Southern Door’s football team literally has a tough act to follow in 2023. The Eagles last year won the Packerland Conference at 7-0, went undefeated in the regular season at 9-0, and advanced three games into the postseason in Division 5 to finish 11-1 overall.
“Last year nobody thought we could do anything,” said senior running back Zack Lynch, an unanimous All-Conference first-team selection in 2022. “They thought we couldn’t win – the same thing this year.”
Lynch said the team has its sights set on more victories in 2023 as it seeks to win the Packerland title for the second year in a row.
Head football coach Mark Jonas returns for his second season at Southern Door, which graduated multiple players from the 2022 team, including linebacker Taylor Schaefer, who was last year’s Packerland Conference Defensive Player of the Year and who was also named to the 2022 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association’s Small School All-State Team on defense.
The Eagles’ graduation losses also include the Packerland’s Offensive Lineman of the Year, Lance LeGrave; Defensive Lineman of the Year, Kody Marchant; and 2022 All-Conference first-team selections Jack Peterson (offensive end), Christian Counard (defensive back) and Jonas Jandrin (linebacker). Southern Door also lost three All-Conference second-team players to graduation.
Despite all those losses, senior linebacker/tight end Will Jandrin said expectations remain high for the team.
“With losing a lot of seniors, it’s kind of hard, but I think we’ve got the skill to go just as far and win the conference,” he said.
Jonas’s list of top returning players includes Lynch and Jandrin, junior quarterback Drew Daoust, and senior Matthew Malvitz, an offensive/defensive lineman who received honorable mention in the Packerland last year on the offensive front.
Malvitz, who has recovered from a broken hand he sustained last season when his playing time was limited to the offense side of the ball, said he expects that the Eagles will once again be a tough team to beat.
“We’ve got competitors like Kewaunee; Bonduel is pretty tough; Sturgeon Bay is up there; and the goals are [winning the] Packerland Conference, [advancing to] the playoffs and making it to state,” he said.
Jonas said the strengths of this year’s team should be the left side of the offensive line and running the ball, while the amount of depth on the line is a weakness. In addition to repeating as the Packerland champions, he said the team’s goals this season include winning all the home games and going to the playoffs.
Jonas said he is the most concerned this season about injuries, as he usually is, and he’s most looking forward to “seeing these seniors follow last year’s class and do great things.”
The Eagles open the season at home Aug. 18 when they host a nonconference game against Oostburg. They close out their nine-game regular season at home Oct. 13 with a Packerland contest against intracounty rival Sturgeon Bay.
The league matchup against Kewaunee, which lost to Southern Door last year during Packerland play before handing the Eagles their only loss in the postseason, is Oct. 6 on the Storm’s home field.
2023 Eagles Football Schedule
All games start at 7 pm.
Aug. 18 Home vs. Oostburg
Aug. 25 Away vs. Brillion
Sept. 1 Away vs. Mishicot
Sept. 8 Away vs. Bonduel
Sept. 15 Home vs. Marinette
Sept. 22 Away vs. Peshtigo
Sept. 29 Home vs. Oconto
Oct. 6 Away vs. Kewaunee
Oct. 13 Home vs. Sturgeon Bay