High school football practice begins, Pewaukee looks to defend state title

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PEWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- For a program that produced three NFL football players in JJ, TJ and Derek Watt, it may be hard to believe the Pewaukee Pirates only have one state championship to show.

That championship came last year when the Pirates capped off a 12-2 season by defeating Rice Lake and raising the 'Gold Ball' at Camp Randall Stadium.

"Professionally, a great achievement and really the culmination of a lot of hard work," said Head Coach Justin Friske. "For me as a coach, just really a proud moment for the kids because of all they've done and all we went through last year."

As any good program knows, you're only as good as your next win. Friske says he is confident in the returning players in his program, and feels with hard work and dedication, there's no reason why the Pirates can't make another run at a state title.

"Our guys have high expectations for themselves. The community has high expectations for us, and we need to continue to have those, but with a realistic view of, 'we can't play all the games in one week. We have to take it one week at a time,'" Friske said. "We can't win a state championship in week one. We just need to be the best we can be every single week and see where it takes us."

One of the leaders for the Pirates this season will be senior receiver and defensive back Logan Schill. After experiencing the state championship feeling last year, he says the main goal for himself and his teammates is another trip to Camp Randall.

"No pressure, really. Just play my game, play our game, you know? Stick to what we need to do, do our jobs and everything like that and just stick together as a team and we'll be just fine," Schill said. "There's no better feeling than Friday Night Lights. Just enjoying every moment of the game and hopefully bringing home the 'W' every night."

Senior Carter Pearson agrees. He says they're excited to strap on their helmets and pads and get back to work after a long off-season.

"We have some people coming back from last year but we're a completely different team, so we're just focused on trying to build our team and make it special to ourselves," Pearson said. "For me, it's kind of more leading by example. I try to put 100-percent effort in every time, every rep and just try to create a good environment and one that encourages working hard."

It's that attitude and leadership that has Friske and his staff confident for the season ahead.

"We just want to be the very best version of ourselves and continue to work hard every week," Friske explained. "We have a great group of kids, we have a remarkable community and there's very few places like our place on Friday night in the Fall."

The Pirates will open their season at Milwaukee Riverside on Friday, Aug. 19.

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