Tritons Finish Second in Local 7 X 7 Football Tournament


Joey Bonadonna, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

For the first time in 2020, some of the players of the Notre Dame Academy football program took the field in competition against other schools at Capital Credit Union Park in Green Bay, WI. 

For the eighth consecutive year, Chris Greisen, former NDA teacher and current West De Pere head football coach, organized a 7v7 football tournament and the Tritons were one of eight participants. 

After finishing 2-1 in pool play, defeating Oconto Falls and Freedom, the Tritons earned the third seed in tournament play. Defeating Appleton North and West De Pere, NDA made it to the championship game, where they fell to Hortonville 24-20. 

Players were excited to get back to playing after last season and isolation with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It felt amazing to get back out on the field with all the guys and do what we love,” said junior receiver and defensive back Keegan King. “You could tell that quarantine took a toll on everyone… but it was great being out there and competing.” 

Senior quarterback George Kress explained,  “I’ve been sidelined for the past two years with injuries… so having the chance to finally get on the field and throw to the boys made me ecstatic. It was freeing.” 

After last year’s 1-8 finish, it meant a lot to the players to have success on the field and prove that the Tritons have improved in the new season. 

“Our 7v7 team name was the ‘Redeem Team,’ and all the guys had the fire in their eyes and we were ready to go,” Kress explained. 

The mantra of redemption seems to be a common theme with this 2020 team as a new infusion of intensity was apparent. 

“The energy was insanely high. You could feel a change in the atmosphere as we stepped onto the field with a newfound appreciation and determination to win,” King stated. “We went into that tournament with a chip on our shoulders and came out showing Notre Dame football was back.” 

The 2nd place finish proved just that as the Tritons upset #2-seed West De Pere as well as nearly knocking off #1-seed Hortonville in the championship.

The success at the tournament left the group with a reminder not to take any opportunity to play for granted. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that Wisconsin high schools might not have a fall sports season, or at best a shortened one. 

“We really just want to be thankful for any games we get to play,” said Kress.

 King reciprocated, saying, “You never know what this season or year is going to bring and it’s not going to be normal.” 

However, there is still a fair amount of confidence from the team that there will be a season. “I think we will have a season,” Kress said. “The talk among the team is really that we will do whatever guidelines needed to play. We just want to play some football.”

 “At this time, we can only pray to play,” King said. 

Only time will tell if the “Redeem Team” will get their chance.