The Packers have announced that Tom Chase of Randolph High School in Randolph, Wisconsin, has been named the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week.
Chase, in his second year as head coach of the Rockets, drives an hour and ten minutes from Weyauwega-Fremont High School, where he works as a social studies teacher, to coach the team at Randolph. The Rockets opened the season with a 48-6 victory over conference opponent Johnson Creek High School on Friday, Sept. 25. While they are proud to start with a win, Chase is also grateful that high school football can take place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been a different season, there’s no doubt about it,” said Chase. “We had to start late this year, which was out of our control, but I just wanted these seniors to be able to have a chance to play football this year. When we finally got to be able to have that first practice I just kept telling them, ‘We got one day in, OK, let’s get another day, let’s get another, and if we can get enough weeks in, maybe we can play a game.’ And that happened, so we feel very fortunate about that. Every day we are hoping that we can get a game on Friday, that our team stays intact and the team that we are playing is able to go. So that kind of thing always weighs on the back of your mind.”
With the season off to a great start for Chase and the Rockets on the field, the impact the team has off the field is just as great. Inspired by senior captain Jax Rataczak, in April, Chase and his players boarded a bus and traveled to Portage, Wis., to assist non-profit Sleep in Heavenly Peace in building beds for children in need. The team will also be helping their local firefighters serve a pancake breakfast this coming Saturday, the day after their game against Cambria-Friesland High School. In addition to helping the community off the field, the team also gives back to youth football players on the field. Every Saturday, several of the players assist with the youth flag football program in Randolph. Chase works with the youth coaches to make sure that the players’ experiences with football at a young age are enjoyable.
“The youth coaches in Randolph are phenomenal. I met with them when I first got the job and told them that they need to basically do three things: No. 1, make sure it was fun for the kids. No. 2, make sure the players are learning a little bit about the game of football. And No. 3, make sure they want to come back the next year. And [the coaches] have done just a great job down there from fifth grade all the way up.”
*Story from Packers.com
Each honoree in 2020 will be awarded several items and privileges, including a $1,000 donation to the school’s football program from the Green Bay Packers and the NFL and recognition on packers.com, WisSports.net and Wifca.org.