Janesville25.4°

Big celebration at Big Foot

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Tim Wester
November 25, 2009
— Football tradition often is conceived in the throwback era of leather helmets, Wing-T formations and guys named Grabowski.

But at Walworth Big Foot High School, football tradition is a 21st-century phenomenon characterized by Field Turf, spread offense and Mohawk hairstyles.


The Chiefs’ championship football tradition was officially christened at a medal ceremony here Tuesday night.


“It’s been great, and these kids deserve it,” Big Foot football coach Rodney Wedig said. “It’s neat to see the community so involved.”


Big Foot athletic director Tim Collins took involvement to a new level when he announced that he was going to shave his head into a Mohawk to commemorate the school’s first state football championship.


The consolidated school district’s strong community involvement—which brings together Walworth, Fontana, Sharon and Linn Township—is a credit to Wedig’s rapid success as head coach.


“When we came down here to Big Foot, we wanted to compete with Evansville and Brodhead,” the Chiefs’ seventh-year coach said. “And once we got there, all of the sudden we started seeing some of these kids coming up, and we said this could happen if we push the right buttons and get the right the kids involved.”


It also doesn’t hurt to have talented players.


Two-way performer Michael Walker, who scored a WIAA Division 4 state championship game-record five touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 42-13 victory over Kewaunee, drew one of the loudest applauses when he received his championship medal.


“It’s definitely a dream,” Walker said. “Ever since I was little, I just dreamed about winning a football state championship.


“I used to look up to all the other football players. Now I’m kind of one of those guys now, and it’s just a great feeling.”


Walker and Chiefs are now the standard for which every Big Foot team will be measured, which is something many players gladly embrace.


“We are THE Big Foot football team,” said Chiefs quarterback Steve Dowden, who set the school’s season touchdown passing record with 24. “For years to come, they’re going to be comparing other teams to the 2009 state champions, and I think that we did set a little standard in saying that you need to play at this level all the time to win state championships.”


The championship standard certainly won’t be forgotten any time soon in the communities that comprise the Big Foot district.



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