December 07, 2011 | 07:27 AMWALWORTH — You know the background.
Rodney Wedig led the Big Foot football team to a state title in 2009 and has won five straight Rock Valley South titles.
But did you know his first coaching job was in girls basketball?
Wedig was initially an AAU girls basketball coach right out of college before eventually taking a head coaching job at Almond-Bancroft, a small school near Stevens Point.
The football guru will return to the court for the first time in 10 years this winter to be the head man for the Big Foot girls.
But it doesn't mean he isn't familiar with the players, whom he coached at the JV level the last couple years.
Why did Wedig make the leap to head coach? He can't deny his passion.
"I love coaching, it's my one true hobby," he said. "I love Big Foot athletics, and I want to have consistency throughout the basketball program."
Wedig replaces Joe Wehrenberg, who is now out of the district.
After a 6-18 record a year ago, Big Foot brought in assistant coach Mike Palmer, who coached last year at Delavan-Darien, and Alison Krick, who coached previously at Racine St. Catherine's.
Wedig has his work cut out for him. WBCA all-star and first team all-conference selection Courtney Spangler, who averaged 14.8 points per game, has taken her talents to Madison Area Technical College.
But several key components are back, including seniors Brittani Isham and Alyssa Lueck along with juniors Jen Petkoff and Molly Kovarik.
Overall, the team will feature 10 seniors. Wedig said he will rely on contributions from Mary Bopp, Lindsay Mazur, Kayleigh and Kelsey Wedig.
"We have no real superstar," Rodney Wedig said. "Every single girl on the team can contribute. I'm making sure I put their talents to use."
Petkoff is the team's leading returning scorer at 8.6 points per game. Isham scored 7.6 points per contest last year. Also, Kovarik tallied nearly six points.
Coach Wedig will put the girls to the test with a new system offensively and defensively.
"We are stressing the fundamentals," Rodney Wedig said. "We are adjusting the philosophy. But first off, we're figuring out who we are. We don't have a lot of height, so we will have to play uptempo."
Coach Wedig said he hopes to finish around .500 in his first season. But the potential for greatness is there.
"There's no dominant team in the Rock Valley South," he said. "If we play well, we can beat anybody. Right now, we're struggling with scoring."
On Friday, the Lady Chiefs return home to face Brodhead. Coach Wedig said the Cardinals along with Clinton will be the front-runners in the South.
Big Foot has been blown out in two losses thus far.
Last Thursday, visiting Badger downed the Chiefs, 47-23. Big Foot jumped out to a 7-2 lead but it was all Badger from then on.
Isham led the girls with five points. The game was dedicated to Isham's grandfather, Jess Lobdell, who recently passed away. Lobdell was an avid area sports lover and was instrumental in the founding of Fontana Recreation.
At halftime, Isham gave an emotional speech thanking the crowd for its support. Proceeds from the game were donated to local youth sports.
Big Foot is 0-2 on the season.