ASHWAUBENON — The Ashwaubenon football team is gearing up for their 2022 season.
The Jags finished 5th in the FRCC-North conference last year but they’re one of the smallest programs in that conference.
This year, they have two captains who are trying to leave the program better than they found it.
“We’re excited about those two,” said Jags coach Brian Ryczkowski. “They’re representing our program first class. They chose the theme, ‘always earn, never given.’ When your best players are your hardest workers, that makes life a lot easier and those are two of our best players.”
Best friends since first grade, senior quarterback Boone Kirst and defensive lineman and fullback Adam Newell were chosen by last year's captains to lead this year’s team.
“I’ve grown up in Ashwaubenon my whole life and watched football my whole life, so it’s a real honor to be picked as a captain,” said Kirst.
“I mean it’s an honor to lead a football team,” said Newel. “That’s like a dream. Just go out there with all my buddies from little on, all ages. Pretty cool.
Kirst will be leading the Jags offense in his last year with the program. Last year he threw for 1,800 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“You can’t ask for a more down to earth, humble guy,” said Ryczkowski. “GPA is through the roof. Character is through the roof. His parents should be proud of the type of person he is and oh by that way, he can throw a football pretty hard.”
“He’s never complaining or yelling at anyone,” said senior wide receiver Caden Van Duyse. “He’s always trying to bring up people. Always going 100%. Just a great person to be around.”
The Ashwaubenon offense will need Kirst and his long-time friend and wide receiver Caden Van Duyse to have an even better connection this year to help the Jags light up the scoreboard. Last year, Van Duyse ended the season with 38 receptions for 500 yards.
“He caught for me when I was pitching in little league baseball,” said Kirst. “Me and Vandy have been together forever. Looking over to throw to him, I never second guess it.”
But Kirst says, it’s Newel, who recently committed to the University of North Dakota, that is the rock of the team.
“We’ve been sleeping over since the first grade together,” said Kirst. “Him going to North Dakota, it’s a dream come true for both of us. I was so happy when he got that. He’s the rock of this team. When the going gets tough, we’re going to look at Adam and he’s going to perform for us. We know that.”
And the captains just want to go out there and make some noise in the FRCC, no matter what that looks like, win or loss.
“I want to compete every single night. Every Friday night, or Thursday night that we play on this year, but I want to give the fans a show. We’re going to do that this year – hopefully compete with a lot of teams in the FRCC,” said the quarterback.
The Jaguars first game of this upcoming season is on Thursday at home against Kaukauna.