PECATONICA (WREX) — There’s been a lot of uncertainty this week around the Du-Pec football program. The Rivermen qualified for the playoffs for the first time, but were not sure they’d get to play their first round game due to the Chicago teacher’s strike.
The strike ended Thursday, meaning Du-Pec will host Harlan, a Chicago Public School, Saturday in Durand. It’s been a bit of a hectic week as the Rivermen waited to see if they’d play.
“We’ve just been kind of doing what we need to do to prepare for it,” head coach Tyler Hoffman said. “If it happened where they didn’t get the strike done, we had a different gameplan in place. But since we left the playoff party on Saturday we’ve been pretty much focused on Harlan.”
The Rivermen turned into snowmen for a day. Thursday’s snowstorm blanketed fields all over the area, making practice a little challenging, but also fun. There’s a lot of energy around Saturday’s playoff game.
“The kids have certainly been excited,” Hoffman said. “We had a goal to make the playoffs and we accomplished that goal. We had a couple of other goals in mind, get a home playoff game. That certainly added to the level of excitement. Obviously we have one more, to get some wins in the playoffs, and hopefully we get that done Saturday.”
After a couple of seasons of growing pains, sticking with the co-op is paying off.
“Anytime you do a co-op like we did a few years ago there’s always concerns,” Hoffman said. “How successful are they going to be? Are the kids going to gel? Is the community going to gel together? This is a great opportunity for both sides, both Pec and Durand, to be successful.”
Whether it’s the potential of not playing or a Halloween snowstorm, Du-Pec rolls with it all as the Rivermen get ready for playoff football.
They take on Harlan in Durand Saturday at 1 p.m.