STATE FOOTBALL: Wabasso takes step further with another trip to state

MINNEAPOLIS – Despite falling short of their goal, the Wabasso football team wrapped up another successful season with its second consecutive trip to the state tournament and its first ever championship game appearance.

A year after reaching the state semifinals, the Rabbits returned with a handful of veteran leaders leading the charge. Wabasso used that leadership to its advantage, rolling through their regular season to an 8-0 record while averaging nearly 44 points per game on offense.

They then cruised past Minnesota Valley Lutheran, Sleepy Eye and New Ulm Cathedral in the section tournament before rolling over Bethlehem Academy in the Class A Quarterfinals and edging out Ada-Borup/Norman County West in the semifinals.

Wabasso graduates 13 seniors including Nick Altermatt, Jayden Eis, Tony Franta, Kyle Jacobson, Colton Taylor, Kody Keuhn, Cooper Taylor, Jacob Plaetz, Ty Kemp, Tyler Jesse, Scott Zollner, Isaac Schmiesing and Myles Zeug.

Head coach Joe Kemp said it’ll be a different feeling next fall when the Rabbits take the field without those 13 players.

“It’s going to be a little weird coming back to practice next fall and not see these 13 kids here. They’ve been with this program forever and that’s going to be different,” Kemp said. “We could always start one step ahead of everyone because we knew what we had and everyone understands how we’re going to run it. It’s going to be different.”

Altermatt said making it to the championship game has been something they have been dreaming of since they were kids and it was a journey to get to that point.

“It’s a journey. Win or lose, this is one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. Just playing with my friends and going out on the field and having fun,” Altermatt said. “Win or lose, we’re a team.”

When asked if they’re already planning for next season, Kemp smiled and said, “Always.”