Rodney Wedig wasn’t sure what to expect in his first season as Milton High’s football coach.
The Red Hawks were coming off three straight 3-6 seasons and weren’t generating much of a buzz despite having a program steeped in tradition.
That buzz is now being felt statewide.
Milton is 3-0 for the first time since 2005, and even Wedig is impressed with the quick start.
“I would say I’m pleasantly surprised,” Wedig said. “Not so much that we’ve won three straight, but the way we’ve done it.
“The kids have bought into a new system. My job now, along with the rest of the coaching staff, is to keep them going in the right direction.”
Milton has dominated on both sides of the ball in its three wins, which includes Friday night’s 41-7 victory over Fort Atkinson in the Badger South Conference opener.
The Red Hawks are averaging 45.3 points per game and have allowed only 22 points in three games.
“Gus (Wedig) has done a great job with the defense,” Rodney Wedig said of his son. “He’s got them playing really fast, and that makes it tough on opposing offenses.
“And on offense, our offensive line has really controlled the line of scrimmage. They’ve got the ability to grind it out and control clock.”
Wedig is no stranger to success. He was at Walworth Big Foot for 11 seasons and led the Chiefs to a Division 4 state title in 2009 and runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2012.
He spent the last five seasons trying to rebuild a Beloit Memorial program that has been dormant for decades. Too many off-the-field issues made that job a difficult one. For years, Beloit has dealt with a lack of numbers in the program due to strict academic requirements, among other things.
Wedig now teaches at Orfordville Parkview, while his son, Gus, along with a couple other coaches on his staff are teaching at Milton.
“I think the biggest thing is that I don’t feel like I have to put out all the fires that I had to the past five years,” Wedig said. “That’s a big relief.
“And I actually kind of enjoy the ride from Orfordville to Milton each day for practice. I know my coaches will have everything ready to go when I get there, and for me, it’s a little chance to unwind and relax.”
Milton has feasted on the appetizers the first three weeks of the season, but the main course is on tap Friday night. The Red Hawks play at two-time defending Badger South-champion Monona Grove.
“It’s the perfect measuring stick for our team,” Wedig said. “We know they’re not as dominant as they have been the last couple of years, but they’re still very formidable and will present a great challenge.
“What I want for our team is to enjoy the week leading up to it. It should be a fun week because they’ve put themselves in a position to continue to have success.”
Circle Week 6 on your calendar. That’s when fifth-ranked Verona and sixth-ranked Madison Memorial meet in what figures to be the championship game in the Big Eight Conference.
I’ve seen Verona twice and continue to be astounded by the amount of talent the Wildcats have on offense. Quarterback Adam Bekx will play at the next level, UW recruit Jackson Acker is a game-changer and wideouts Aubrey Dawkins and Haakon Anderson are as good of a high school duo this state has ever seen.
And doubts whether Evansville was legit were dashed Friday night. The Blue Devils demolished previously unbeaten Jefferson 40-8 and remain tied for the top spot in the Rock Valley along with East Troy. Those teams meet in Week 5 in Evansville.