Muskego coach Ken Krause's team struggled to a 2-7 finish in a rugged Southeast Conference that sent five members to the 2008 WIAA football playoffs.
While he didn't have all of the necessary pieces in-between, Krause could relax a bit in knowing that he had two behemoth bookends along his offensive and defensive front walls.
Junior Kyle Costigan manned the left tackle spot while senior Jake Holterman protected the opposite side in an offensive scheme that shifted to a wing-T attack and passed more than in previous campaigns, although the Warriors still were a predominately running program.
They received all-conference recognition on both sides of the ball, so it's no surprise that they're getting recruiting attention, and it should heat up considerably for Holterman in the coming weeks.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 280-pound Holterman, who sports a 3.8 grade-point average, doesn't have any scholarship offers yet. But that could change in the near future as such schools as Division I Northern Illinois, I-AA programs South Dakota State, Brown and Penn, D-II Winona State, Minnesota-Duluth and Mankato State as well as D-III UW-La Crosse are keeping their eyes on him.
Holterman said he's enjoying the process so far and hasn't made up his mind about anything at this point.
"I'm waiting and not even close to making any kind of decisions," said Holterman, who will major in business regardless of where he ends up. "I've sent about 25 tapes and I'm still getting them out. It's exciting because you never know who you're going to hear from. Getting a scholarship would be awesome. I'm sure it could get pretty hectic, but right now it's not a big deal."
In the meantime, Krause said that Holterman has the tools to succeed at the next level, where he projects to be a guard, a position he started at for two years before shifting to tackle this fall.
"Jake was head and shoulders our MVP and a captain," Krause said. "He's a relentless player who goes to the whistle. I just got a note from a (college) coach who watched his tape and said Jake looked great. He should get his shot."
Holterman hopes his improvements this year translate into success in the collegiate game.
"I was pretty shaky with pass blocking, but we mostly ran the ball," Holterman said. "I believe I improved my run blocking, but I broke the fibula in my left leg and missed three games, so after that I played a lot more defense than I have before because it was less demanding on the injury. But I feel like offense is where I belong. I'm pretty smart and like the thinking part of the game."
Still, Holterman and the 6-5, 250-pound Costigan love to mix it up in the trenches.
"Kyle has unbelievable strength," said Krause, who was the head man at West Allis Central for 11 years before taking over at Muskego. "And despite his size, he's one of our three or four fastest kids, and I've never had anybody that big be so fast. He's super intense, so I have to shut him down and keep him out of some drills. He's somebody who when you try to give kids a day off is still in here lifting."
Those attributes have Costigan, who has attended University of Wisconsin camps, on the radar of major programs around the country, including Georgia, Alabama, Iowa, Purdue, Northern Iowa, Ivy League schools, North Dakota and the Badgers.
"I'm not sure how much mail means, but a lot of them have requested tapes and a few have invited me to games," said Costigan, who broke an ankle and missed his sophomore campaign. "I prefer playing defensive end, but I might be recruited most for offensive tackle. I'll do whatever they want. Wisconsin is my first choice, but I'm open to anything."
That door of opportunity should open wide for both Warriors linemen.