View from the cheap seats
A weekly perspective on sports
Casey Krautkramer Reporter The Record-Review
Watching the NFL Draft last weekend got me in the mood for the upcoming high school football season, which hopefully occurs as planned this fall. I got excited while viewing our local high school football team’s 2020 schedules.
There will be some intriguing matchups this high school football season, now that the Cloverwood Conference teams from last season which are still playing 11-man football this year, have joined the Marawood. The Marawood Conference football teams are now Athens, Edgar, Marathon, Abbotsford, Owen-Withee, Thorp, Colby and Auburndale.
My early prediction, without seeing the 2020 football team rosters, is the Edgar versus Colby game on Friday, Sept. 11, will end up determining who wins the Marawood Conference championship this season.
Athens plays at Edgar on Friday, Sept. 25, which is the Wildcats’ homecoming game. Athens will face Marathon at home in the final regular season game on Oct. 16. The last time Athens played Marathon at home was in the playoffs in 2014, when the Bluejays beat the Red Raiders, 28-16, in a WIAA Division 6 Level 2 game.
The Athens 2014 squad was most likely the most successful football team in the school’s history. After dispatching Marathon, Athens downed Spring Valley, 27-12, in a home Level 3 playoff game. Athens then lost in the game before the state championship, 31-7, against Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs in a matchup between undefeated teams at Goerke Park in Stevens Point. St. Mary’s Springs ended up winning the Division 6 state championship, 37-28, against Darlington that season.
Athens had talented football players on the 2014 team, which finished with a 13-1 record under head coach Mike Thurs. A few of those Bluejays star football players on that team were Collin Ellenbecker, who played quarterback and defensive back; Lane Tessmer, a running back and linebacker; Shane Coker, who was a tight end, linebacker and punter and Nathan Belisle, who was a big offensive and defensive lineman.
The 2014 Athens football team easily beat all of its Cloverwood Conference opponents to win the conference title. The Bluejays’ offense rushed for 3,653 yards and 60 touchdowns and passed for 1,068 yards and 14 touchdowns. Owen-Withee ended up winning the Division 7 state title in 2014.
Stratford’s football team switches from the Marawood Conference to the Central Wisconsin Large for the 2020 season. Stratford plays at Spencer/ Columbus, which I expect to be better this year, on Oct. 9, before ending the regular season against an alwaystough Amherst squad at home on Oct. 16. I can’t wait for the 2020 season!