Toilet paper rolls similar the ones Leigh and Chris Gatzke hold were used to decorate their yard.
Toilet paper rolls similar the ones Leigh and Chris Gatzke hold were used to decorate their yard.

     THERE THE STUDENTS stood, toilet paper in hand.

     Evidence of their deeds last week Thursday streamed from the trees, the bushes, the roof of Chris and Leigh Gatzke’s house.

     And then a squad car rolled up on the homecoming hijinks.

     The students, perhaps showing nerves of steel, stood their ground. If they were worried, they didn’t show it.

     Sgt. Tim Schroeder got out of his vehicle, and approached.

     What happened next, no one could have predicted.

     But one thing is clear: it’s the kind of story that could only happen in a small town such as Ripon.

     TO UNDERSTAND WHAT followed in the moments ahead, one has to understand Sgt. Schroeder’s relationship with Chris.

     “I met Chris Gatzke because he’s the cross country coach,” Schroeder said. “At the beginning of each cross country season, Ripon hosts a cross country meet ... Whenever I work and am available, I like to stop up there at the meet for two reasons: One, it’s good to be out in the community. And two, because my daughter runs for another school.”

     That’s right, the Ripon sergeant’s daughter runs for the rival Berlin Indians. Ouch.

     “Over the years, we have a pretty good repartee going,” Schroeder said. “He likes to give me a hard time about my daughter running for another school.”

     He calls it “a hard time;” Chris describes it as a “friendly banter.”

     Call it what you will, but when Schroeder saw those kids TP-ing the Gatzke abode, the sergeant realized he had an opportunity to get the upper hand. ...

     To read the entire column, including how the Berlin Indians assisted the Ripon Tigers, see the Sept. 27, 2018 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.