The first ever “double question” title and subtitle in KSE history shows the largeness of the question mark surrounding the subject matter! For the record, I AM NOT throwin stones, I have long time acquaintances in the coaching arena at Tremper and KUSD and I by no means have any answers to the question of the day. I’m just sayin. Is the Tremper Head Football Coach a coveted position? I can say with certainty that it was at one time not too long ago. The recent announcement that head coach Jared McGranahan was stepping down came as a bit of a surprise to the general public. Some strides had been taken to uplift the program back to the upper echelon of the WIAA football hierarchy in terms of numbers and competitiveness. It appears that journey will have to take a new direction.
No one gets into high school football coaching in Wisconsin for the money…Texas maybe…not Wisconsin. This is truly the “labor of love” at the highest level. No way you clear 5 bucks an hour, your family life takes at hit and your significant other must sign-on for this with you and there truly is no off season if you have any intention of being any good. That being said, the Kenosha Tremper High School Head Football Coach was a position, it was not a job. Is it still a position? Has it become a job? Is it something that can attract a candidate that is interested in making it a state contender again? Does the “now we have three high schools” defense hold water? Hell if I know. I know I’ve said on my radio gig for years that Kenosha would kick herself in the ass for all of the years of being a huge city in the state with only two public high schools and not winning a boatload more state championships than she did.
If you examine the “what is”, the Tremper job still leaves one a good distance away from the answers to several questions. Is there the commitment within the walls of the school? Times change, students change, parents change and society has clearly changed. In 1990 the commitment was absolutely all-in. I have no idea if it is today. The second question is, does the support necessary exist? The support needed from the parents, from the district, from the kids themselves, from the coaching staff because high school football most definitely takes a village. And lastly and most importantly, do you have the horses? And not “hey, my kid’s class” horses, I mean real horses like Rick Jiminez and Howard Mitchell and Toneo Gully and Ken Zigner…backbone guys. And equally as important, getting guys like Mike Umschied who was a baseball player who happened to be the best athlete in the school and took all his teams to state.
Having seen a handful of youth games here in Kenosha I have one very simple question….where are all of our Bigs? Kenosha high school football across the board just seems so undersized. If you watch any of the youth games, there is really no size there. It is like everyone is a slot receiver or a fullback and everyone is a linebacker or a safety. No Bigs. And when the Tremper Freshman team goes up against Oak Creek, Tremper can and will win games, but when Tremper Varsity goes up against Oak Creek the score is 42-14 against (and the only good part of that is that two years ago that score would have been even more difficult to comprehend). I’m not trying to say the pipeline is bare, I’m saying it is hard to imagine that the current landscape of football in general in Kenosha, WI lends itself to any kind of quick fix or coaching influx that closes some pretty large gaps.
I obviously don’t have the answers and I hope I’m not seen as a dick for raising the questions or allowing for conversation. I just loved it when Kenosha was a football presence in the state and we simply are not at this point. Here is my “take a flier”..see if Freshman Head Coach John Lynn wants the job and just cater the entire program to the Houston Oilers “Run and Shoot” offense. If what we have is a feeder program full of potential skill players, then get outside the box and allow that to be. Did anyone ever get a chance to see the Danny Freund/Andy Heller era at St. Joe’s? Do that! Just open up the offense and run every offensive play like a 7 on 7 drill. Run around out there and be athletic and never really take a punch. Granted you still have to play D, you still have to give your QB some time to throw and somehow you scheme your way into relevance. This theory does not supply any of those answers it simply highlights one of the big concerns that the current scenario faces and that is finding a way to neutralize the huge size disadvantage it seems Tremper has had the past half dozen seasons. If you watched this year’s Oak Creek game, you might agree with me in saying that all the weight room time in the world wouldn’t get you big enough to compete with that Oak Creek team any time soon. I just don’t think a toe to toe game with a state contending team is something this program can win. I hope I’m wrong, I want all Kenosha high school football teams to be highly competitive..some of the best memories of my life were up in the booth calling high school playoff football. KTown is a better place in the fall when we have 3 and 4 and 5 teams from the city and county out there competing 2 and 3 weeks deep into the playoffs. Best of luck to whomever gets the Tremper gig.