MILWAUKEE — High school athletic season is underway in Wisconsin. 

Many athletes across the state are gearing up and getting ready to take the field this season. 

The football team at Mukwonago High School had its first set of practices Tuesday. 

Senior Gaige Taugher is an inside linebacker with the team. He said summer has flown by. 

“August definitely came fast,” said Taugher. “Can’t believe we’re starting school here in a month again, but that means games come quicker and we get to get back out there and have fun.” 

While the summer excitement is still in the air, this team, like many others, is now in grind mode. 

“Collectively, we all want to be out here,” said Taugher. “We could be at home sleeping, but we’re all out here working. Getting stuff ready and fine tuning it for the season.”

Coach Mike Gnewuch said this month holds a special place in his heart. 

“Christmas came early,” he said. “August 1st is Christmas here in Mukwonago.” 

Coach Mike Gnewuch (Spectrum News 1/Katarina Velazquez)

Last season, the team experienced a close defeat in the state championship to Kimberly. That loss gave them the motivation they needed heading into this new season. 

“We have some unfinished business,” said Gnewuch. “We want to build on what we did last year. The seniors left an incredible legacy here at MHS and now our juniors, now to be seniors, are ready to step up and hopefully finish the climb that we made last year.” 

Gnewuch said it takes a tremendous amount of dedication to be a student-athlete. He said he’s proud to see the team getting back into the swing of things. 

“Research suggests that those that are involved in extra curriculars have better GPAs, have less referrals in school and are usually better behaved,” he said. 

Gnewuch said he’s looking forward to what they will do in this new season. 

“It’s going to be a grind,” he said. “We’re proud to play in the classic eight conference and we’re very biased. We think it’s the best league in the state of Wisconsin.” 

Quarterback Tyler Schlut said being back out on the field is about more than just the game. 

Quarterback Tyler Schlut (Spectrum News 1/Katarina Velazquez)

“It teaches us responsibility,” said Schlut. “To get up early, get some work in. We’re part of something bigger than ourselves this year, so we’re just working hard as a team. 

This team is determined to give it all they’ve got. 

“We obviously have a bigger target on our backs being state runners up,” said Taugher. “Hopefully this year we can bring the golden ball back home, but we know it’s not going to be easy. We know we don’t have a ticket back to Camp Randall. We’ve got to work hard to get there.