Papermakers move into the Michalkiewicz era
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Steven Jorgensen helped build the Kimberly football program into a power. Steve Jones took it to the next level with five straight state titles. Now it’s Chad Michalkiewicz’s turn to put his touch on one of the best programs in Wisconsin.
Michalkiewicz was hired to replace Jones this past winter after 11 seasons leading the De Pere Redbirds.
“It was a challenge, but a welcomed challenge. It was eased by the strength and support of the administration at Kimberly, and my relationship with Steve Jones. Then how the existing coaches embraced me and kind of worked through it. It all boils down to the kids and building relationships with them,” said Chad Michalkiewicz.
“We understand that culture is a living creature that you build daily. You build it with intent and purpose, discipline and skill. The example that is set is that this team, this program is bigger than anyone individual.”
Those relationships with the players on the roster is key at any level of football. Especially true, though, for a new coach.
“Michalkiewicz has come in an he’s done a really good job. Especially connecting with the players, whether it’s the actual team, on his own time, or just the players here,” said senior running back Blake Barry.
“He’s very laid back. He’s very down to earth. Tells you how he sees it. I’ve always liked that. Just kind of like him being hones is great,” said senior quarterback Seth Miron.
Kimberly has as rich of a history as any program in the state with seven titles and at one time holding the longest winning streak in America. So, while there will be changes with a new head coach, the standard that’s already been set is not one of them.
“We’ve just got to hold up the standard we’ve always had here. What helps is coaches like coach Manion, and all the coaches that have stayed. They’ve helped us just hold up the standard,” said Barry.
“They understand, they embrace it. We talk about the process all the time. If we’re just focused on the end result, on one Friday night we’re doing it wrong. We really appreciate, and relish the opportunity that we get to come out here and play football,” said Michalkiewcz.
The next opportunity for the Makers with their week one match-up against Stevens Point. The first opportunity to see Michalkiewcz and company take the field, but for now they’re focused on the moment.
: “If we can get one percent better every day that can lead us to gerat things in the future. Of course we want to go win a conference championship, sectional finals, all of that stuff, win a state title. That’s the ultimate goal, but if we can get one percent better every single day,” said Miron.
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