« Prep Picks

Rocketing Out of the Gate

by Nick Vitrano

Coaches and the athletes they mentor never live in the past.  Their eyes are always focused squarely ahead on the next obstacle, the next opponent, the next goal.  But in this week’s WIXX Prep Pick, we look back at 2012 so as to better appreciate one area team’s start to 2013.

Like 2013, the 2012 high school football campaign kicked off with two Fridays remaining in August, though the Neenah Rockets did not taste victory until October 12th, the penultimate game on their 9-week regular season schedule.  They would close the season with back-to-back victories, a hopeful conclusion to a difficult to swallow 0-7 beginning, but certainly no guarantee of carry over.

But that was 2012.

A new head coach (and Neenah alum), Steve Jung, and a new philosophy have manifest themselves in a new optimism in the Neenah community, and it showed last Friday night.  A team that averaged fewer than 14 points per game in 2012 (per wissports.net) came out firing against Appleton West, tallying 23 in the first quarter en route to a 42-13 final.  Equally impressive was the team’s D that did not surrender a point after the first quarter, recovering nicely from a pair of impressive Appleton West TD “tosses” (70 and 80 yards respectively).

For the coaching staff and for the players, preparations for the next opponent (Appleton East) began as soon as they cleared the locker room last Friday night, for players, coaches, and fans alike know that one is only as good as his last game.  But until tonight…until 7pm…that last game is the only game…and to date, they’re undefeated in impressive fashion. 

Congratulations, Neenah.  Good luck tonight to all of our area teams.  Don’t forget to hash tag your pics tonight and upload them to Instagram: #WIXXPreps.  And keep those nominations coming HERE .