DE PERE, Wis. (NBC 26) — It's not often two teams from the same city qualify for state in the same sport, but the two De Pere high schools are breaking the mold.
Both De Pere and West De Pere are heading to Milwaukee this weekend for the WIAA Boys State Soccer Tournament.
It's the Redbirds' third state berth in the last four seasons; meanwhile, the Phantoms qualified for the first time in program history.
The two teams are in different divisions - De Pere in Division 1, West De Pere in Division 2 - so there is a chance both win state championships.
Normally rivals, players and coaches from both sides say they will be rooting for each other. They're even practicing on the same pitch this week, as West De Pere is hosting De Pere at its indoor facility.
Thank you to WDP athletics and their Soccer program for inviting us to use their indoor facilities to train as both soccer teams work to accomplish big things at this weekends state tournament. Friendships and lots of soccer connect both of our schools.#FlyAsOne pic.twitter.com/yfM16e7J1R— De Pere Boy's Soccer (@DPHS_soccer) October 31, 2023
Both teams are No. 4 seeds in their respective divisions. The Phantoms play Waukesha West Thursday at 4:30 in their semifinal; the Redbirds will take on Brookfield East Friday morning at 11:00. The tournament is held at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.