KIMBERLY, Wis. (WBAY) - The last 5 seasons started with Kimberly talking about keeping its win streak alive. But after 70 straight wins and those 5 consecutive crowns, the Papermakers are looking to bounce back from a letdown last year.
"We have to prove ourselves again," said senior linebacker Caleb Obermann. "I like when we have the target on our back, and I hope we still have a target on our back despite how the season ended last year."
Before this year even started, senior quarterback Jackson Rottier went down with a non-contact ACL tear in practice last week. That makes the challenge even harder. Kimberly opened with a 31-12 win over Oshkosh West, but improvement is needed.
"Throughout the streak we were always looking for ways to improve and looking at tape and dissecting that," said coach Steve Jones. "But definitely when you lose those close ones, last year we lost 2 games by 3 points each, it's a lot of those little things that start to add up in those games."
"The one thing we are focusing on this year is everything matters," Obermann said. "Every little detail and every little thing matters."
Everyone loves to win, but some of the best competitors on earth hate to lose even more. Jones certainly fits into that category. He still can't get over what transpired last November.
"I don't you ever truly get over it," Jones said of the state championship game loss. "The pain dulls a little bit as time goes on. But I don't think you ever truly get over a loss like that by 3 points. You look back at a lot of plays that you wish you had back or things you wish you had done different. When you get down to Camp Randall you want to play your best football. And what stings the most is that we didn't play our best football in the last game of the year."
With a sophomore signal caller Caden Pendleton now in charge, improvement towards playing better each week is the focus.