GREEN BAY — The postseason is here in track and field and for the Green Bay Preble boys team that can only mean one thing — time to make up for last year.
A year ago the Hornets were one event away from winning the Division 1 state title before falling by one point to Brookfield East. Almost 12 months later, the Hornets are eyeing a chance to make up for a lost opportunity.
"We always focus on how many variables there were that we could've changed,” junior Daniel Laluzerne said. “Had this guy jumped three-fourths of an inch farther or if this guy had got half a second better; like very minor details that could've improved, so it's just really important to focus on the little things for that."
The only way Preble, which was leading with one event to run, could’ve lost the state title was it finish sixth or lower in the 3,200-meter relay and East win the event. That’s exactly what happened to the chagrin of Preble.
"I look at my 800 as the reason why we lost state,” senior Nick Freitag said. “I was seeded fourth and I took fifth and that was the one point that we needed to win state. If anyone has inspiration out of it I have a lot of inspiration.
“I think going back to the state meet this year is going to be something that I can do whatever I can to help the team win the state title.”
Preble has battled injury this season, including Robert Starnes (high jump, triple jump, long jump) who missed about one month with a hamstring injury. In fact, at the Fox River Classic Conference, Preble had some key athletes sit.
However, coach Nick Marcelle said the team will be ready for regionals on Tuesday.
"This group is extremely hungry,” Marcelle said. “Most of the kids that participated in La Crosse (at the state meet), with the exception of Jake Wallenfang and his brother Zak, are back, so a lot of them experienced that one-point defeat and a lot of them are very hungry."
If healthy, the Hornets expect to challenge for the state title and if the Hornets need an edge all they have to do is look at what they’re wearing. Preble had T-shirts made to remind it of what happened last year.
"(The T-shirt) had Preble's score, Brookfield East's score; one point, one second, one place,” Laluzerne said. “Even that one little thing could impact so much."
"We got T-shirts and everything that read we lost by one point,” Starnes said. “T-shirts made for it and everything; everybody's just coming ready and practicing real hard. We all want it really bad."
The road to redemption begins Tuesday in regionals.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay