(WFRV) – Whether it was wondering if Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would show up for practice or watching your Milwaukee Brewers, 2021 was packed full of sports news. Here are Local 5’s top sports stories of 2021.
Northeast Wisconsin High School Sports
5.) All schools in Northeast Wisconsin returned to play at some point during the winter sports season. The Notre Dame and Mishicot girls basketball team took home state titles while the Lourdes Academy boys won it all on a buzzer-beater.
4.) Just a few months after high school championships, we saw the culmination of the first-ever alternate spring football season with Fond du Lac beating Kimberly in a de facto state championship in May.
3.) The power of the Fox Valley, Kimberly High School, had two major coaching changes. Legendary basketball coach Jon Murphy stepped out of retirement to join the Papermakers as the boy’s basketball coach. Murphy spent 33 years coaching at Seymour with a record of 615-185. The iconic Steve Jones stepped away from the football program after coaching for 11 seasons, making the playoffs each year and making six appearances at Camp Randall Stadium for the championship game.
2.) The Reedsville Panthers took home its first-ever state championship with a 17-0 win over Coleman in Division 4. That night, the Reedsville community gathered in their downtown as the team was welcomed home.
1.) Fond du Lac’s own Braelon Allen, at 17-years-old, transitioned from a high school standout to a freshman All-American for the Wisconsin Badgers. Allen had over one thousand rushing yards, averaging 7.1 years per run, racking up 12 touchdowns.
Green Bay Packers
5.) The year began with a heartbreaking loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship, 31-26, ending the Packers season with a record of 13-3.
4.) The NFL Drafts begins and so does the news that quarterback Aaron Rodgers is unhappy with the team and does not want to return. In April, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Rodgers had told some in the organization that he does not want to return to the team.
3.) After not showing up for OTA’s for the first time in 16 seasons, Rodgers landed at Green Bay’s Austin Straubel International Airport late in the evening of July 26. He reported to training camp the next day.
2.) The Green and Gold go on a seven-game win streak but then Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 after many believe he was vaccinated. In August, he said he was ‘immunized’, which sparked a larger conversation of what ‘immunized’ actually meant. With Rodgers out, backup QB Jordan Love was named the starter for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs and they ultimately lost 13-7.
1.) On Christmas Day at Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers set a new franchise record for touchdown passes thrown, surpassing Brett Favre. Rodgers passed his 443rd career touchdown to Allen Lazard, the Packers ultimately won the match against the Cleveland Browns 24-22, also retaining the NFC’s top seed.
5.) The coronavirus pandemic affected just about everyone in the country, but it was the sports world that was first to find some sense of normalcy in getting back to a somewhat regular schedule at all levels.
4.) It was a banner year for Road America, which not only saw the return of the Indy Car Series with former Nascar Champion Jimmie Johnson, but stock cars came back to Elkhart Lake for the first time since 1956.
3.) The Milwaukee Brewers had made it to the playoffs just four times in their history and in 2021 Milwaukee made it to the postseason for the 4th straight year, only to lose in the first round.
2.) After being delayed in 2020, the Ryder Cup finally teed off at Whistling Straights with Team USA routing Europe to bring home the trophy stateside.
1.) For the first time in 50 years, the Milwaukee Bucks brought home the NBA Championship, Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo overcame what many thought to be a season-ending knee injury, putting up 50 points in a series-clinching Game Six. And so far this season it looks like the Bucks are ready to defend their Championship and go for a repeat.
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