Created: October 04, 2020 11:48 PM
(ABC 6 News) - In the world of high school football, the Caledonia Warriors are a force to be reckoned with.
Five consecutive state titles, 11 in total and the nation's longest active high school football win streak. The Warriors are the true definition of a powerhouse program. However, it's about so much more than the trophies and accolades.
"Just getting able to play with your brothers one more time," senior Jacob Staggemeyer said. "I don't know…Nothing can beat it. Having so many good memories last year as a junior now you're a senior and you get to do it all over again. Nothing can beat it."
The pandemic has forced many athletic programs to re-work their offseason preparation, but in the eyes of longtime Head Coach Carl Fruechte, the attitude and mantra are still the same. Even if there is no state title to play for this year.
"Every practice should mean something to you, every game should mean something to you," Fruechte said. "You know, we always talk about how you're playing for the name on the front of the jersey, which for us is Caledonia, and then the name on the back. You know their last name. We want people to respect our kids that they play hard and the right way."
Fruechte also added that the football may not be as good as it normally is, but it's okay because it's all about the effort the kids are giving.
Over the last couple of months, the players and coaches have learned lessons and gained new perspectives because of the virus. One of the biggest takeaways, comes from being away from each other and the game they love.
"Now that we do have a season for sure, it's really exciting to be out here your buddies again," senior Casey Schultz said.
For one of the team's many standouts, junior Eli King, it's about making the most of this opportunity. He says, "it's a chance that we almost didn't get and everything so I think we are really just happy we get the chance and take advantage of it."
A win-streak spanning more than five years makes a lot of noise, but in a year like no other, the streak has faded out of focus. Allowing the Warriors to get back to basics, the passion to play.
"I don't know if I'm going to worry about a win/loss record," Fruechte said. "I can't believe I'm saying it, but I'm going to say it because we are really proud of our kids and how they have handled this virus. It's gotten pretty emotional for some of them. So, I think as a longtime coach I got to step back and really be proud of what they're doing."
Caledonia kicks off their season on Saturday, Oct. 10, against conference rival Plainview-Elgin-Millville at 7 p.m.
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