Wisconsin Sports

Legendary coaches bring historic rivalry to Copeland Park

Lansing-Kee's Gene Schultz, Decorah's Dennis Olejniczak meet in La Crosse

Legendary coaches bring historic rivalry to Copeland Park

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Copeland Park has hosted some big games over the years, but it's never seen something quite like this.

Gene Schultz has coached New Albin-Lansing-Kee High School for 44 years. He has 1,731 wins. That's the most in the country.

Dennis Olejniczak has coached Decorah High School for 51 years. He has 1,319 wins, second most in the country.

Friday night, the two brought their historic rivalry to Copeland Park for the first time.

"This is just a great experience," Schultz said. "We go way back."

"Playing Kee High is a treat in itself," said Olejniczak. "Getting to play on an outstanding, beautiful field that I'm looking over right now is just tremendous."

There are over 3,000 wins and nearly a century of experience between them. Neither, however, show any sign of slowing down.

"Really, I enjoy it," said Schultz.

"Because of the love of the game, and the challenge of the great game of baseball, which is such a thinking game and reactionary game," Olejniczak said. "[That] has me looking forward to practice every night."

"As long as I can say I can help the kids and enjoy it, then I'll stay," Schultz said.

To put their accomplishments in perspective, Gene Schultz said Lansing will play about 40 games this summer. If you were to win 39 of those and go 39-1 ever year, you would be coaching until 2058 in order to catch him with 1,731 wins.

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