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Musings with Rich: It’s a small world

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

A few weeks ago, my daughter and I were at Green Bay Southwest High School watching a baseball game against Notre Dame Academy.

We were sitting at a picnic table keeping score, and Southwest Athletic Director Amy Hogan walked over and said hello.

After we exchanged pleasantries, she told me she interviewed a young man by the name of Jacob Polfus for the vacant varsity girls’ basketball job.

Rich Palzewic

Being from Wallace, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula, the Polfus name is well-known in that neck of the woods.

I looked at Amy and asked, “Is he from Carney?”

After her mouth dropped open and she regained her composure, she asked me back, “How did you know that?”

I laughed and said, “Us Yoopers know everyone from the U.P.”

After we both laughed, we talked more about the potential hire.

I told her stories of the great Carney-Nadeau girls’ teams from the late 1980s and early ‘90s and how dominant they were.

Even though it’s been more than 30 years since those state championship teams, I remember it like it was yesterday.

Polfus’ dad, Paul, was the coach of those legendary teams.

Paul Polfus is also a member of the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.

If you read about Jacob’s hire in this week’s edition of The Press Times, you can learn more about Carney and how small it is.

The district has approximately 100 students K-12 housed in one building, but they’d beat teams like Escanaba, Gladstone, Marquette, Menominee and Stephenson (my alma mater) every year.

They were fun to watch – they’d press the entire game in a gym no larger than a good-sized house.

The fans were right on top of the floor, screaming and yelling to no end.

Jacob Polfus

I forget how many consecutive games they won during that span, but I believe it was more than 100.

Graduating from Carney in 1999, Jacob was a part of that as a youngster and got to witness it first-hand from his dad’s side.

I also told Amy another story about how times have changed since 1990, the year I graduated.

I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this story, but I’ve heard members of the Carney girls’ team had keys to the gym and could go inside and shoot anytime they wanted – what?

Maybe I should reach out to Paul Polfus and ask him if that story is true – he might plead the fifth.

It’s true – things are much different today than 32 years ago, but that’s small-town basketball compared to the “big time.”

I don’t think members of the Southwest girls’ team will get keys to the gym, but Jacob did tell me he wants to give as much access to the team as he possibly can.

I think it’s a great hire for Southwest, and I’m glad another Yooper has decided to relocate to the Green Bay area.

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