- The Chequamegon Screaming Eagles football team is enjoying an unprecedented level of success this season.
"It's been a whirlwind," says Chequamegon Head Coach Scott Herbst. "It's been a great ride. I don't want it to end. Hopefully it doesn't anytime soon but it's just been a great ride, and the kids are having fun. That's the most important thing."
They made the WIAA Division 5 tournament for the first time this year.
"[It's] simply amazing," says Screaming Eagles fullback/linebacker Wyatt Juneau. "It's just fun to be here, fun to play football this late in the season, and just awesome."
The Eagles beat Colfax last Friday to keep their season alive.
Now they face number one seeded Stanley-Boyd Orioles on Friday.
It's a challenge the team is ready for.
"It's extremely gratifying," says running back/linebacker Sam Lehman. "We're excited to be there, but we're not done yet. We want more. First victory we got on Friday was fun and exciting, but we're ready for Stanley-Boyd. That's all we're thinking about."
The team doesn't have a lot of time to prepare.
"It's not easy," says Herbst. "It does help though playing in the Marawood [that] when you go out of it, your level of competition is there already. But it's not easy just having a week to prepare for teams that you've never seen before so we just do the best that we can and get as much done as we can."
"It's tough," says quarterback Shane Wakefield. "We've watched a lot of film, but it's tough. We've never seen these guys. We played a few good teams in our non-conference so comparing those two teams, so that helps a lot."
Players say they aren't letting any nerves get the better of them.
And just like the regular season where they finished with a record of 6-3, they take their preparations one game at a time.
"We go after it just like we do any other game," says Herbst. "We don't change anything we do in practice. We expect to win and we expect to do things we're good at."
Many of the players have been teammates since their days in Pop Warner.
They all attribute their success to their great chemistry and their senior leadership.
"We got, I think, 13 seniors that I have personally been with since grade school and kindergarten all the way up through senior year," says Wakefield. "It's been an honor playing with these kids and hopefully we can get a win on Friday."
"Our senior leadership has just been fantastic," says Herbst. "And not just the seniors, but the whole team. These kids are fantastic. They've had a blast. They're great kids on and off the field and our leadership from our 13 seniors has just been fantastic."
Win or lose, the Screaming Eagles are just happy to be playing football together.
"The senior class is a pretty special class here and it's been awesome playing with them," says Wakefield.
"We're not just a team, we're a family," explains Lehman. "I love each and every one of these guys out here. I wouldn't have it any other way."
"I'm glad I could be playing with them," says Juneau. "I wouldn't want to play with any other people in the world."
The Screaming Eagles will play Stanley-Boyd Friday at 7 p.m.