High School football practices underway
Portage County Gazette
By John Kemmeter
The high school football season opened last week, with the first day of practice Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Area teams are scheduled to play in scrimmages Friday, Aug. 16, before the regular season kicks off Friday, Aug. 23.
The Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) football team is set to travel to De Pere for a scrimmage at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, before it opens the regular season at Appleton North at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23.
“From the end of last year’s season to the beginning of next year’s season, there’s a lot of work that goes in, but it’s all off-the-field work,” said SPASH football head coach Pete McAdams. “And so now to get back on the field, it’s fun.
“You get to kind of get a little bit of return on your investments as a player, from all of the work you’ve put in during the off-season,” he said. “From all of the work you’ve put in becoming a better athlete by participating in other sports, and now you get to come together, and as a coach it’s enjoyable to see where we are as a team, but also play around with how we’ve got to get to be a better team chemistry wise.”
Pacelli Catholic High School will host Greenwood and Westfield in a scrimmage at Community Stadium at Goerke Field at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, and then play a nonconference game at Owen-Withee at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23.
“You’re always excited those first couple opening days of the season,” said Pacelli football head coach Drew Nelson. “Now especially with the quicker date to get pads on, you get a little more popping, a little bit more energy, and a little bit more enthusiasm in practice.
“Every team’s 0-0 right now and everybody’s got a clean slate,” he said. “So wherever the chips fall, we’ll find out come November.”
Amherst has a scrimmage at Winneconne at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, and with the Falcons’ home field currently under renovation, they will start the season against Antigo in a nonconference game at Waupaca at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23.
“It’s just nice to be back on the field,” said Amherst football head coach Mark Lusic. “The weight room comes and goes, and we had a pretty good off-season.
“I thought the team wasn’t responding the way I wanted to, but in January we had a team meeting and the kids kind of snapped out of it come January, and it’s one of my strongest teams ever,” he said. “The kids are excited, we’ve got a good group of guys coming back, so that helps, there’s no doubt.”
Almond-Bancroft will host Wisconsin Rapids Assumption and New Lisbon in a scrimmage at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, and will be at home a week later to kick off the regular season with a nonconference game against Fall River at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23.
“The early start in August is not something I’m in favor of necessarily, but it’s fun to get out here and the kids are enjoying it,” said Almond-Bancroft football head coach Andrew Bradley. “We have a new group of seniors and they’re leading the way and it’s their team, and they’re excited to get off on the right foot and get things going.
“They’ve been working hard, and it’s been a fun start for us,” he said. “And we’re excited to see what this group brings.”
The Rosholt High School football team will face Nekoosa and Pittsville in scrimmages at Pittsville at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, before the Hornets host Oconto in a nonconference game for their regular-season opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23.
“Summer didn’t go by fast enough, as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to football,” said Rosholt football co-head coach Mark McHugh. “The coaching staff has been really excited.
“We knew what we’ve got coming back, and we’re looking forward to be working with these guys again,” he said.
Next week’s Aug. 23 issue of The Gazette will feature its annual football preview issue, with photos, schedules and in-depth team previews on the SPASH, Pacelli. Amherst, Almond-Bancroft, Rosholt and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) football teams, as well as Stevens Point Youth Area Football.