Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

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Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:15 pm

Alright lets lay it all out there.

The IM-K rivalry ended in the past couple weeks. I am tackling the loss of rivalries to the UP for the undefined future. It's going to be more honest then politically correct because quite frankly it needs to be. Here is a very informative piece from the Daily News.

After it is a letter referenced in the article from the Iron Mountain coaching staff (don't put that all on the head coach - its all of them, and don't put it on the players because they are affected by this more than anyone else is) to the Athletic Committee dated one year ago today, December 8, 2016.


http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/sp ... alrys-end/

Iron Mountain, Kingsford reckon with football rivalry’s end

IM officials cite scheduling needs caused end of rivalry; Kingsford AD calls it ‘insensitive’

Local Sports

Dec 8, 2017

Adam Niemi

Sports Editor


It’s a phone call Joe Pontbriand never thought he’d make when he took over in July as athletic director at Iron Mountain.

But on Nov. 28, driving along US-141, he made the call. On the other end of the line was Kingsford athletic director Al Unger.

After sitting in a five-hour meeting with other West PAC athletic directors finalizing football schedules for the 2018 season, Pontbriand had the news. With a nine-game conference schedule, there was no room for the 94th annual rivalry football game between Iron Mountain and Kingsford. There wouldn’t come a chance for either team to break the rivalry series deadlock at 45-45-3.

“I called him and I let him know that this is final, the conference decided to go with nine conference games, two of which were crossover. Unfortunately that’s not going to involve Kingsford. That’s a tough call to make, being my first year here,” Pontbriand said. “Being my first year here. I’m not trying to come in and change tradition. That wasn’t my vision. My vision was to maintain nine games with an 11-man program. I know that’s difficult for Al scheduling games and I know it’s difficult for the (Great Northern Conference) schools.”

During the summer, the West PAC accepted Norway, Munising, Lake Linden-Hubbell and Bark River-Harris, which inversely meant schools that scheduled them in 2018 had lost those games. Schedules for schools in the Mid-Peninsula Conference unraveled.

Unger disagreed with Pontbriand’s point that the rivalry game had to end. After all, both schools already had a signed contract to play out the 2018 game on Week 7, Oct. 5. Unger said he thought the merger would have been for 2019.

“Conferences have been realigned and merged always throughout the state. Wisconsin did it from the state level, at the WIAA level and they know how important rivalry games are to communities,” Unger said. “So whenever they’ve created mega-conferences like 12 teams or more, they’ve always allowed a floater date, bye date, for continuing on with that rivalry. Perfect example — Menominee, Marinette — there’s a cross-state rivalry that they were very sensitive to and they let them continue on with it.

“There’s no reason why this couldn’t have happened. There really isn’t. To lock up a nine-game schedule with no regard for playing a rivalry game, to me, it only tells me one thing. Why wouldn’t Iron Mountain and Negaunee not want to advocate for that important game? If they truly wanted this game to continue, they would have advocated for it. It’s my understanding that they didn’t.”

Pontbriand defended his approach to the conference with respect to the rivalry games.

“It was brought up at a meeting, it was talked about,” he said. “The response was to keep inter-conference matchups. Could I have said more and pound my fists on the table? Probably, but we wanted to keep it business professional. Us (Iron Mountain and Negaunee) going in and demanding things doesn’t suit well for the conference.”

‘Something had to give’

Iron Mountain Public Schools superintendent Raphael Rittenhouse, who was familiar with Iron Mountain’s consideration for conference changes that began in 2015 before Pontbriand’s arrival, said the football schedule was the priority after it had fallen apart.

“The driving force behind this was truly building a schedule for next year,” Rittenhouse said. “When I was first approached, there was no question that immediately (Pontbriand) was saying as an athletic director he’s never had to build this many games. It just isn’t done. It’s impossible to accomplish that type of task at this point in the year. Replacing one game is hard enough, redoing your entire schedule is impossible. Always, that was at the forefront of the conversation and the fallout is obviously, when you line up to get in a conference, that’s what happens. And so obviously that’s the driving force.”

Unger, whose Kingsford football team plays in the five-team GNC, is left to fill a five-game hole in the schedule each season. He said the Flivvers’ schedule is completed well before a year in advance.

But Iron Mountain had a tentative nine-game schedule when Pontbriand took over as athletic director. Kingsford was on that schedule. When the West PAC accepted the four schools in July, Pontbriand said he lost two games — Norway and West Iron County. And with September approaching, he still had two games to fill for 2018, a time when most schools have finalized schedules and referee crews lined up. Other Mid-Peninsula Conference teams besides Iron Mountain had worse scheduling woes after the West PAC expanded to 12 teams.

“Ishpeming’s schedule was a little bit different because they were still holding on to some schools that were in the Mid Eastern Conference,” Pontbriand said. “They were playing schools such as Norway. This year, when Norway went to the West PAC, they lost them. They lost a few games because of the merger, the MEC falling apart and some of those schools going into the West PAC. Those schools already had a schedule — the original West PAC had some games. So Ishpeming’s schedule fell apart. They were looking at five, six games at the most. They were talking to us about playing twice, that’s what it was coming to. We had seven games. Westwood had seven games. We had Kingsford, but those schools didn’t, or Menominee, or Escanaba, Marquette, or the Soo. It was just scary times for everybody. You need eight games on your schedule to be able to qualify for the playoffs. It was looking like some schools weren’t going to get there.

“We (MPC) decided as a conference minus Manistique and Gladstone to collectively apply to the West PAC,” Pontbriand added. “We were all competing for the same games on a lot of the same weeks and we already played each other. Ultimately there were really no games to be had. Something had to give.”

Unger said he wanted to see Iron Mountain put more effort into saving the rivalry game. He called the lack of effort ‘insensitive.’

“That’s what it comes down to. If you care about high school sports, you got to look at it big picture,” Unger said. “The decisions we’re making, how is that going to affect other schools we do business with? Either you care, or you don’t care.”

‘I’m not buying it’

Unger cited a letter written a year ago by Iron Mountain head football coach Robin Marttila. Unger said it showed an intention on ending the rivalry.

In the 370-word letter dated Dec. 8, 2016, Marttila addressed a letter to the Iron Mountain athletic committee. In the first paragraph Marttila said, “It is my professional opinion that we should drop Kingsford immediately. It is simply what is best for our kids at Iron Mountain.”

Marttila supported his recommendation, saying, “the discrepancy in the enrollment between Iron Mountain and Kingsford is growing too far apart. With this comes a safety issue on the field.”

“I’m not buying it,” Unger said. “We know they wanted to eliminate us off their schedule to begin with.”

Last season, the Mountaineers finished 1-8 with a roster that hovered at about 17 players. Injuries further limited them. Marttila defended his letter against Unger’s point, adding that the need to secure a viable nine-game schedule was a priority.

“Safety in football in general is a big element, as it should be,” Marttila said. “We’ve talked for a number of years now. I understand Kingsford wants to play the game, I get that. But again we have to do what’s best for our kids at Iron Mountain.

“I’ve talked to (Kingsford head football coach) Chris Hofer the last few years about Iron Mountain football and where it’s going. We’ve talked about the discrepancy in enrollments,” Marttila added. “Our athletic directors have talked about that. We talked about the safety of our players. That’s just part of the game of football. I talked to some kids and they’ve looked forward to playing in this game for a long time. I think they understand where it’s at as far as our football schedule. It’s sad to see it go. For the community it’s sad to see it go – the response to it. It’s sad, it’s disappointing. I want people to understand both sides of it. What would also be disappointing is if we had four football games next season. That’d be very disappointing, without a doubt.”

Hofer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The rivalry’s future

With the enrollment cutoff for playoff-eligible eight-player teams at 203 students, some West PAC schools are close to deciding whether they’ll transition to eight-player programs in the near future.

Pontbriand said if a hypothetical situation arose where some teams dropped out of the West PAC and Iron Mountain had an open date, he would be open to playing Kingsford. Marttila said he was also open to the possibility.

“If it was in the best interest of our kids, we would do that,” Marttila said.

When asked about resuming the rivalry, Unger left it open-ended.

“I guess we’ll wait and see what happens,” he said.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I happen to think the Kingsford AD is on the money with this, but I encourage all thoughts. This needs to be debated. Do we want to accept the end of all the rivalries up here? Because that is just about where we are.

The letter to the Athletic Committee from the entire IM coaching staff dated December 8, 2016

http://www.up-football.com/rivalry/imk/ ... rfinal.pdf


Here is a nice timeline of events leading up to the decision to end this rivalry:

May 18, 2016 - Gladstone voted into the MPC for the 2017-18 season. Only school opposed was Gwinn.
October 7, 2016 - Kingsford beats Iron Mountain team that was favored to beat them 35-0 at Mountaineer stadium. Iron Mountain seniors had beaten Kingsford seniors when they were Junior Varsity players.
December 8 , 2016 - Coach Robin Marttila pens letter to IM Athletic Committee requesting to drop Kingsford from football schedule immediately backed by all the current football coaches in the Iron Mountain program.
March 31, 2017 - IM Athletic Director Chris Hartman resigns.
July 10, 2017 - IM hires Joe Pontbriand as Athletic Director. Board Vice President Rob Langsford indicated this "will help us move ahead - in making this decision it was putting the right pieces in the right order."
October 6, 2017 - Kingsford beats a down Iron Mountain team to tie up the football series for the first time in its long history. IM JV team finishes unbeaten. Many JV players declined opportunity to play on varsity for this season.
October 10, 2017 - Iron Mountain applies to join WestPAC conference as newly voted in member Gladstone is dominating the MPC in football.
October 18, 2017 - Iron Mountain and the rest of the original MPC conference members accepted into WestPAC Conference.
November 29, 2017 - Iron Mountain and the MPC teams officially join the WestPAC forming large and small school divisions. They add required cross over games which closes the conference to any non conference game and ends the Iron Mountain-Kingsford rivalry at 93 years.

Lets also get the enrollment thing cleared up. The letter and the IM coaches quotes in the paper indicate there has been shift in the difference between the two schools enrollment in the last 15 years. The facts say otherwise. Now the entire UP has seen a drop in enrollment across the board. IM is not unique to that. IM also added soccer during this time. Apparently the enrollment didn't concern them too much about that. Even Menominee doesn't have soccer.

Anyway. Here are the actual enrollment numbers from Iron Mountain and Kingsford. Today and 15 years ago (they are also added to the letter):

Enrollment numbers
2002 Iron Mountain - 393 students
2017 Iron Mountain - 303 students

2002 Kingsford - 763 students
2017 Kingsford - 542 students

Basic math will tell you the discrepancy did not increase. It decreased by 131 students in the high school.


The end of this rivalry was unnecessary and it sucks for the players who will never get to play in this game.

One former State Champion summed it up the same way everyone I have personally talked to said in one way or another:

Very sad, I have more found memories of the IM-K game than I do the state championship games. Life long friends on both teams and cross town rival, that’s special. I can even remember the pre-game coin flip my senior! No one wins here.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby Zarek » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:16 pm

I recently finished programming and designing a program that can easily generate a graph of schools enrollment dating back to 1985. Posted are the graphs that compare Kingsford and iron mountain. Both are the same graph, but one has an extra set of lines for readability.

Ignore the last downward pointing blue line hanging off of the end of Kingsfords line. It is a minor bug I need to fix.

IMG_0069.jpg


IMG_0067.jpg
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:12 pm

Nice job Zarek. Proves how the enrollments have fluctuated together, much like the rest of the UP.

Now lets take a look at the "scheduling problem".

Lets first take a minute to acknowledge the fact that Iron Mountain is speaking out of both ends on this. They claim the enrollment gap between them and Kingsford has grown too large for the safety of their players and that once in the WestPAC there is this scheduling issue, so no way this game could be played. Inexplicably Iron Mountain is placed in the large division of the WestPAC. Bypassing Manistique and Ishpeming (the MPC teams conveniently left their co-ops off the schedule they released to the media - while the WestPAC did not). If IM was in the small school conference as enrollment would have it if you split it down the middle, getting the two rivalry games in (Negaunee-Marquette & IM-K) would be a piece of cake. Also it would have helped with the safety of the IM kids playing programs larger than Kingsford in the large division. As it is I can still get the rivalry game in there using basic common sense on teams that need games because of this Super Conference, but can you imagine how easy it would be if IM was placed in the proper division? Weird.....
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby scoopnscore » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:32 am

http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/sp ... ight-time/

KINGSFORD — Iron Mountain’s two turnovers in the first quarter led to a pair of scores by Kingsford en route to a 42-7 win in the teams’ 93rd meeting on Friday.


The win gives the Flivvers (5-1) its sixth in a row over the Mountaineers (1-6).

Kingsford is now 20-8 against Iron Mountain since 1990, outscoring the Mountaineers 713-339 in that stretch. The all-time series is now tied 45-45-3.

Kingsford’s scores off the turnovers came on consecutive possessions. Luke Terrian opened the scoring with a 5-yard run followed by a 24-yard pass reception by Jon Schmutzler about 30 seconds after.

“We were looking to score early. I thought we could move the ball throwing the ball,” Kingsford head coach Chris Hofer said. “We actually ran the ball really good too. We just wanted to get some points early.”

The Mountaineers dressed 16 players and struggled on offense. Iron Mountain crossed the 50 with about three minutes left in the first quarter facing a 21-0 deficit. The Mountaineers didn’t get in the red zone until about midway through the third quarter. They finished the game with 239 yards of offense including 125 rushing and 114 passing.

“We got beat by a better football team,” Iron Mountain coach Robin Marttila said. “Kingsford was bigger, faster and stronger than us. That was evident. They’re a really good team. Give credit to them and their coaches.”

Kingsford held a 35-0 halftime lead.

The Flivvers racked up 422 yards of offense including 255 rushing and 167 passing. Kingsford quarterback Sawyer Perpich was 7 of 8 passing with two touchdowns.

Terrian, Schmutzler and Trevor Povolo each had two touchdowns. Schmutzler and Povolo both caught a touchdown reception.

Iron Mountain had some highlights including a 55-yard pass on second-and-15 from Jacob Tucker to Charlie Gerhard near the start of the fourth quarter.

The Mountaineers also had a goal line stand in the ensuing possession. Kingsford snapped the ball three times from inside Iron Mountain’s 1 yard line and failed to find the end zone.

“We could’ve gave them another seven points late in that fourth quarter,” Marttila said. “Kudos to the kids out there for getting that goal line stand. We could’ve just folded right there, but credit our kids for battling and getting a goal-line stand late in the game.”

Tucker picked up a pair of interceptions.

Nate Rutter had an interception and Chase Kreski had two for the Flivvers.

Hofer said the Flivvers’ individual performances were due to strong teamwork.

“I thought everybody played pretty good,” Hofer said. “It’s hard to really single anyone out on anything. We had some good throws, good catches, covered well and played good D at times.”

Iron Mountain was 2 of 9 on third-down conversions, while Kingsford was 2 of 5. The Mountaineers were 1 of 3 on fourth-down conversions. Kingsford failed its only fourth-down conversion attempt when the Mountaineers made the goal-line stand.

“Our kids battled hard for 40 minutes. We were just overmatched. We tried to string together a couple first downs and keep the clock going, put some points on the board,” Marttila said. “Obviously Kingsford’s defense is very tough to run on and we were limited in what we could do. Having said that, I thought our backs ran hard. We ran a lot of plays, I know that. I thought we were just out-gunned.”

Hofer said the play at the line of scrimmage has been a staple for Kingsford this season.

“That’s one of the strengths of our team,” he said. “We just wanted to execute stuff. We just ran our base stuff and tried to run it well.”

Iron Mountain 0 0 0 7 — 7

Kingsford 21 14 7 0 — 42

First Quarter

K — Luke Terrian, 5-yard run (Chase Kreski kick), 6:26

K — Jon Schmutzler, 24-yard pass from Sawyer Perpich (Kreski kick), 5:57

K — Terrian, 21-yard run (Kreski kick), 5:02

Second Quarter

K — Trevor Povolo, 73-yard run (Kreski kick), 2:40

K — Povolo, 33-yard pass from Perpich (Kreski kick), 2:01

Third Quarter

K — Schmutzler, 45-yard run (Kreski kick), 11:01.

Fourth Quarter

IM — Charlie Gerhard, 55-yard pass from Jacob Tucker (CJ Dantes kick), 11:25

First Downs: IM 9, Kingsford 10

Third Down Conversion: IM 2-9, K 2-5

Total offense: IM 239, K 422

Turnovers: IM 4, Kingsford 2

Penalties: IM 2 for 10 yards; K 3 for 25 yards
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:15 pm

Apparently Kingsford is not worried about enrollment or how tough the football programs they are playing.... as in comparison to Iron Mountain..... when they schedule football games...

Kingsford 2018 Schedule (enrollment 540)

at Menasha (enrollment 1100 - One of the top D2 programs in Wisconsin)
at Fond du Lac Springs (enrollment 250 - Wisconsin private school powerhouse)
Fond du Lac (enrollment 2100 - One of the best programs in Wisconsin D1)
Gladstone (enrollment 493)
at Wausau East (enrollment 1100)
Marquette (enrollment 1044)
OPEN
Menominee (enrollment 479)
at Escanaba (enrollment 739)


Absolutely amazing the different directions these two programs are headed because of the leadership they are under.

Discloser: The Iron Mountain I grew up watching would play anyone, anywhere. Just a different time we live in.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby frogyakker » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:59 am

Nice idea here. Great memories of broadcasting almost 40 of these games between KHS and IMHS. 1993 comes first to mind. After a hard fought close Flivver win, I walked out of Flivver Field with the late Don Edens who said that these teams will win state titles. And they did. But beyond the game itself I will miss the pageantry of those Saturday afternoon contests. I know that Friday night is High School football time but in this case..poppycock. The return to Friday took away the center stage this game belonged on. People didn't have to rush home from work, get their things and get to the game. Saturday you took your time, maybe tailgated and saw the combined bands perform. I know many on this site disagree with me on that and that's fine. I will miss this series because of the buzz around town that whole week.

Many things are being thrown around as to why this happened. Enrollment being one of them. But one word I don't see much is participation. In general kids are not playing sports like they used to. My son's 8th grade basketball team played a school that had 4 players on the 8th grade team. FOUR! They took some of the better 7th graders to play the game. This year KHS had nearly twice the size team that IMHS had in numbers. I would think twice before attacking the enemy's fort if they had twice the army I had. IMHS boys either played other sports or simply did not come out. This is an issue all over. 8-man football is blooming because of enrollment/participation. Even basketball is feeling the crunch. I have seen jv teams with 6 on the roster. Far more things for kids to do since "back in the day". Could that change? Of course. For now though it is what it is.

This rivalry was huge to the area sports landscape and it's a damn shame it's over. I will miss it. And as this site takes hold it will be fun to look back and remember. But we moved on from horse and buggy transportation and 8-tracks and the sun still comes up. Don't let adult decisions effect anyone still rooting for your team and supporting those who still play for the love of the sport. IT might not be the same football but it is still football. And who knows what the future might bring? God willing I'm around long enough to find out.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:15 am

I truly hope you're around long enough to see this rivalry come back Frokyaker. Would love to hear the game broadcast by your team again. Be it on a Friday, Saturday or Tuesday. Just get the game on again.

As for this years IM-K game. An anomaly. Name me one other time in the last 15 years IM had that low of participation in football? Name me one other time when IM had a large and very good JV team (over 100 kids in that class) and most of them declined to get moved up to varsity to help with the low numbers? Negaunee had 6 sophomores moved up and 40 kids on their roster. So yes it is participation, but a low anomaly participation of a couple classes IM this year. Participation of younger classes not wanting to step up, if it means having a few losses. It sounds to me like it has more to do with the culture being changed by the leadership or lack there of. This isn't just the head coach. This is the whole mess of them, right down to the brass that runs things like the middle school football league. I can tell you they are all like this. Telling tales of 8 man football. Woe us... its bs, all of it.

So yes, Kingsford had 30 kids on their roster in 2017. IM had 17. How many can play on the field at once? 11 each is your answer. How many did IM have on the roster in 2016? Over 25 is your answer. Who was favored in the IM-K game in 2016? Iron Mountain is your answer. Who got the blame for the blowout loss in 2016? The IM coaching staff is your answer. When was the Athletic Committee approached with dropping Kingsford? After the 2016 game. I will stop there.

I have been living, eating and breathing this rivalry for the past month. There is a long history of people in this area, who in the long running of this rivalry, have family that played for both sides. My family is not any different. I am halfway done with my research in this game and I will have an entire section of this website dedicated to it. I have read every news article, every preview to the game since 1925. I've probably seen close to 40 years worth of games. Talked to so many historians on it. The rivalry is every bit of what Frokyaker touches on and so much more. Some people have lost touch with that. Hopefully when I post these articles and break down the history... more people will be able to see just what they lost here.

Old school Mountaineers feel just like this well written piece by a former Mountaineer. When you get through the BS nonsense excuses as to the reasons given why it ended and expose the truth. This is a universal reaction to this game no longer being around. UP Football has lost meaning to so many who make the decisions for the young people who play it. Football is not about the playoffs or about winning every single game. It's about the process and earning respect on and off the field. It's not meant to need a victory or to be easy. Right now the leaders want easy wins. There is no respect in that. That kind of leadership will not get participation. You are always going to have some kids who are afraid of that route and quit. That is part of the process. Those who stick it out learn great things from it.


http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/op ... ford-game/


Disappointed by decision to end IM-Kingsford game

Guest column

Dec 22, 2017


MIKE MENGHINI

Iron Mountain Class of 2009

I wanted to express my deep concern and disgust at the recent news that Iron Mountain will not schedule Kingsford as part of next year’s football schedule.

The Iron Mountain-Kingsford rivalry was one of the longest-standing, strongest and best rivalries and traditions in the local community. As an Iron Mountain native, former Iron Mountain football player, and IMHS graduate, the Iron Mountain-Kingsford game, whether as a young child, a player, or now as a proud fan cheering from my home in Colorado, was one of the few games of the year that I closely followed. The tradition sparked the community, brought people together, and provided intense competition that typically emptied the streets and filled the stands year in and year out.

Even over the past several years under Tom Wender’s leadership, when Iron Mountain had smaller teams and less enrollment than Kingsford, we competed, worked like hell, and from time to time beat Kingsford. Any former IMHS football player (at least before the Boddy/Marttila eras), except maybe Robin Marttila (who played under legendary coach Wender), would tell you the Iron Mountain-Kingsford game was the most important game of the year.

To see this tradition come to an end is tragic. It is tragic for the young men playing football in the community, tragic for the fans, tragic for the schools, and tragic for the entire community as a whole.

Months before this news broke, I heard that Mr. Marttila was considering this change to the schedule and even encouraging it. Given that Mr. Marttila is a former Iron Mountain football player under Coach Wender and now the current head coach, I was absolutely shocked at the news. Part of me did not want to believe it. At one point I thought it might be a rumor. To now see it happen is so disappointing that it is hard to put into words.

This news shows a lack of leadership and a lack of pride, and is against everything that Mountaineers stand for. Coaches like Wender and Phyllis Laurila (two of Iron Mountain’s legendary, most successful and best coaches in its rich history) spent countless hours with the kids promoting their respective sports, coaching the kids, driving the kids to compete beyond their own perceived abilities, and creating an atmosphere that resulted in incredible success. The atmosphere created a culture — a culture of discipline, winning, and love for the game. I, for one, am one of those kids who was so greatly influenced by them and am grateful each day that I had the opportunity to play under their leadership. While these legendary coaches dealt with many of the same issues that the programs deal with today, such as lower enrollment and budget problems, they would not take no for an answer. They worked with what they had and turned their programs into dominating forces in the state of Michigan year after year.

As you probably know, another Iron Mountain graduate, Tom Izzo, built his basketball program at Michigan State on the principle that they would play anyone, anywhere, anytime. While not always having the most successful teams, he stuck to his principles and has never waivered. This approach has resulted in Tom Izzo being considered one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time. As a head coach, he has one national championship, appeared in seven Final Fours, and now sits in the basketball Hall of Fame. Not bad for a guy from Iron Mountain who, as a high school football player, took part in playing in the annual Iron Mountain-Kingsford game.

Now that this disappointing news has come out, I hope that the IMHS leadership has accepted the responsibility for the negative impact and long-term consequences this will have on its student-athletes, the school and the community as a whole. It is a disgrace for the Iron Mountain program to cancel the annual Iron Mountain-Kingsford game. In my opinion, under the leadership of Mountaineers with determination, work ethic, and pride similar to Izzo, Wender and Laurila, IMHS would never have allowed this to happen.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby frogyakker » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:01 pm

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Thanks. Nothing would please me more to do an im-k football game on a WEDNESDAY night if that's what it takes. Kids are cut from a different cloth these days by and large. NOT ALL but too many. Look at the boys basketball scores you are seeing. Final scores in the 30s. That used to be a a halftime score. Too many kids don't invest in their game from March to November. I know we are talking about different sports, but even in football you see it. Is it the newer younger coaches, coaches just looking for wins,kids not in the weight room like they used to be, something else all together? We can only speculate. I do know this. All the screaming and yelling and name calling isn't changing a thing. Whats done is done. At least for know. The only sure thing in life is change. Hopefully the game returns sooner than later...on Saturday!....LOL Have a great Christmas!
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:25 am

This isn't screaming, yelling and name calling. It's calling out the truth and exposing the lies. If that makes me unpopular with some, I can honestly tell I don't care. This culture is ruining the game up here and I am going to expose it for what it really is, not the tall tales told in taverns. Just because IM told the paper the reason they dropped this game was the WestPAC dictated it, doesn't make it the truth.

I mean we all understand the cliental of the leadership we have been getting. Does this matter? Absolutely.

Enjoy the conversations Frokyaker. Respect the years of football you have seen and your love for the game. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby frogyakker » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:24 am

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Apology. Yelling and screaming was more of a metaphor. The discussion and sharing of opinions has been great and level headed. I have enjoyed it. And the respect comes back at you. We have seen enough over the decades to form intelligent opinions on topics. We may not turn out to be right but we are not just pissin in the wind. Happy New Year to you and all on this site!
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby DLintheTrenches » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:19 am

I still am trying to figure out who Mike Menghini is lol. I graduated from IM around 2009, and he definitely did not. I will also attest that even the players of the Boddy/Marttila eras, which I am part of, as is he evidently, all had Kingsford circled every year. I understand his frustration but definitely didn't like him taking shots at the student-athletes, who have 0 say in what games are played. But I know every single Mountaineer I played with would vote to play them, whether 50 vs 50 or 100 vs. 11.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby scoopnscore » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:31 am

The year was a typo. Mike Menghini graduated from Iron Mountain in 2002 I believe.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:35 pm

DLintheTrenches wrote:I understand his frustration but definitely didn't like him taking shots at the student-athletes, who have 0 say in what games are played. But I know every single Mountaineer I played with would vote to play them, whether 50 vs 50 or 100 vs. 11.

You are in the vast majority DLine. Upwards of 95% and I think I am being cautious with that number. I re-read it after you implied he was taking shots at student-athletes as I did have that impression on first read. After re-reading it I still don't see it. I do agree with you. Has nothing to do with the current athletes, in fact nobody is paying a higher price for this then they are. My impression was he was advocating for those student athletes that are not going to be able to play in a game the previous 93 teams did.


scoopnscore wrote:The year was a typo. Mike Menghini graduated from Iron Mountain in 2002 I believe.

Which makes him a State Champion with one loss to Kingsford in a time where Kingsford had much more students then they do now.

I'm not sure that could have been written by a more perfect spokesman representing an era of former Mountaineers advocating the game's value and what it means.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby scoopnscore » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:09 am

upfootball wrote:
Which makes him a State Champion with one loss to Kingsford in a time where Kingsford had much more students then they do now.


You are correct! He would have been a junior on Iron Mountain's 2000 team that beat Gobles for the state championship. We (Kingsford) beat them 35-21 that year and a lot of the IM guys say that loss really made them re-focus and work harder.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby DLintheTrenches » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:37 am

upfootball wrote: Any former IMHS football player (at least before the Boddy/Marttila eras), except maybe Robin Marttila (who played under legendary coach Wender), would tell you the Iron Mountain-Kingsford game was the most important game of the year.


The (at least before Boddy/Marttila era) comment was what I took exception to. Though I may have overreacted. All players looked forward to this. I used to take vacation to come up that weekend and reconnect with former teammates and watch the rivalry continue. So sad to see it leaving, hopefully only temporarily.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:57 am

Ok I can see what you read there. Can easily be taken that way.

Speaking for myself.... Not so long ago Iron Mountain beat Kingsford 4 straight years and those kids played their guts out for Iron Mountain to win those games. They were in the Boddy era (and first year of Marttila). Great memories of some intense games.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:03 pm

Still doing research of this rivalry. Going through it trying to come up with an all rivalry team. Really good stuff out there. Here is one of Iron Mountain's most successful coaches, players...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omer_LaJeunesse
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby football5555 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:28 pm

upfootball wrote:Still doing research of this rivalry. Going through it trying to come up with an all rivalry team. Really good stuff out there. Here is one of Iron Mountain's most successful coaches, players...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omer_LaJeunesse

He has an entire board dedicated to him up at Michigan Tech at the SDC. Did not realize he was an IM grad. Obvious that he had a tremendous impact.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby GNCrocks » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:44 am

I can attest that this sucks for both the kids who will miss out, the life long fans and the communities involved. However, I have a few silver lining thoughts on this.
1. This is not the only time this has happened in sports, and sometimes when the rivalries come back, as they always eventually do, they are even better for it.
2. Now the talk is going to become the what-ifs. The would IM have beaten Kingsford with this years team yada-yada yada which will inevitably lead to great arguments to come. This will only make the return all the more sweeter.
3. The administration in IM is not the best in years past. The current regime in my opinion has "Matt Houle" syndrome. Rather than face down the adversary who is beating you and grow better from it, they have the mind set of lets go play weaker teams so we can feel good about our selves. FYI, I am not just talking about the conf. move. So as this rivalry takes a temporary break, it will give time for new blood to eventually come in who will want to play the Kingsford's, Menominee's, and Escanaba's again and have a WINNING, pull your self up by your boot straps mentality vs the pussification that currently exists.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:08 pm

Update. I have researched every year on microfilm of this rivalry and plan on getting it all converted to PDF to upload to the site this year. The quality is only as good as the microfilm itself but the entire rivalry will be available at the click of a button. Want to read what happened in 1944? Click the button and read it for yourself. Really fascinating some of this stuff and I will provide a link here to check my progress as I go.
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Re: Iron Mountain - Kingsford Rivalry

Postby upfootball » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:33 am

Update:

I left this folder open so the members here could browse around while I get the files in there:

http://up-football.com/rivalry/imk/references/years/
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