Mike's BlogDude, whatever I want to talk about
January 28, 2013 | 12:08 PM
WILLIAMS BAY -- Last week, the Lake Geneva Generals, the Geneva Lake's only semi-pro football team, were on the brink of extinction.
Owners Derek and Jeni Diehl said they weren't going to a have a team this year after only two seasons due to financial concerns.
After an outcry from fans, players and others to save the Generals, Derek Diehl, who also is the team's head coach, confirmed Monday afternoon that the Generals are back in business.
"We were able to take care of some finances, and there will be a team this year in Williams Bay," Derek said over the phone.
Costs can add up quickly, with player fees, field rentals and insurance costs. One season can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000.
Last week on Wednesday, Jeni Diehl said on the team's official Facebook page the team was folding.
Several players contacted me about a rumor of a potential merger with a Kenosha semi-pro team. In that scenario, the team could have moved from Williams Bay to Kenosha.
That turned out to only be a rumor, though.
By Sunday evening, there was an emergency team meeting in the Bay to gauge who was still with the team. Loyal to their leaders, most players from last year are coming back.
The Generals made the playoffs in their first two seasons. With more than 50 players, many of whom have college football experience, the Generals have been a staple in the Lake Geneva area.
Whether it's hosting a community fundraiser, cleaning up at an area event, signing autographs for young children or assisting Williams Bay high school players with lifting and football skills, the Generals provide a positive influence on and off the field.
A lot of guys drive from as far away as Milwaukee to play a game they love for the right reasons.
"We've got a good football team this year," Derek Diehl said.
The Feb. 9 tryout that was temporarily cancelled last week is back on schedule. It will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at Williams Bay High School.
Semi-pro football on Saturday nights in the summer is here to stay.
Crisis averted, a team saved.
Check Wednesday's Lake Geneva Regional News for a complete story.