One day before the Kohler/Lutheran/Christian football team appears in its first playoff game in three years, Ryan Eigenberger was selected as the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week this afternoon.
The second-year coach led the co-op team to a 6-1 record and runner-up finish in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference. In 2018, the squad did not have any wins and it had three in Eigenberger’s debut.
“I think one of the biggest things, in looking at the changes we have made, is really looking at what type of athletes we have in the Sheboygan County area, at our three schools, and how best we can utilize their skills,” Eigenberger stated in the press release. “We’re not going to be the type that is going to be a power-run team ever. It’s a big basketball area around here, and those guys like to have the ball in their hands, so we wanted to spread it around and get the ball out there as much as we can. That’s not done very much even in the state of Wisconsin, the way we spread it around and throw the ball. There are more teams that have been doing it in the last five years, but it is still a lot of power-run, wing-t offenses.
“We said, ‘come be a part of something new to this area, to our three schools, and let’s make this a football area. Let’s buck that (power-run) trend, but also not fight what we don’t have. Let’s utilize our skills, our athleticism, and let’s be leaders in that regard.’”
Eigenberger, who graduated from Sheboygan North in 2009, joined the program in 2016 as an assistant and teaches social studies and English at Kohler.
He credits this award to his staff and hard work by his players.
“It’s a great honor to me as a lifelong Packers fan to win this award,” he said. “But what it reflects more is just how hard our players have worked, and how they’ve responded so well during this whole 2020 season. Starting all the way back in March, they were tracking their workouts at home that we would give them. Then right away in July, as soon as we could, we had great turnouts at our workouts every day, and I think that’s what we are seeing come through now.
“So, it’s really a great honor to win this as a coach, but it’s really the whole thing that we’re putting together as a team and as a program. We really have so many guys buying into that and it’s incredible to be a part of.”
ABOUT THAT SEED: KLC is seeded fourth in one of the Division 3 playoff brackets and visits top-seeded Appleton Xavier on Friday.
However, Two Rivers received a No. 3 seed and takes on No. 2 Sheboygan Falls in the other bracket (the winners play next Thursday).
KLC defeated Two Rivers this season, but somehow the Purple Raiders were seeded higher.
“It’s surprising,” the coach said. “Two Rivers is a great team, but it’s surprising to have that result happen.”
For the first time, the WIAA used computers to seed the teams based on eight different categories. In the past, coaches seeded the schools.
“Either way, if we wanted to win the regional championship, we’d have to go through Xavier,” Eigenberger said. “So that’s our mentality. … But it seems maybe it wasn’t the right year to use the computer-generated system with teams not playing full schedules.”