Area teams face tough conference tests in week 4

Four searching for first wins
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Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel will face Weyauwega-Fremont this week, looking to improve to 2-0 in conference play.

Believe it or not, the high school football season is already one-third over.

At this point, teams are typically intertwined in conference clashes with their focus on earning enough wins to qualify for the postseason.

Of the six area teams, only Bonduel and Wittenberg-Birnamwood own winning records, while every team already has one loss.

Bonduel suffered its loss back in week two in nonconference play and most recently topped Manawa in overtime to open Central Wisconsin Conference-Large Division play. Up next for the Bears is Weyauwega-Fremont.

Weyauwega-Fremont has had a rough start to its season, scoring just 15 points across three lopsided losses. Despite the winless record, Bonduel isn’t taking anything for granted.

“Our players know how competitive our conference is, and how important it is to come out and give it your all each week,” Bonduel coach James Westrich said.

Despite last week’s win, Westrich is hoping for better play on both sides of the ball.

“On offense we need to do a much better job blocking and staying on blocks,” he said. “Weyauwega does a good job of confusing you at the line of scrimmage. Defensively we need to do a great job of stopping the run first and then containing their passing game.”

After being shutout by three-time defending state champion Amherst last week, things don’t get any easier in week four for Witt-Birn. The Chargers will travel to take on Iola-Scandinavia, which played in the Division 6 championship game last year.

Iola-Scandinavia will feature a running game led by Bryce Huettner but also has a decent passing game that defenses must be aware of. Witt-Birn coach Bernard Holsey knows it will take a complete game effort to pull out a road win.

“We need to mentally compete for four quarters,” Holsey said. “We did well with our mental edge during the first half of last week’s game, but lost it a little in the second half. Where the mind goes, the body will follow. True words for our team.”

A team still looking to find its groove is Shawano, which is coming off a Bay Conference loss to Green Bay East. Hawks’ players will honor their parents prior to this week’s conference battle against Menasha.

Menasha is off to a 3-0 start, boasting a high-powered offense led by quarterback Cole Popp and running back Tyler Roehl and a shutdown defense that has surrendered just 35 points.

Shawano is focusing on what it can control in the game and is eager to hit the gridiron.

“Anytime we play a team as talented as Menasha we look at it as an opportunity to compare ourselves to the best,” Shawano coach Alan Tomow said. “We don’t worry about what they’ve done against anyone else, we just want to do what we do well and make them go to their second or third options on offense to have success.”

Clintonville is another local team looking for its first win. After a 41-7 setback against North Eastern Conference foe Denmark, the Truckers will play host to Wrightstown, another top team in the conference, on Friday.

Wrightstown is off to a 3-0 start and is 2-0 in the NEC. The team has won behind a defense that has allowed just 25 points so far.

For the first time this season, the Marion/Tigerton co-op will play a CWC-Small Division contest, taking on Rosholt, which was blanked by Pittsville (41-0) to get its conference season underway.

Marion/Tigerton’s defense will look to slow down Rosholt after suffering a 60-0 loss to the Hornets last year.

In place of its scheduled clash with Bowler/Gresham, which had to cancel its varsity season, Menominee Indian will make the trip to Clayton to take on a 1-2 Bears team.

In order to secure their first win, the Eagles will need to slow down a balanced Clayton offensive attack.