BRUSSELS — The (7-0) Southern Door Eagles high School football team are basically one win away from winning their second-straight Packerland conference crown.
Coming into this season not too many people even really expected them to be in this position. They lost a lot of talent and a lot of size, but why this team is in this spot, they like to hit.
“That’s been kind of the memo all year, is we go out there and we make teams kind of afraid of us and they don’t want to be hit,” said junior quarterback Drew Daoust. “Throughout four quarters, they’re going to be sick of getting hit every play.”
The Eagles have a potent offense, but a defense that sets the tone. This year they have held opponents on average to six points a game and it all starts with good tackling.
“I can’t divulge what it is, but it’s good and maybe the Packers can take a little key from some of the tackling drills,” said WFCA Hall of Fame head coach Mark Jonas, who is in his second year at the helm of the Eagles program.
Last year, the offense relied on Daoust through the air and now senior running back Zack Lynch on the ground. This year they’ve utilized Daoust in the run game as well and it’s working as he’s averaging about 11 yards per carry. Lynch is averaging 7.
“Adding Drew’s running to it has really helped us,” said Jonas. “Now a team can’t just tee off on Zack, even though on film there are times literally where you see 9 guys running toward where Zack is at and Drew is going the other way and no one knows where the ball is.”
Another reason this team has had success, last year’s seniors established a new standard.
“When (this year’s senior class) were in middle school they didn’t win, they didn’t win when they were JVs, then last year obviously going 11-1 with the senior class, they wanted to repeat that,” said Jonas. “As the leadership like(s) to say, ‘the standard is the standard’ and the standard was set at 11-1 and these kids really put it in their minds that that’s what they’re going to go after.”
It’s become quite the rivalry the last few years, this week the Eagles take on Kewaunee. The two teams have flip flopped at the top of the conference the last few years.
“Throughout the community that’s all that;s been the talk, ‘What about this game? Are you guys going to win,’” said Daoust. “I love it. This is what we look forward to is these big games.”
“I’m not going to cliche it and tell you it’s just another game. It isn’t. It’s not around here. And any attempt to say, ‘ah it’s just another game big deal’, people look(ed) at me like I was nuts. They want to win,” said Jonas.