KAUKAUNA (WLUK) --Last season, Kaukauna made a playoff run that surprised some by reaching Level 3 and this season the Galloping Ghosts have picked up where they left off going 4-0.
Even though last season's success is almost 12 months removed, Kaukauna feels last year's run set the team up for success this season.
"It just showed us we could compete with a lot of people and, you know, a lot of people doubt this program from years past but now we're definitely on the rise," senior quarterback Gannon Demler said.
Kaukauna has achieved its success with a schedule it never thought it would have. The Galloping Ghosts play in the Fox Valley Association, but this fall the rest of the FVA opted for a spring season because of COVID-19.
Kaukauna pressed on and is playing teams it would likely never see, even in the postseason.
"It's been exciting, because we phrased it like it's playoffs every week for us, where you're playing someone you're not familiar with and all that kind of stuff, and the excitement that comes from playoffs is kind of there and so it's been really interesting," coach Matt Binsfeld said. "We played some really good teams and we've had some really interesting matchups like this week and we're excited about all of them."
This week it's Wrightstown, the top-ranked team in the FOX 11 and Binsfeld's former team. Binsfeld was a co-coach with current Tigers coach Steve Klister, but left after the 2015 season to coach his alma mater
Being a Division 2 team, No. 2 Kaukauna would never play Division 4 Wrightstown, but 2020 is anything but normal. Needing to fill out a non-conference schedule, Kaukauna was searching for anybody to play and Wrightstown raised its hand.
"I'm going to give Wrightstown a lot of credit," Binsfeld said. "I think Wrightstown was the only team their size in the area that was willing to play us. There were a lot of teams their size that respectfully declined and Wrightstown was one of the only ones, so I have to give them a lot of credit, for their coaching staff and their kids be willing to play us and to be honest, helping out another team in the area that's in need.
"We needed games to even have a season."
Thanks to Wrightstown, on Friday there will be a fun game to keep an eye on.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay