Notre Dame Academy crest

A photo of Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin

1971 Abbot Pennings Football

State Title Team
2018 Legends Division

The 1971 Abbot Pennings Football season ended at Lambeau Field with a convincing 17-8 victory over Waukesha Memorial to claim the first WISAA championship for the school. The dream began a year earlier with the goal set by the team of a state championship. An off-season conditioning program and organized team practices scheduled by captains held in summer helped set the tone for what was to be accomplished. All of the players set a common goal and were determined to achieve this target.

The season began with a 14-6 win over Fond du Lac Springs. It was followed by a 36-0 win over Fox Valley Lutheran. This set up a showdown with rival and defending state champion, Premontre. The Squires beat the Cadets 21-6 for the first time in school history. The season was off to a fabulous start. After a letdown against Oshkosh Lourdes, the Squires closed the season with five straight victories to earn their first ever FVCC Title and a playoff berth.

On a frigid night in Stevens Point, the Squires earned a hard fought 19-6 victory over Pacelli. The Squires were now poised to play in the WISAA Championship game at the historic Lambeau Field. What a glorious day it was. This group of young men defined what it meant to be a team. What made them special was their ability to stay focused on that common goal. They sincerely enjoyed each other as teammates and people alike.

Many of the teammates have continued lifelong friendships beyond the field. The team was fortunate to have been led by amazing coaches who were also great men and role models. They inspired this team to focus on character traits including persistence, focusing on a common goal, respect for their teammates, never giving up, and the importance of camaraderie.

The 1971 Abbot Pennings Squires football team embodied the Squire motto, “It’s Great to be a Squire!”

Yearbook photo of the 1971 Abbot Pennings Football team

From left to right. From row: Manager D. Vincent, Terry Enright, Peter Kelly, Randy Robertson, Brad Butnick, David Clouthier, James Mortell, Tom Nick, MIchael Feser, Kevin Joyce, Tim Wiltgen, Karl Schuldes, and Manager Rick Deacon. Second row: Manager John Brogan, Jim Vercauteran, Scott Krienke, Rick Kitslaar, Mike VanGrunsven, Marty Biebel, Greg Griese, Jerry Clark, Bill Manders, John George, Mark Peeters, Loren Smeesster, Jeff Tilkens, and Manager Bob La Violette. Third row: R Oudenhoven, Ron Matzke, Eric Wright, Dan Warpinski, Kevin Callahan, Bill White, Tom Cotts, Paul Gigot, Ken Martin, and Tom Knauf. Back row: Tim Pressentin, Marty VanCamp, Gregg Mueller, Larry DeCleene, Mike Meeusen, John Birder, Ron. Vercauteren, Peter Austin, Phil Arant, Chuck Larschied, Curtis Rosenberg, John Baeten, and Jay Greeley. Coaches (not pictured): Don La Violette, and Dave Minten.

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