Blocked by bluffs, Arcadia and C-FC share brotherly bond

Pat, Jeff Lisowski help guide their teams to WIAA State Softball Tournament

It’s fitting that both Cochrane-Fountain City and Arcadia are headed to State.

“It’s kind of a rival, you know going across the mountain to get to them or them coming here,” said C-FC Head Coach Steve Lyga.

But the rivalry is about more than geography. It’s about the connections between the teams.

“One being my brother,” Pat Lisowski joked.

Pat is an assistant coach at Arcadia. His brother, Jeff Lisowski, is an assistant coach at C-FC.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Jeff said. “Same thing, I imagine he’s thinking about me too.”

“It’s wonderful,” Pat said.

“It’s just a neat thing,” said Lyga, who taught the Lisowski brothers in high school in the late 80’s.

“Good, hard working kids.”

What was it like growing up in the Lisowski household?

“Very competitive,” Pat said. “If it wasn’t basketball in the backyard, it was football, baseball, whatever the sport of the season was, that’s what we were doing. Always competing against each other.”

But now, Pat and Jeff work together as a team, even though they coach different ones.

“We grew up being very competitive against each other but now it’s more, we help each other out,” said Pat. “He asks questions, he’ll call me up, I’ll call him up. What do you think of this? What do you think of that?”

“He gives me ideas and I give him ideas and we just kind of work together,” Jeff said.

Their teamwork has paid off for Arcadia and C-FC, two towns basically blocked by a bluff, but bonded by brothers.

Friday, that bond will be as strong as it’s ever been.

“Friday, we’ll be rooting for each other and it’s pretty awesome that two schools real close together like that have that opportunity to play down at state,” Jeff said.

“We definitely will be rooting for each other,” Pat said. “Blood’s thicker than water when it comes to rooting him on and likewise with me.”

Arcadia faces Grantsburg in the Div. 3 state semifinals around 3:30 p.m. C-FC faces Ithaca Friday morning around 11 in the Div. 4 state semifinals.