Two high school football teams heading from western Wisconsin to the state championships in Madison are led by two long-time coaches who go back much further than the football field.
We caught up with the Rosemeyer brothers as they each held a final practice ahead of Thursday’s game day.
Jeff and Robin Rosemeyer couldn't look more like brothers if they tried Wednesday afternoon. Both wore baseball caps, grey hoodies and almost identical black sports pants, white stripe down the side. The only difference in their gear—the team names they sported.
“We grew up with six boys in the family so there were some competitive moments for sure, but also there's the brotherly connection where you want to see the other guy do well and he wants to see you do well,” says Jeff Rosemeyer, head football coach of the Colby Hornets.
Jeff is in his 19th year as head coach at Colby; his little brother Robin in his 17th year at Gilman. Both are coming off fantastic seasons, both were state champs in recent history, and both are hoping to bring home gold again—this time together.
“To coach down in Madison the same time as your brother, it is a special thing. That's something that doesn't happen very often and something that we'll cherish as a family. But, at the same time we both know it's about the kids more than about us,” says Robin Rosemeyer, head coach of the Gilman Pirates.
The Rosemeyer brothers say they aren’t going to miss each others games on Thursday. Jeff is driving down early, ahead of his own team to cheer on Robin. Then, win or lose, Robin will be there in the stands for Jeff.
“It's somebody I wouldn't want to face in a real game,” Robin says with a laugh.
So while these coaches may be happy not to be playing each other...
“It makes it a little easier on the people that know us and the other members of the family,” Jeff says.
…In the end they know, come game time, these brothers are each other's biggest fans.
“We wish him well and hopefully good things happen for both our teams down there,” Robin says.
Jeff’s message for his brother: “I wish him a lot of luck. Pull out all the stops and let ‘em have it!”
Adding to the Rosemeyer fantasy football team are Rodney Rosemeyer, the head football coach in Durand and Dean Rosemeyer, a football coach with the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds.
We'll have several crews in Madison for the games on Thursday and highlights on WEAU 13 News. Good luck!