reporter from the UP checks back in with a score, but not a particularly impressive one. Four consecutive losses for the Eskymos after a 2 – 0 start. .

Last Saturday’s result – Detroit Country Day 26  Escanaba 0
Hi, again, hon! No good news from UP here tonight. The Escanaba Eskymos made the short trip down M-35 and into the Central Time Zone to take on the #1, in Division 5, Menominee Maroons. The Eskymos were dominated, by their hosts, in every phase of the game, as the Maroons ran away with 45-7 win. I suspect it was a severe case of bus-lag, eh?
 Last Saturday the Ripon 6th graders lost to Kimberly 30 – 0, dropping their record to 0 – 4 – 2.
There are no playoffs for the 6th grade teams.



September 12th, 2015 Friday Night Lights

This issue is late because I do not have a complete email list on my laptop, and couldn’t success the mailing list until after I got home from the Badger game.


Coach of the week – Bret Bielema Arkansas. At Wisconsin he always beat the cupcakes; at Arkansas it appears as if he is eating all the cupcakes.


Quote of the week – “Playoffs; you want to talk about playoffs?” NFL coach Jim Mora; although it could have been , manager of the Crew.

Hardest Ticket to get – finals of the women’s championship at the Italian Women’s Tennis Tournament in New York. How much money did scalpers lose when Serena lost in the semi-finals?

So I had a request that when in America I should write American; so I will attempt to do so. Also, I left my mic on when recording my thoughts on what comments to make. I do need to note that the performance of the All-Midwest Conference Game Management Crew in the Ripon Red Hawks’ home opening game last Saturday was certainly not of all-conference caliber. Abysmal (I believe that is an American word) would be a more apt descriptor. It is a pretty sad state of affairs when the two highlights of the game were:

  1. A 1966 graduate of RHS playing the tuba in the Ripon College pep band. I was told by an administrator from Ripon College that, “we will take anybody.”
  2. A Ripon College student, and former Miss Fond du Lac (from a year somewhat more recent than 1966) singing the National Anthem. She used her smart phone for the lyrics. And when I suggested that her performance should be downgraded for use of a teleprompter (I am sure that is an American word), I was overruled by a unanimous vote (three of four members present and voting.) They wondered how anyone could even consider issuing demerits to the former Miss Fond du Lac for her rendition of the American anthem. That may have been the only thing these three got right all day.

So we will reset the game clock from 13:48 to 13:49 and let the games begin. Or, as the late Frank Gifford said on CBS the Sunday following the NBC Heidi-game fiasco in 1968: “Heidi ho and away we go.”

Week two of conference play in the East Central Conference.

Kewaskum 27            Winneconne 6              
Ripon 12               Campbellsport 8
Berlin 28              Plymouth 7    Plymouth’s QB suffers a concussion
KML 33                 Waupun 19
Lomira 33                    Mayville 0
Cassville 39                 River Ridge 12            Two more wins for Mr. Hatlen’s teams; three if you count Randy’s Badgers.
Pittsville 44                 Rib Lake/Prentice 7    Pittsville not only scored its first points of the season, but scored its first victory as well.
Omro 22                 Laconia 6
Wrightstown 48          Clintonville 14
Markesan 54             Horicon 6
Oshkosh Lourdes Academy 42   Randolph 21

Dodgeland 18                           Montello/Princeton/Green Lake 13
Columbus 21                           Wautoma 14
St. Mary Catholic 19                   Random Lake 6
Evansville/Albany 22                   McFarland 0
Pewaukee 35                            Pius XI Catholic 15
Oak Creek 47                           Racine Park 6
Kettle Moraine 14                      Waukesha North 6
Whitefish Bay 48                       Port Washington 14
Pulaski 27                             Sheboygan North 20                                       .
Kiel 35                                New Holstein 0
St. Mary’s Springs 63                  North Fond du lac 7
Xavier 23                              Waupaca 14
Wisconsin Lutheran 28                  Beaver Dam 18

And in the forfeiture hearing.
Williams Bay 1                        Hustisford 0

Evidently Williams Bay was prepared to field a team, and Hustisford was not. Both schools expressed their great respect for Roger Goodell for his sagacious adjudication of the situation.

And from our intrepid reporter in the UP:

Not good news tonight, hon! In a very physical battle between two, 2-0 teams, the Escanaba Eskymos, from the upper UP, fell, 17-7, to the Gaylord Blue Devils, down in the lower UP.

Escanaba, which allowed just two, first-half field goals, slugged it’s way to a 7-6 lead, early in the 4th quarter, but three Eskymo turnovers and a Blue Devil touchdown, 2-point conversion and 45-yard field goal proved to be the difference over the last eleven minutes of the game.

It will be a long ride over the bridge tonight, eh? 

About the three field goals, including the 45-yarder, are you recruiting that kicker for your alma mater? Apparently the Red Hawks experienced some kicking issues in their 13-14 loss to Rockford College on Saturday.

September 4th, 2015 Friday Night Lights

cropped-CommonPrejudice.jpgTwo of our readers (Winder and Mr. Hatlen) are in Dallas for the Wisconsin Alabama game. Mr. Hatlen, did you visit the Sixth Floor Museum as I suggested? Andy and Jeanne Lyke are taking Alvaro, RYE inbounder at RHS, to South Bend today to witness a big time college football game. In South Bend? I am afraid that all Alvaro will learn at Notre Dame is how to get somebody to write his papers for him.

The eyes of Texas are upon you
The eyes of Texas are upon you
All the live long days
The eyes of Texas are upon you
And you cannot get away

Do not think you can escape them
From night till early in the morn
The eyes of Texas are upon you
Till Gabriel blows his horn

Conference play began for the teams in the East Central Conference

Kewaskum  47           Campbellsport 8           
Winneconne 27          Ripon 6
Berlin 49                     KLM 7
Plymouth 56               Waupun 19

Ripon scored the only points in the fourth quarter of its game against Winneconne. KLM did likewise, scoring the only points in the fourth quarter against Berlin. I wonder if Mr. Stellmacher will take his foot off the throttle in the fourth quarter against Ripon. I suspect the smart money would say no.

I note that RHS’s homecoming game is October 2nd against the Prison City gridders. A wise choice, as these are the only two teams in the conference yet to experience the thrill of victory.

Laconia 21                  Lomira 0
Hillsboro 14                Cassville 0       So much for Mr. Hatlen’s previous two teams being undefeated.
Edgar 47                    Pittsville 0      Mr. Kummer’s alma mater has yet to score a point 0 – 139.
Wrightstown 37              Clintonville 14
Markesan 44                 Deerfield 14
Randolph 6                  Johnson Creek 0

Montello/Princeton/Green Lake 68     Horicon 7    Perhaps they should have played two against two.

Wautoma 57                                New Glarus/Monticello 29      Perhaps the losers should have added a third school
Cedar Grove/Belgium 38                    St. Mary Catholic 14          Again two against one, and this time the two included an entire country
Whitewater 32                             McFarland 22
Wauwatosa West 27                         Pewaukee 20
Kenosha Indian Trail 48                   Racine Park 14
Milwaukee Lutheran 40                     Port Washington 34
Sheboygan North 14                        Pulaski 0
Kiel 34                                   Valders 27

Arrowhead 56                             Waukesha North 0      The top ranked recruit in the state is an offensive lineman from Arrowhead; committed to Little Blue; from what I saw Thursday evening Little Blue needs offensive linemen. And will somebody teach that Michigan Man on the sidelines how to dress.

St. Mary’s Springs 39                         Ozaukee 7
Xavier 26                                     Menasha 22
Oconomowoc 28                                 Beaver Dam 6

And the two most interesting scores from the evening:

Cambria/Friesland 1                            Williams Bay 0
Fall River 1                                   Hustisford 0

Williams Bay actually fielded a team the first two weeks, losing 44 -7 to a Christian entity (Kenosha Christian Life), and 37 – 0 to a defunct automaker (De Soto). The two teams are scheduled to play each other next week. Rumor has it that Roger Goodell will be asked to adjudicate the outcome. This will guarantee FUBAR. When are the NFL owners going to fire that incompetent buffoon? He can’t even discipline a Michigan Man, who by definition is a cheater.

And from our intrepid reporter in the UP:

Hey, hon! More good news from UP here as the Escanaba Eskymos improved to 2-0 with a convincing 16-7 win at downstate Petoskey. The win prevented the vaunted Northmen from starting 2-0 for the first time in eight years and left the crowd, many of whom were in attendance to watch Petoskey’s award-winning marching band, in stunned silence. UP power, again, eh?

Petoskey took the lead early in the second quarter but Escanaba dominated the rest of the way by capitalizing on four turnovers to stymie every Northmen advance and scoring 16 unanswered points for the huge win.

The long trip home, across the bridge, will be quite enjoyable for all the Eskymos. 

Don’t get carried away. A nine point win is convincing? And this when the other team commits turnovers faster than they come off a Pepperidge Farm production line?

And an award winning band? Be careful with that. The last I looked the “Best Damn Band in the Land” from The Ohio State University was firing band directors because when the band members weren’t engaged in sexually deviant behavior, they were making fun of Holocaust victims. Mr. Herbstreit didn’t even nominate “The Best Damn Band in the Land” for a Herbie this year.


August 28 2015 Friday Night Lights

One of our readers suggested that we lead with the Ledgers’ game; given that the Ledgers are the only team that we are following that won a State championship in 2014. If said reader can provide documentation that his donation towards the building of a new high school for St. Mary’s Springs was in five figures, his request will be granted.

This despite the fact that the defending D-VI state champions were no match for the 2014 D-V runner up.

Amherst  39               St. Mary’s Springs  14

daddyMr. Schultz’s alma mater couldn’t handle Kewaskum, Mr. Bunge’s alma mater too tough for the high school of his current employer. Both of the schools that Mr. Hatlen was head coach at are            2 – 0. And six of the teams that we follow failed to find the end zone, or kick a field goal, or record a safety.

Kewaskum  34           Port Washington  26  
Kiel  37                       Ripon  0
Omro  14                     Winneconne   6     Battle for the China Bull
Berlin 26                     Wautoma  7
Sheboygan Falls 21     Plymouth 17           If the report I read was correct, all 38 points were scored in the fourth quarter

New Holstein  26        Waupun 13               
KLM  40                    Martin Luther 12                      
Lomira 14                    Campbellsport 13

Freedom  46                Clintonville  0
Markesan  19               Shiocton 6
Pardeeville 42            Randolph 7
Tomahawk 41             Pittsville 0
Montello/Princeton/Green Lake 27     Westfield  14
Milwaukee King 24                            Racine Park 21
St. Mary Catholic  35                          Reedsville  12
Lakeside Lutheran  39                        McFarland  0
This reader may not wish to change her allegiance to Pewaukee, 35-14 losers to the dirty Lutherans at Wisconsin Lutheran. She will have to let me know.

Waukesha North 48                            Whitnall  28
Green Bay Southwest             36                    Pulaski  7
Marathon 36                                        Laconia 0
Prairie Du Chien  47                           Mayville 0
BOCA had Prairie du Chien as an 8.6 touchdown favorite
And from our intrepid reporter in the UP:
Good news from UP here, hon!  The Escanaba Eskymos opened the 2015 season with a convincing 21 -7 win over their visitors from the lower peninsula, the Alpena Wildcats. UP Power, eh?
The Eskymos combined an efficient offense with a stout and opportunistic defense to record the 600th win in Escanaba High School football history.

It was a great night to be a Yooper! And, it was great night to be an Eskymo!