Mater Dei graduate celebrates 44 seasons on the Wildcats’ chain crew

Mater Dei graduate celebrates 44 seasons on the Wildcats’ chain crew
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 11:08 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Joe Koressel was born a Mater Dei Wildcat.

“Ever since I can remember, my mom and dad went to Mater Dei football games, we would go to Vincennes, Terre Haute, and come back the same night,” Koressel said.

Koressel graduated from Mater Dei in 1979, the same year he started working for the Wildcats’ chain crew.

“I was at a football game the fall that I graduated,” Koressel said. “They needed a guy on the ‘chain gang,’ so I was leaning up against the fence at the Reitz Bowl and the guy said, ‘Hey, you want to do this?’ And I said yes. Been on it ever since.”

Over the years, Koressel said he has seen a lot of talent from the sidelines, including the season that Mater Dei won the state title with head coach Mike Goebel in 2000.

“The best win was when we beat Indianapolis Scecina and that gave us the trip to Indianapolis at the Reitz Bowl,” Koressel said. “It was crazy that night, I think the field was just about full with fans.”

[RELATED: Mater Dei eying for third straight 2A regional win over Triton Central]

For the past 44 seasons, Koressel has volunteered his time to the community he calls family.

“I think it’s great for our players and students to see and get great role models as far as people who give and give and give,” Mater Dei head coach Mike Goebel said. “Maybe they can learn how to do the same thing. That lesson in life I think wears off nicely.”

Throughout his time with the Wildcats, Koressel has rotated through every position from holding the forward and rear rods, to the box, and now he is the “clip man.”

“My actual job is to place the clip on the chain, which makes it crucial on first downs because when they go to stretch the chain I could be off by a half an inch and not get a first down,” Koressel said. “Of course, I always mark it right.”

Koressel told 14 Sports his goal is to make it to 50 years on the crew.

“I tell people one arm bleeds red, the other bleeds gold,” he said. “Mater Dei is simply the best all the way around.”