Chip on the Shoulder: Kimberly carrying season-ending loss into fall, but moving forward

High School Sports

KIMBERLY (WFRV) – Over the past decade, Kimberly hasn’t seen many tallies in the loss column.

So in the final game of the spring high school football season, a 24-point loss was nothing short of a stunner.

Conference foes Fond du Lac and Kimberly have played some classic battles in the past five years, but few would’ve expected a blowout in a season-ending undefeated battle.

A program as consistent as Kimberly, however, doesn’t dwell on defeats.

“I think that’s the key – you move on, learn from it,” head coach Steve Jones said. “We’ve definitely learned some things, we’ve done a lot of reflection on it. You gotta give credit to them and then you gotta move on, and hopefully it makes you better in the end.”

Despite the lone loss, Kimberly’s underclassmen have been hungry to get to the fall season after playing their last competitive game just three months ago. The Papermakers lost 35 seniors from last year’s 6-1 team, but the standard they carry lends itself to perennial dominance.

And when “Ls” are few and far between, a short memory is as key as a distaste for losing.

“Basically at the end of the game, we know what happened, we all were there, we all saw what happened,” senior cornerback Jackson Wildes said, “but it’s a new season, it’s a new year, we park it, we come back to it. Put it in the back of our head as a little chip on our shoulder when we get to that game, but we’re going to take it game by game and focus on ourselves throughout the season.

The Papermakers offense figures to be dynamic with a more balanced attack than years past, boasting long and speedy receivers and athletes at every level. Owen Pawlikowski, Cam Wnek and other talented receivers return, and the defense looks to be stout again as well.

Kimberly opens the 2021 season at home against Stevens Point on August 20.

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