By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Despite recently becoming the fifth Green Bay Southwest boys’ basketball player to hit the 1,000-point mark in his career, senior Connor Pytleski is still thinking college football is his future.
“I still think that’s the route I’m going,” he said. “I was offered to play (football) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and I’ve visited UW-Oshkosh and Whitewater. UW-Lacrosse is coming up, too.”
Pytleski, an all-conference wide receiver this past season for the 1-8 Trojans, corralled 34 balls for 413 yards with four touchdowns.
Pytleski has also gotten a few Division II football looks, but he’s not sure those will pan out.
“St. Norbert College even told me I could play both football and basketball,” Pytleski said. “I think that would be too hard on my body. Besides St. Norbert, recruiting for basketball hasn’t been there.”
The Green Knights have experience with an athlete playing both sports, as Hortonville High School graduate Parker Lawrence pulled off the feat last season.
Pytleski has proven he’s no slouch on the hardwood, either.
After averaging more than 17 points per game as a junior, he was named first-team all-conference in the Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC).
Needing 23 points to crack the 1,000-point milestone entering his senior season, the 6-foot-2 Pytleski scored 11 points in a season-opening loss to Seymour on Nov. 29 before popping in 21 points against West De Pere on Dec. 1.
He now sits at 1,009 career points with most of the season yet to play.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Pytleski laughed. “It was a special moment with many of my family members in attendance. I saw my brother (Will) do it — that was my motivation to do it as well.”
A varsity player since his freshman year, Pytleski said he knew if he stayed focused, healthy and committed, he had a chance to reach the milestone.
“It still wasn’t easy, but longevity with playing on varsity is the key,” he said.
During his freshman season, Pytleski averaged 12.6 points per game and upped that total to 15.2 points per game as a sophomore during a COVID-shortened season.
Will, now a junior playing at Whitewater, scored 1,562 points in his career at Southwest.
“I’m not reaching that total,” Connor laughed. “Will was a great player at Southwest and gave me the motivation to work hard and strive to get where he did. It’s cool that two of the players to reach 1,000 points at Southwest are my brother and me.”
After struggling in the first half of Southwest’s 43-39 loss to Seymour, Pytleski scored all 11 of his points after intermission.
“We had a rough start against Seymour,” Pytleski said. “The offense wasn’t clicking, but against West De Pere, we picked it up.”
Senior Chris Seals scored 28 points to help the Trojans (1-1) even their mark on the young season.