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It is an offseason like no other for the La Crescent High School football program.

The heaviest adjustments will come in a couple of months because that’s when the Lancers would typically prepare for a varsity football schedule.

Josh Mallicoat mug

Mallicoat

That won’t happen in 2019, but the hope is that it will again in 2021 after the next two seasons are spent rebuilding the base for a program had to accept the reality of its status.

La Crescent won’t play a varsity schedule the next two seasons.

“We will have seventh- and eighth-grade football next year, along with junior varsity,” La Crescent assistant principal and activities director Josh Mallicoat said. “We don’t want to lose what we had. We want to reconstruct it, and that’s what we are trying to do now.”

The Lancers were 0-9 last season and are 1-26 over the last three. Their last winning season with a 6-4 performance in 2010, and numbers seemed to dwindle after that.

Mallicoat said the team suited up 29 players in the last game of last season, but “10 or 11” of them were seniors.

That made a plan of action essential, and Mallicoat and the coaching staff set out to create that plan immediately.

Mallicoat scheduled meetings with interested players from sixth grade up to discuss how to move the program in the right direction. Coach Ryan Vinzant and his staff will take to time work with the community’s youth coaches to get everyone on the same page for the future goal.

A lot of what that goal entails revolves around the weight room. Mallicoat is very clear when he talks about strength and conditioning forming the future of La Crescent athletics.

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“We just had nine coaches go to Onalaska for a strength and conditioning clinic,” Mallicoat said. “They weren’t all football coaches. It’s not just about football, it’s about all of our sports, boys and girls.”

But football makes statements about communities. Whether teams win or lose, they are generally followed well, and football fields are the place to be on Friday nights during the fall.

La Crescent has had very good — and entertaining — teams in the past, and Mallicoat wants to revive that and make Earl Seaton Field the place to be again.

The school-board approved decision to spend the next two seasons rebuilding the team wasn’t just made because of the lack of recent success, but the reasons that led to it.

Vinzant had enough seniors to play on the offensive line last season, but many of them were unfamiliar with how to play the position. With a decent chunk of the roster being freshmen and sophomores, options were limited when it came to matching up directly across from bigger schools.

“When you are going up against teams like Stewartville, Rochester Lourdes and Kasson(-Mantorville), that makes a big difference,” Mallicoat asid. “You want kids to be able to play where they belong, and we aren’t able to do that right now.”

What La Crescent does moving forward will determine how soon that happens.


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Assistant Sports Editor

Todd Sommerfeldt has covered sports for the La Crosse Tribune since 2003 after doing the same previously in the Fox Cities and Rock County.