COLEMAN, Wis. (NBC 26) — In a small town like Coleman, high school sports are everything.
"It just seems to be a little more special when you have a small town," head coach Jeff Bronson said. "And every time a Coleman team has success regardless of season, everyone backs it."
While the town supports other sports - football is king.
"We've made it to state for wrestling and baseball but this was by far the best feeling," junior running back Owen Kinzinger said. "I was just all over the place. So happy."
In Coleman, even the town's water tower sports the Cougars logo. As folks drive into town, the first thing they see is a list of the school's WIAA state championships in wrestling, baseball and track and field.
Now, the 2021 football team can add its name to that list.
"That would be awesome," Will Bieber, a junior running back, said. "Something new. It's history."
They've already made some history, becoming the first team in school history to qualify for state. In the moments following their 28-22 semifinal win over Eau Claire Regis, emotion poured out.
"This is our year!" senior Noah Nosgovitz exclaimed after his game-sealing interception. "This team has been through everything. Nobody expected this from us this season."
Tuesday afternoon, Nosgovitz said the excitement still hadn't faded.
"Best feeling of my life, no doubt," he said. "Especially in a game like that where it was that close and just to come down with it in the end was unreal. It was a great feeling."
And now it's time to go finish the job, and further cement themselves as their town's greatest team.
"This one would be special for sure," Nosgovitz said. "We've been pretty good in other sports but this one would be big.
"Everyone just bonds over football the most and this one would mean a lot."
Coleman will play Reedsville for the WIAA Division 7 state championship. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.