As fall dawns, it brings with it football season and the opportunity for the Wausau East Lumberjacks to show that last year’s 2-7 record is a thing of the past.
“We just wanna make sure that we come out here and put forth our best effort on a daily basis,” said Head Coach Kevin Grundy. “And (put forth) consistency of effort on a daily basis and the good things will happen.”
The effort Grundy’s team has put forth is due to the culture he’s created.
“Well we like to talk about being we strong,” said Grundy. “Wausau East strong, it’s all about the we and not the me.”
It’s a culture that has created confidence.
“Oh we’re excited,” said Senior Linebacker Jack Napgezek. “Nothing but high hopes for this season, we expect a lot more out of ourselves than we have in the past.”
And it’s that confidence that has changed the mindset of the program.
“We’re not going to be afraid,” said Napgezek. “We’re going to hit every play, we’re not going to be scared of injury, which is something that people have been scared of in the past. It’s just not how we’re going to roll this year.”
But the Lumberjacks aren’t the only team in Wausau with a new mindset this season. Just down the road, the Wausau West Warriors also enter this season ready to show people this year is different.
“I think our mindset is our biggest difference,” said their Senior Linebacker Marc Sippel.
“Everybody has that mindset of competing and being more tough and we’re going out there and we’re gunna win. You know we’ve gotta have that chip on our shoulder and know that we’re better than our opponents before we go out there.”
Which is something they appear ready to prove.
“We’ve prepared ourselves,” said Warriors Head Coach Jason Foster. “You don’t really know until the lights go on, on Friday night what it’s going to look like, but right now we like the direction we’re heading.”
And from the look of it, it’s direction that only points to one goal.
“We’re looking to win,” said Sippel. “That’s our goal. We want to make the play-offs.”