High school football practices open
Portage County Gazette
By John Kemmeter
The high school football season opened for teams in the state with the first day of practice Wednesday, Aug. 1.
Area teams are scheduled to play in scrimmages Friday, Aug. 10, before the regular season kicks off Friday, Aug. 17.
“The first few days are always exciting,” said Pacelli football head coach Drew Nelson. “You’re always excited to see what kind of freshmen you have coming in, and what kind of kids you have coming back.
“And who’s worked out in the spring and summer, and who’s ready to go,” he said.
The three-time defending WIAA Division 5 State Champion Amherst High School football team is set to host a scrimmage at 4 p.m. Aug. 10 with Laconia, New Holstein and Winneconne, before the Falcons travel to face Division 3 Merrill in a nonconference game Aug. 17.
“We’re replacing 20 out of 22 starters this year, but every team goes through this, it’s just the way it is, so the biggest thing is to get better every day, and the experience,” said Amherst football head coach Mark Lusic. “So I’m looking forward to the scrimmage, to find out when the lights are finally on, what happens.
“It’s no longer, ‘stop and walk through everything,’” he said. “You’ve got to go and you’ve got to play and play. So we’re going to find out a lot.”
Pacelli and SPASH will both host scrimmages at Community Stadium at Goerke Field Aug. 10.
Pacelli will hold a scrimmage with Greenwood, the Marshfield Junior Varsity and Westfield at 9 a.m., ahead of its Week 1 nonconference game at Dodgeland Aug. 17.
SPASH is set to follow with a scrimmage against De Pere at 11:30 a.m., before it travels to play Neenah in the regular-season opener Aug. 17.
“Our goal all off-season has been to just work hard and work together, and we’ve got to have good chemistry, we’ve got to find a way to gel together,” said SPASH football head coach Pete McAdams. “We’ve really got to be able to put the team in front of each individual self, and each individual accolade, and these guys seem to have that ability to do just that, so that’s what excites me about being out here.”
In the Central Wisconsin Conference (CWC)-Small, Almond-Bancroft will scrimmage against Wisconsin Rapids Assumption and New Lisbon at New Lisbon at 5 p.m. Aug. 10, before the Eagles begin the season with a nonconference game at Fall River Aug. 17.
Rosholt will be at Pittsville for a scrimmage with Abbotsford, Nekoosa and Pittsville at 4 p.m. Aug. 10. and opens the season at Oconto Aug. 17.
“We have 23 kids, so our numbers are up a little bit from last year, and that helps with practice,” said Almond-Bancroft football head coach Andrew Bradley. “It was kind of difficult last year when you only had 18 kids to go through a practice, but with 23 kids, we’re able to get a lot more done team-wise, so that’s been helpful early on this year.”
“They have wonderful attitudes, great kids, very coachable and they’re working together as a team,” said Rosholt co-head coach Andy Krueger. “It’s just a great team dynamic, and they’re doing a great job this first week.”
Next week’s Aug. 17 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.