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Ashwaubenon excited to follow Ryczkowski's lead

ASHWAUBENON NEW COACH.jpg
New coach Brian Ryczkowski is creating a new environment at Ashwaubenon. (WLUK)

ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- There's a different feeling on the Ashwaubenon football team this year.

After 10 seasons Mark Jonas left the program and he was replaced by former Little Chute coach Brian Ryczkowski, who experienced a lot of success with the Mustangs including a state runner-up finish in 2014.

Ryczkowski brings a lot of energy to the field and has created a buzz already with his team.

"Energy's great, I mean, I'm so excited for the season," senior linebacker Evan VandenElzen said. "He's brought a whole new energy to the team and and I'm just very excited about what he brings to the table."

"It's actually completely different," senior wide receiver Sam Nooyen said. "Practices are a lot more uptempo, we get a lot more stuff done, actually. It's fun. It's more fun for me."

Being a new coach, Ryczkowski has had to put in a lot of off-field work, including learning his players' names.

"I don't know if they know how to spell my name, but I know how to spell theirs," he said.

To be fair, how many players have a name like Ryczkowski? The players aren't quite up to speed on their new coach's name.

"Not a clue," said senior Sam Nooyen when asked how to spell his coach's name. "I don't even know how to pronounce it most of the time."

That's not important as long as the players perform. Ashwaubenon has made the playoffs for 21 straight seasons but has not won a playoff game since 2014. The players are aware of the drought and want to end it.

"That's the goal this year," Nooyen said about winning a playoff game. "We're confident we can make it, but we have to win a game this year."

"We're going to be a team to watch out for and that's part of our motto, prove them wrong," VandenElzen said. "We want to prove them wrong, but once we prove them wrong, the other part is stay hungry.

"We want to stay hungry for more and more because we know what this team can do."

Ryczkowski led Little Chute to a Level 4 appearance in two of the last three seasons. His winning was likely a big draw for Ashwaubenon and he hopes to continue it.

"It's been great, though," Ryczkowski said. "People have really given me a chance and tried some new things and I thank them for that."

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ASHWAUBENON SCHEDULE

Aug 22: at Green Bay Southwest

Aug 30: Sheboygan North

Sep 6: Green Bay Preble

Sep 13: at Sheboygan South

Sep 20: Manitowoc Lincoln

Fri Sep 27: at Notre Dame (0-0)

Oct 4: Bay Port (0-0)

Oct 11: at Pulaski (0-0)

Oct 18: at De Pere (0-0)

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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