A New Chapter Begins For WDP Football

 

Following back-to-back state championships, 3 straight D-3 title game appearances and a 28-0 record the last two years, a new chapter begins for the Phantoms football team.  And it begins with a new QB at the helm.

Matt DeBaker has enough pressure on him as a first-year starting quarterback for a two-time defending state champion.

That the West De Pere senior also has to replace the state’s best football player from last season makes this story a lot more interesting.

The Phantoms went 28-0 the last two seasons and won two WIAA Division 3 state championships. They had star quarterback Jay Tollefson on their side, which wasn’t always fair to the opponent lining up against them.

So now all eyes are squarely on the person expected to replace Tollefson, if that’s even possible. The thought of that was nerve-wracking at first, DeBaker will tell you. But as he has gotten more reps and practice time with his team, things feel more comfortable.

And includes some returning standouts to go with developing new talent:

It helps that he has some talented teammates coming along for the ride, including first-team all-conference offensive lineman Matt Bjork. The Phantoms also have some defensive standouts in senior linemen Brad Ambrosius and Tyler Pasterski.

There are more standout names that must be replaced than proven players to do it as this point, but the program has a way of developing new talent all the time.

The end result?  The Phantoms are once again considered the favorites in the Bay Conference.

Which is why it must be considered the favorite in what has become a very competitive Bay Conference. West De Pere hasn’t lost a league game since Week 1 in 2009, but teams such as Seymour, Marinette and Luxemburg-Casco are ready to give it a test.

“I think our expectations are higher because of the last few years,” Turnquist said. “I’m not sure if that’s unrealistic or not. We hope to do well, and we always talk about the other things that can come up, like the injuries.

“We are a target every week. The competition within the conference has improved. The competition to stay at the top is always tough. It’s tough to stay there.”

Best of luck to Phantoms this football season.

 

“Braun to start All-Star game”

Congratulations to Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun on being named a starter for the All-Star game.

Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones is replacing Dodgers third baseman Matt Kemp on the NL All-Star roster, meaning Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun will now start in the outfield in Kemp’s place.

Braun will be named the starter for the fifth year in a row. Braun had finished fourth in the voting among outfielders, but was selected as a reserve.

Jones had been a candidate to be voted onto the team by fans in baseball’s Final Vote campaign. Instead, the 40-year-old Jones is replacing Kemp, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury but plans to participate in the All-Star home run derby.

via Braun to start All-Star game.

Packers To Raise Ticket Prices

Season ticket holders will have to dig deeper next year.

The Green Bay Packers today announced plans for a price increase on stadium bowl tickets for the 2012 season. The increase has a range from $3 to $5, depending on the section in the stadium bowl.

Invoices sent to season-ticket holders this week include a letter from Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy that discusses the increase.

“For the Packers, ticket revenue continues be an important component of our ability to remain financially competitive with the other 31 NFL teams,” Murphy said in the letter. “Our goal each year is to be at the league average in terms of our ticket prices. This increase maintains our position near the league average.”

Tickets in the end zone (sections 100-108, 131-138, 303-312 and 340-354) will increase $3 to $72, tickets from the 20-yard line to the end zone (sections 109-114, 125-130, 314-320 and 332-338) will increase $4 to $80, and tickets between the 20-yard lines (sections 115-124 and 322-330) will increase $5 to $92. Payment is due to the Packers ticket office March 30.

And if you want to complain about the increase keep this in mind.  Tickets are still cheaper than for fans of our division rivals.

Comparatively speaking around the NFC North for the 2011 season, the best sideline seat for the Vikings was $143, the Bears $140, and the Lions $110.

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Dolphins To Hire Packers O.C. Philbin

Congratulations to Joe Philbin and best of luck as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

The Miami Dolphins plan to hire Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their coach, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

The Dolphins are expected to hold a news conference Saturday.

The hiring comes less than two weeks after Philbin’s son drowned in a Wisconsin river. After spending a week away from the Packers, Philbin rejoined the team last Sunday for its divisional playoff loss to the New York Giants.

Philbin has been with Green Bay since 2003 and has been offensive coordinator since 2007. Coach Mike McCarthy called the plays, but Philbin put together the game plan.

It’s another example of the price of success in the NFL over the past two years for the Packers.

With Philbin’s hiring expect the Dolphins to become a frontrunner to sign soon-to-be free agent QB Matt Flynn.  As James Walker over at ESPN points out:

He coached Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who arguably will be the NFL’s most sought-after free agent. If Philbin can help the Dolphins land Flynn, Miami definitely made the right choice with what was left in this year’s thin crop of coaches.

Philbin has the potential to make this hire a two-package deal from Wisconsin. Philbin and Flynn could be the exciting, fresh start the Dolphins need. Think Green Bay’s high-powered offense meets South Beach. Sounds intriguing, right?

The Dolphins, known for their dysfunction, did their best with what was left on the market. They missed out on the home run (Fisher). But they still hit a double (Philbin) that potentially could be stretched to a triple if Miami’s new coach uses his influence to snag Flynn in free agency. With Philbin now in Miami, you have to peg the Dolphins as one of the major favorites in the Flynn sweepstakes.

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