SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA - Packers rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari is often lauded by teammates and coaches for his maturity.
"Mature?" said Patrick Walsh, head football coach at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo where Bakhtiari played. "That's, like, the antithesis of David Bakhtiari in high school."
Bakhtiari, the Packers fourth-round pick and starter for Sunday's season opener against San Francisco, didn't start a game until his senior year at Serra, only about 20 minutes from the 49ers home stadium Candlestick Park. His coach says Bakhtiari always had the physical tools, but needed a wake-up call. Walsh called Bakhtiari into his office and told him he'd never play a snap of football, hoping that would light a spark.
"I think it was a dark time, a low point for him; but I think it was healthy for him to hear that," said Walsh.
Walsh also called Bakhtiari's mother, saying her son might be down for a little while, but ultimately, it would lead to him growing up on the field and off.
"He asked my mother's permission first, he said I'm going to take your son who's a boy and turn him into a man," said Bakhtiari. "She said, 'yeah, go right ahead.'"
A new player emerged from those summer workouts. That player caught the eye of college scouts, earning a scholarship to Colorado, a draft choice by the Packers and a starting spot on the offensive line with Bryan Bulaga sidelined with a season-ending injury. The player, once described as a "prankster" by his high school coach, is now praised for acting beyond his 21 years.
"It's a testament to him because he studies, he works," said Packers offensive line coach James Campen. "He not only works on the physical side of it but the mental side of it."
Now Bakhtiari stands to join the ranks of Serra alums in the NFL, a list which includes Tom Brady and Lynn Swann. Bakhtiari says some of his friends have even bought Packers jerseys, though their team-allegiances are staying put.
"[Bakhtiari is] one of the great ones," Walsh said. "We believe in him, we root for him...if not for the Packers on this side of the Bay."
A three-semi crash in Dodge County injures two people.
The Oshkosh Board of Education discuss a possibly referendum.
Area road crews are ready to get out and salt the roadways. However, they say, that can't be doing that Wednesday night.
Oneida Casino officials say they're not playing games when it comes to giving patrons what they want. Leaders detailed changes coming as a part of the casino's multi-million dollar renovation and expansion.
Green Bay Metro Fire Department crews are taking advantage of the closed Leo Frigo Bridge to get some training in Wednesday.
A panel of experts tasked with reviewing Outagamie County's response to a series of tornadoes that hit the county in August revealed its findings Wednesday.