In the most unusual high school football season ever in Wisconsin, Markesan may be having the most unique experience of any team in our area so far in 2020.
The Hornets were forced to postponed their opener last Friday night with Lourdes Academy because the school took a 10-day break on account of increased coronavirus activity around Markesan. They then got back on the practice field Monday only to find out that Pardeeville would not be able to play on Friday because of their own COVID-19 related issues. In searching to find a game this weekend, Markesan learned that Lourdes Academy, who they were suppose to play in week 1, found themselves also needing a game this week because Johnson Creek wasn’t able to play because of too many injured players. The two got together and will now play on Saturday night at 5pm at St. Mary Catholic in Neenah.
Hornets head coach John Dunlavy tells DailyDodge.com that “Its been unique to say the least. You start out, you are feeling good, you get a week and a half into things. (Then) we lost 12 of our kids to contact tracing and we were still planning on playing short-handed (against Lourdes), then we learned a couple of days after that that we were shutting the doors for 10 days and we will try it again. That gets us to this week where we start things over again.”
With having to restart an already truncated season Dunlavy said you find yourself wondering if your team is conditioned enough, or if they have forgotten things they have learned while on the 10 day break. With the time off he adds that his team is a little be behind where they wanted to be since they were not able to have a scrimmage or a game at this point. The Hornets will learn on the fly on Saturday night.
Coach Dunlavy says that with no game film to exchange, he and Lourdes coach Kevin Wopat chatted a little bit about what each team does on both sides of the ball. The teams did also square off two years ago so they have some idea of team philosophies. Lourdes was able to replace last week’s scheduled game with Markesan. They travel to Bonduel and picked up a 34-6 win. Lourdes in currently ranked #2 in the wissports.net Division 7 Coaches Poll.
In these trying times, teams are going day by day, but if all goes well, Markesan will kickoff their season with Lourdes Academy at St. Mary Catholic in Neenah at 5pm on Saturday night. You can watch that game on the DailyDodge.com Videostream presented by Columbus Family Dental and Ergo Bank.
Click the link to hear a full interview with Markesan head coach John Dunlavy
If you have a question about this story or have an idea for a future local sports story, please email Wade Bates at [email protected]