- Before lifting weights or running sprints, the Ashland Oredockers pick up their helmet stickers, rewards for meeting goals in the team's previous game.
This year, Ashland has been getting more helmet stickers and accomplishing more goals than anyone outside the locker room expected.
"I thought it was something we could do because we put a lot of work in in the offseason," said senior right tackle Hunter Powless.
The Oredockers are 3-0 in conference play after defeating the Merrill Bluejays last weekend, which puts them on the brink of their first playoff berth in nearly a decade.
"I think its been building for a while," said senior quarterback Jordan Brennan. "In the last three or four seasons, we've been getting better."
Head coach Travis Larson defined his team's culture as "tough, physical [and] nasty" after the Oredockers shocked Antigo in the opening week of conference play.
That toughness has led directly to wins. The Oredockers' success has even taken Larson from Ashland to Lambeau Field, where the Packers honored him as their high school coach of the week.
"It was a great experience," Larson said. "It was a lot of fun; it was the first game I've ever been to."
With speedy quarterback Jordan Brennan at the helm and a roster full of senior leaders, the Oredockers feel they are ready to keep taking opponents by storm.
"Ashland's been known for being good at football in the '90s, '80s and '70s," Brennan said. "Getting back to that would be great for the community."
Ashland travels to Eagle River Friday to take on Northland Pines.
|Story By: Andrew Goldstein