First MPS football game in two years kicks off with Pewaukee and Riverside

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PEWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Saturday was an exciting day for high school football fans with Milwaukee Public School's first high school football game in two years with Riverside University and Pewaukee Pirates taking the field at Pewaukee High School in the morning.

The teams and fans were stoked to be back on the field on Aug. 21. It especially meant a lot to Riverside who didn't have the opportunity to play last year because of COVID-19.

"I got goosebumps, it felt good to be back on the field and actually playing a team. I love being back with them again after a whole year. I miss playing with them," said Nicholas Hamilton, a middle linebacker for Riverside.

It's a moment many have been looking forward to.

"They've been excited they were even excited to get started with this. It's their first game of the season so they're just gonna keep their spirits up," said Khrista Niedzielski, a parent of a Riverside football player.

The crowd went wild as the teams battled it out and gave it their all. The game was pushed back a day because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Pewaukee football program last week.

"It'll be a challenging season to keep it going but again we're gonna do everything we can to keep the opportunities alive for our kids," said Jeff Behrens, the athletic and activities director for Pewaukee High School.

"I'm a senior so this is my final go. I'm excited to just give it everything we have. We have hoped to making it to state, we've been talking about it for a long time," said Mason Rumohr, an outside linebacker for Pewaukee.

Pewaukee also showed off their new bleachers as they are going through a facility renovation project.

Riverside parents and couches say it was challenging to not play and cheer on the team last year.

"It was hard for the kids, they didn't get no season so a lot of schools got to practice where they weren't even allowed to practice so not only did the other schools get play time and practice time but our kids were basically benched, they had no season," said Niedzielski.

The Riverside team said they feel grateful to be back.

"We're just happy to get back out here after not having football for a year, so it's gonna be a process right, we got to teach everybody something that they haven't done in 20 months," said Patrick Wagner, the head football coach for Riverside High School. "We're just blessed and thankful to be out here because it could be taken away just like that."

The final score of the game was 48-8 with the Pewaukee Pirates taking the win. Another game happening Saturday night is Milwaukee Marshall versus Racine Horlick's happening at 6 p.m. at the Vincent Stadium.

The teams said they are going to continue following CDC protocols and health guidelines to keep everyone safe and playing this season.

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