- West De Pere football improved to 12-2 in 2022 and played for a state title, a year after finishing 4-6 — but an FRCC North title eluded the team
- The Phantoms have a chance for redemption Friday against Bay Port, which defeated the Phantoms 34-27 last season in the same position — a conference title on the line
- The game will air live on TV 32 as our Sports Showdown Game of the Week
- Video shows two Phantom seniors preparing for the game at Monday's practice
(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)
It’s the final week of the high school football regular season, which means it could be the final game for some seniors. I’m your De Pere neighborhood reporter Karl Winter, and for West De Pere’s seniors, they remember the sting of falling just short of a conference title last season, and hope to turn the tide on Friday.
They remember specific plays …
"There was one play that we could have shut the game out," defensive lineman Andrew Baumgart said.
"I didn't make a throw down the stretch," quarterback Duke Shovald said.
… and the emotions of defeat.
"I just remember the feeling after of knowing we were so close," Baumgart said "[…] We know what that feeling is like, so we don't want to get that again."
These seniors were in the same position last season, against the same opponent.
"The Bay Port Pirates, 2022 FRCC North division champs," was the commentary at the end of last season's game.
This year, quarterback Duke Shovald and the Phantoms know it's their final chance for redemption.
"Last shot at a conference title, and I think we really want that," Shovald said.
For the seniors and Head Coach Chris Greisen, the difference from 2022 to 2023 could be that this year's game is at home, in front of the Phantom faithful here at West De Pere.
"This community is so good, and they support us so well," Greisen said. "And we're hoping we can bring them a conference championship coming up this Friday."
The former NFL quarterback is as motivated as his players to finish the job.
"We came up short the last two years against them," Greisen said. "And so we're looking forward to turning the tides."
Seniors Andrew Baumgart and Shovald expect a rowdy atmosphere.
"It's gonna be kinda just like last year — it's going to be a sold out game," Baumgart said.
"You know it's going to be electric here on Friday," Shovald said. "I think we all know that."
Both Bay Port and West De Pere enter the game 6-0 in FRCC North play.
"The Phantoms and Pirates are both proud programs, looking to complete an undefeated conference season, but only one can end it perfect.