High school football teams set to open season this week
high school football season will kick off this week, with Stevens Point Area
Senior High School (SPASH) and Pacelli at home, and Amherst, Almond-Bancroft and
Rosholt on the road.
opens the season with a nonconference game against Wausau West at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 18, at Community Stadium at Goerke Field, where Pacelli will
host Menasha St. Mary Catholic at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19.
other nonconference games Friday night, defending WIAA Division 5 State
Champion Amherst travels to face Omro, Almond will play at Fall River and
Rosholt will hit the road to take on Oconto.
an 8-3 record last year and a second-place finish in the Valley Football
Association (VFA) Southern Division, SPASH was ranked 15th in Division 1 in the
WisSports.net Spring Football Rankings, and will start the 2016 season against
VFA Northern Division foe Wausau West Thursday night.
a fun week,” said SPASH football head coach Pete McAdams. “The off-season seems
like it drags on, as the countdown for game week draws closer and closer, but
now I can’t believe we’re here already.
the end of last week we were chomping at the bit as a coaching staff, and I
sure hope our players were too, to get through the scrimmage and be able to
look forward to our first opponent,” he said. “We’re fired up about finally
playing a game.”
into this season, SPASH senior running back Gus Turner-Zick and senior offensive
tackle Jacob Erdman were named to the WisSports.net Preseason All-State Third
Team, while West is led by All-VFA North Honorable Mention junior running back
Mitch Michalske, who rushed for 735 yards and five touchdowns on 164 carries
(4.5 yards per carry) last season.
will be the first game for Wausau West head coach Jason Foster, who took over after
the team finished 3-6 overall last year and 3-5 in the conference.
don’t know much about them,” said McAdams. “They got to see our scrimmage, we
saw their scrimmage, and that’s all we saw.
have a new head coach, he was one of their assistants in their program last
year, so I don’t think it’s going to be a ton of new things, but their offense
does look a little bit different than their past several years,” he said. “And
I think anytime you go into Game 1, you’ve got to be ready for anything. And a
big challenge for us is, ‘are we going to be game ready?’”
won 35-10 at West in last year’s season opener, and McAdams said that if he had
to pick one thing that he wanted his team to make sure they did very well this
week, it would be that they play together.
want to have a group of guys that has each others’ backs; that are encouraging
one another, in both times of defeat and times of success,” said McAdams. “The
neat thing about football is, we always talk about, ‘every play is a battle, in
the course of the war.’
even within each play, there’s several battles in different positions,” he
said. “The biggest test that we’re going to have is, now we’re in a game, the
coaches aren’t standing in the huddle or behind the huddle, and they’re going
to go back to their huddle and regroup with their other 10 teammates. And
they’ve got to be true to each other and have each others’ backs.”
will be at home Friday night to face Menasha St. Mary Catholic, after the
Cardinals won 38-13 at St. Mary Catholic last year.
it’s good to see a different team, try and measure up and see where we are,”
said second-year Pacelli football head coach Drew Nelson. “If we’re at where we
think we are, or if we’ve got some work to do,”
made it through the scrimmage pretty unscathed, the kids had some good learning
opportunities, and I thought we fared fairly well against teams bigger than us,”
he said. “So looking at what we’ve done in the past three weeks, I think we’re
right where we need to be.”
Pues took over as the head coach at St. Mary Catholic this season, after the
team finished 3-6 last year.
got a new head coach again this year, so that’s always a tough transition,
especially in the first game,” said Nelson. “I remember my first game too, so
many things going through your head, so I feel for that coach, but I know he’ll
be excited and he’ll have his team ready.
at film, they want to go with more of a West Coast (offense), with short
passes,” he said. “And their quarterback is getting pretty hyped up over there,
from what I’ve been reading in the paper, so we look forward to that challenge
of trying to shut him down and hopefully play a good game against a good
challenge from St. Mary’s.”
said he wants his team to keep building from what it’s done the first three
weeks of practice and thinks that they’ve set a good foundation so far.
like to come out of the gates fast, hit the ground running, and see what we can
do,” said Nelson. “You can’t judge everything by wins and losses, but I’d
definitely like to get out of the gate 1-0 this year.
of set us up, see what propels us forward here for the next few weeks,” he
said. “You can’t judge everything by that, but the kids would like to get a ‘W’
this first week and build on that.”
winning the WIAA Division 5 State Title last season, Amherst was the top-ranked
team in Division 5 in the WisSports.net Spring Football Rankings and will open this
season on the road at 2015 Division 4 State Semifinalist Omro Friday night at 7
had the scrimmage this past Friday, but it was rainy and wet, and it’s not a
true game,” said Amherst football head coach Mark Lusic. “It’s great to hit
somebody else besides your own teammates, but Friday is one that actually
counts now, and the kids are excited to get going and kind of see where we
stack up against the rest of our opponents.
had a couple of injuries we’re trying to work over, so a lot of guys are
playing different spots right now, and guys are filling in,” he said. “In the
scrimmage on Friday, we actually started nine new starters out of 11 of those
positions, so a lot of guys are playing in different spots and we’re just
trying to feel each other out and kind of put the pieces together.”
Falcons won 45-7 at home in the season opener last year over Omro, which won
its next 11 games to advance to the WIAA Division 4 State Semifinals, before it
fell to Lodi 23-0 to end its season at 11-2.
hard to see what they’ve got coming back, because they were in their practice
jerseys (at their scrimmage),” said Lusic. “But their offense is the same;
they’re an option team just like we are.
almost a spitting image of us, they just have two running backs instead of
single back like we do, but a ton of options,” he said. “They’ve got good
athletes just like we do, and it will be a challenge to see if we can stop what
they do best.”
said his team is going to have to play together Friday night, and make sure
that they’re there mentally.
lot of times people talk about varsity football, ‘the difference is the speed
and all that stuff, and the physicality,’” said Lusic. “And it is true, but
it’s also the mental part of the game.
for a lot of these guys, the first time the lights go on Friday night, can we
show up and can we play well, and can we play well for 48 minutes?” he said.
“Not just for a play here or a play there, but be consistent.”
off an 11-1 season a year ago, Almond was ranked seventh in Division 7 in the
WisSports.net Spring Football Rankings, and is set to open its season with a
nonconference game at Fall River at 7 p.m. Friday.
got a whole different core of kids, and there’s some excitement to get to that
first game after three weeks of practice,” said Almond football head coach
Andrew Bradley. “We’re excited to see what this team brings and how we’re going
to look on Friday night.
offensive line has been getting better and we saw some things that we liked
from the scrimmage, and they continue to work hard, and that’s the biggest
thing,” he said. “They’re willing to learn, they continue to work to get better
and they’re coming along.”
Eagles won 57-0 at home in the season opener last year against Fall River,
which finished 2-7 last season to snap a run of four consecutive Division 7
were really young last year, and they basically have 18 of 22 starters back,”
said Bradley. “It’ll be a little (interesting), with all of the experience they
have, compared to the inexperience we have, early on.
it’s a nonconference game, and we have a couple of early ones,” he said. “And as
little experienced as we are, it will help us to see where we’re at and what we
need to work on.”
lost seven starters on offense from a year ago due to graduation, including all
five starters on the offensive line, while sophomore running back Noah Kollock
is out for the early portion of the season due to an injury, and Bradley said the
offensive line is going to have to do its part against Fall River.
have some talented kids behind them, but our young guys up front are going to
have to make sure they understand their assignments and do what they’re
supposed to,” said Bradley. “They’ve been working at it, and I think that
they’re going to be all right come Friday.
going to have to play well, and we did some good things defensively in the
scrimmage,” he said. “We’re going to need them to keep us in games, early in
the year especially, so we’re looking for our defense to play well on Friday.”
night will be the first game for new Rosholt head coach Carl Rosenberg, when
the Hornets travel to face Oconto in a nonconference game at 7 p.m.
just looking forward to getting the season started and kick it off on Friday
night,” said Rosenberg. “We came out of the scrimmage healthy, and I think that
for us going into Week 1, the fact of staying healthy and keeping everybody
motivated is going to be a bonus going into the first game.”
which is in Division 5 and competes in the five-team Packerland Conference,
averaged 10.8 points per game on the way to a 3-6 record last season, as it won
34-13 at Central Wisconsin Conference-10 (CWC-10) member Tri-County and
recorded a pair of wins over 1-8 Sturgeon Bay.
watching a little bit of film on them, they’re a solid group over there,
there’s no doubt about it,” said Rosenberg. “They are going to be a good
a small school, just like we are, and they lost a few kids from last year’s
senior class,” he said. “They do have a very talented running back over there
that we need to keep an eye on, and we need to control him. And I think if we
do that, we’re going to come out on top on Friday night.”
said he’s looking forward to having another opportunity to see his kids on the
field and seeing what they can do under live fire, and then figuring how he can
make adjustments to help the team.
a learning process,” said Rosenberg. “I’ve coached for a long time, just like a
lot of other coaches have in the area, but it’s about the drive and seeing if
you can get the kids to develop and understand the program, and then make it
work for you.
I think that’s where we’re going,” he said. “We’re going in the right