ESPN Madision

A Big Thank You

Nov 21, 2012 -- 9:57am


A Big Thank You


     Well now that the high school football season is officially over, and the high school basketball season is underway, I wanted to take a brief moment to thank everyone that was involved in this seasons spectacular journey. 

     First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone at ESPN 1380 for allowing me the opportunity to cover high school football as both a reporter, journalist and broadcaster this season. It was more than just a dream come true, it was a check off the ol’ bucket list as well. 

     I would also like to thank and send out a bit of congratulations to every single team in the Big 8 Conference for what was an extremely exciting season. 

     I don’t know about you, but I certainly could not believe that a team like Madison West, that went 1-8 last year, completely turned it around and finished 6-2 in the regular season and added one more win in the playoffs. That victory in the postseason was the teams first playoff win since the Reagan administration, so while one could argue that they were due, I argue that this team earned every bit of the success they accomplished as a unit and will look to continue this success next year.

     Also, how bout that battle for the conference crown towards the end? There were five teams that could have conceivably captured the crown down the stretch and had the aforementioned Regents from Madison West beaten Verona, and Sun Prairie faltered late in the season, there could have been a three-way tie for the Big 8 title. 

     That race is what made this season so exciting for myself and thousands of others that love, live and breathe high school football. 

     Thank you to Middleton, Madison Memorial, Madison West, Verona and Sun Prairie as well for reaching the playoffs too.

     Five conference teams in the playoffs is no small feat and it made for fantastic story lines throughout the tournament. 

     Although both Middleton and Madison Memorial were sent home early, West, Verona and Sun Prairie had extended runs on the teams journey to Madison that proved the strength of this conference. 

     I am also thankful for the perfect storm that developed throughout the playoff run. That storm was the Verona Wildcats and the Sun Prairie Cardinals meeting in the third round of the playoffs for the second year in a row. 

     Last year, Verona won conference, and then went on to beat Sun Prairie in the Playoffs.

     This year, Sun Prairie won conference after enacting some revenge on the Wildcats in week one and then went on to run the table for the rest of the year, while also knocking off Verona in the playoffs to return the favor from last season. 

     I am also extremely thankful for the opportunity to cover a team like the Sun Prairie Cardinals that made it all the way to Madison for the state championship game. 

     Although the journey did not end like the Cardinals had hoped, it was still a dream come true for many of the players, and certainly coach Kaminski, to play in and coach in Camp Randal for the golden ball.

     I would also like to thank Andrew Liebetrau and Gabe Neitzel for the opportunity to be on the broadcast team for the D-IV state game. Along with just simply being up in the press box, actually getting the chance to broadcast a state championship game was with out a doubt a dream come true.

     Thank you to all the players and coaches I have interviewed throughout the season after games for both contributing to my articles I have written all year long along with contributing to the content of our show on Saturday mornings. 

     These young men and their coaches truly drove the content of the show and I would like to extend a huge thank you to all involved.

     Thank you to coach Kaminski, Verona coach Dave Richardson, Dom Wise, Jester Weah, Joe Ferguson, Ryan Curran, Donte Starlin-Merriam, Craig Evans, Jeremiah Bradley, Alex Brown, Mason Dixon and Carter Hehr just to name but a fraction of the fantastic young men and the coaches I have interacted with this football season. 

     I would also like to thank everyone that I haven’t named and thanked up to this point because there are so many people out there that assisted me throughout the season. 

     But most importantly, I would like to thank my ’93 Pontiac Bonnevile called Mmm’ lady. If it wasn’t for you, I would have not been able to do everything that I have done this season. She has been good to me since I had the pleasure of first sitting in her back in high school, and still to this day I can always count on this car to get the job done. 

     Well except for that one time the battery died and I was late for a show, but even in that rare moment, it wasn’t technically my car, it was the battery that failed me so Mmm’ lady still has a near perfect track record.

     So as you all sit down on Thursday for your feasts on Thanksgiving, take a moment to truly sit down and think about what you are thankful for. 

     For me, one of the things I sure will be saying is how thankful I was to cover such an exciting and truly remarkable year of high school football that came and went with endless memories made.

     God Bless the troops, for we are all very thankful for everything that the men and women of our military do everyday to ensure our freedoms. There are not enough words in the english language to describe the amount gratitude I have for all the men and women overseas. 

     Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the weekend everyone!! 


By:Tyler Zavadsky   Twitter: TylerZonESPN

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