Teams open regular season tonight

Several local schools open on the road
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Leader file photo Several local teams open the 2018 season on the road.

After a long wait, high school football is finally here.

While a few games were played Thursday, many high school football teams in Wisconsin kick off their regular seasons tonight.

While none of the area teams will square off this week, most of them will be tasked with earning a win on the road to open the fall.

Shawano may face the stiffest test of any local team, as it will travel to take on West De Pere, the defending co-champions of the Bay Conference. The Hawks battled the Phantoms to open the 2017 season and suffered a 42-0 loss.

With a young roster, Shawano coach Alan Tomow knows the road test will be a difficult one for his team but also knows it could be a big confidence booster for the rest of the season.

“Well, we are more focused on competing for four quarters with West De Pere,” he said. “It’s important we have a strong showing with a young team and just continue to get better every week.”

Bonduel, which expects to compete for the Central Wisconsin Conference-Large Division title this season, will hit the road to take on Coleman in a nonconference clash.

Coleman is coming off a 2-7 campaign, but don’t think Bonduel is looking past its week one opponent.

“A win this week would help with the confidence of our players,” Bonduel coach James Westrich said. “Coleman is going to be a tough test for us and we need to play much better than we did in the scrimmage last week.”

The Bears eased to a 42-14 win over the Cougars to open the 2017 season.

Also sporting a young roster, Wittenberg-Birnamwood will make the trip to Eagle River to take on Northland Pines in a nonconference matchup. The game will be a preview of things to come for the Chargers, who play six of their nine games on the road this year.

A senior-led Witt-Birn team picked up a 24-8 win over Northland Pines to open last year’s season.

The Marion/Tigerton co-op will begin its final season as an 11-man program hosting Northern Elite.

Northern Elite is coming off a 5-5 season and playoff appearance, while Marion/Tigerton is seeking its first non-forfeit win since the 2016 season. In last year’s week one matchup, Northern Elite topped Marion/Tigerton 61-0.

After Bowler/Gresham had its varsity season canceled, Menominee Indian is the lone eight-man football team remaining in the area.

Menominee Indian will travel to take on the Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy co-op. Last year, the co-op earned a tight 26-22 victory over the Eagles to open the year.

AT A GLANCE

All games at 7 p.m.

Shawano at West De Pere

Bonduel at Coleman

Wittenberg-Birnamwood at Northland Pines

Northern Elite at Marion/Tigerton (at Marion)

Menominee Indian at Lena/STAA (at Lena)