It’s a lesson in turning hardy determination into on-field results.
Oostburg’s football team started the season motivated to do better than the year before, when the Flying Dutchmen finished at the bottom of the Central Lakeshore Conference.
The team has leveraged that determination — and taken advantage of a more robust roster than it had last year — to help meet its goal of climbing back up the conference’s standings, capping a strong run-up through the first half of the regular season with an impressive 13-2 win last Friday over previously unbeaten Ozaukee.
The formerly state-ranked Warriors (4-1, 0-1 CLC) had used one of the area’s most potent scoring offenses to rack up four straight wins to start the year. But the Dutch used a stingy defensive effort to hold Ozaukee to just two points on a second-quarter safety and keep the Warriors’ powerful run game at bay.
Oostburg has been a regular contender in the league, winning the CLC title in 2010 and often finishing near the top of the standings in recent seasons. Friday’s win boosts Oostburg’s record (3-1, 1-0 CLC) and looks to put the Dutch back in contention for a conference title that for two straight years has landed in Cedar Grove-Belgium’s hands.
Star running back Tyler Chaloupka has been a key factor in the Dutchmen’s offense this year, racking up more than 500 yards and 11 touchdowns through the team’s first four games. He scored both Oostburg TDs against Ozaukee.
Teammate running back Andy Bonnett has rushed for nearly 70 yards per game, providing a strong complement in the team’s powerful running attack.
Meanwhile, an Oostburg defense that shut down Ozaukee’s strong running game has consistently shown bouts of strength so far through the season. Jake Hurlbutt — who’s emerged as one of the team’s leading receivers on offense — has recorded two sacks and five tackles for lost yardage. Andrew Telschow and Chaloupka have each produced an interception.
1. Plymouth (4-1)
2. Cedar Grove-Belgium (4-1)
3. Oostburg (3-1)
4. Random Lake (4-1)
5. Ozaukee (4-1)