The Streak Rolls On
The UCLA Bruins, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Green Bay Packers and the Wapsie Valley Warriors. What do all these teams have in common? The answer is they all have repeated as champions in their respective sports. One might ask how does Wapsie Valley fit in with these giants of the sports world? Well, the Warriors might not be as highly noted but they are certainly giants in Iowa High School class 2-A football.
Over the past 20 years Coach Jerry Southmayd has developed a highly regarded football program in Northeast Iowa. His record speaks for itself: 122 wins verses 51 losses, 7 conference championships, 5 undefeated seasons, 2 state championships, and the longest winning streak in the state at 24 games. Also, add the 1983 Northeast Iowa Coach-of- the-Year and the 1987 Des Moines Register's Coach-of-the-Year award to Jerry's long list of accomplishments.
How does one develop such a highly proficient program. It all starts with Coach Jerry Southmayd. Jerry graduated from Yankton State in 1963. From there, he entered the University of South Dakota where he earned his master's degree. After a brief stop in Sibley, Iowa, as an assistant he arrived in Wapsie Valley in 1969, where he has been ever since. Southmayd gives credit for his coaching education to his training at South Dakota University. There he was surrounded by several outstanding college and high school coaches. "Our talk was football all the time. We would spend hours studying film and learning about the game through all of the coach's experiences. I think a lot of this influenced my knowledge of the game," says Southmayd.
As Coach Southmayd will tell you, it takes a team effort to be successful and that is exactly what Wapsie Valley has. Not only do they have a premier head coach in Jerry Southmayd, they also have a staff of knowledgeable assistants that have been with the program for 16 years. Steve Doeden, a 1972 graduate from Iowa State, has been coaching alongside Southmayd for 15 years. Chris Davis, another lifer, has been at Wapsie for 16 years. Chris is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State. Upper Iowa grad Tony Foster, starts his 7th year under Coach Southmayd. These three fine assistants give Southmayd a ton of experience and a staff that has a great understanding of the game.
The next ingredient to form a winning program is the players. Coach Southmayd will be the first to tell you that he has had some tremendous, talent- ed players pass through the halls at Wapsie. 'We run the same offense and defense from seventh grade to varsity football. So our kids have a great idea of what they are doing when they reach the varsity level," says Southmayd. Over the years Wapsie has produced many out- standing young athletes that have contributed to their success on the gridiron, As a result of this, Wapsie's players have bolstered the all-conference and all-state teams year in and year out. Do not look for the talent to stop in '88, for once again the Warriors are loaded with all-conference players throughout the line up,
The final ingredient to success is sup- port. The support the community and fans has given has been tremendous over the past 20 seasons. The fans of Wapsie Valley turn out in droves to watch their Wapsie Valley Warriors do battle against opposing teams, As one player put it "during the game you do not really notice the fans, but in the back of your mind you know they are always there," Not only are the Wapsie fans good home team fans, but they have an excellent road following too. The black and gold is forever followed.
With the ingredients in place, the Wapsie Valley players, coaches, and fans have jelled to form one of the most successful programs in the state. As Coach Southmayd boasts, " We have great tradition and an excellent attitude about Wapsie Valley Football in the school and in the community."
In 1988 Wapsie Valley will try to put forth their ingredients and do what only one other team has done, capture three consecutive state championships in a row. It should be an interesting season to see-- --as the STREAK ROLLS ON ! ! !