KIMBERLY — West De Pere has lost just one football game over the last three seasons and it just turns out to be the last game the Phantoms played.
West De Pere saw its winning streak end at 39 games last year in Level 4 playoff game against Waupaca, which shocked the Phantoms, 16-14.
Friday, West De Pere ironically returned to the site of its Level 4 loss when it scrimmaged Kimberly at Papermaker Stadium. The Phantoms and Papermakers put on a good show, with each side making plays.
Afterwards, West De Pere coach Bill Turnquist talked about the scrimmage and the season. Here’s the interview in a question-and-answer style:
Q: Why do you like scrimmaging Kimberly?
A: Each year when we do scrimmage Kimberly we know what they’re going to come with. They’re a physical football team, well-coached football team. There are no surprises when we scrimmage each other. We’ve been hitting each other for about two weeks, now we’d like to get some other competition in. Kimberly’s a good football team and we find out a little where we’re at.
Q: What did you learn from your team in the scrimmage?
A: I thought they responded after we were down. Kimberly had two really quick scores – I think in their first 10 plays – we responded from there and our offense picked it up from there and got a score. Our kids found out they can respond if they’re down a couple scores. They had to pick it up and play a little harder.
Q: Chandler Diekvoss moves from wide receiver to quarterback this season. What can he do for your offense?
A: Diekvoss hasn’t played quarterback since his freshman year. I think we have another weapons, too. I wanted to find out how he was going to respond when he took hits and how he was going to respond on some read plays. We found out some things, but we have a ways to go. We also found some other playmakers.
Q: Expectations from the outside are high for your program. Do you expect once again to be a formidable team?
A: That’s hard to say. It’s a long journey. Next week is Week 1. It takes time for each game, for the chemistry of the team to come together. Along the way you have to stay healthy. Our biggest concern is, and I don’t think we did it today, is turn the ball over. Those turnovers are nasty on offense and gives the other team possibly good field position.
Q: Since the last realignment West De Pere has won the Bay Conference outright or shared the title. How do you see this year’s Bay race?
A: Hard to say. We’re just looking at Week 1 against Antigo in a nonconference game, but an important game. Down the road, we know we have three, four teams in the conference that have more people coming back than we have. We’ll see how the kids respond and see how the other teams come around. It’s a long season. It’s hard to predict right now. We expect to have a good football team, a respectable football team. We know the target’s on our back each week.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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