High school fall sports right around the corner

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Start of August marks beginning of football season

Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen and the rest of the area cross country runners start practice on Aug. 13.

Although the start of the 2018-19 school year is still more than a month off, high school fall sports are about ready to get started.

The first day of August marks the start of the fall’s earliest sports practices, when local football teams will step on the gridiron to prepare for the regular season. Teams will have just over two weeks to ready for the openers, which can be played on Aug. 17.

The final day for a playoff-bound team to play a regular season game is Oct. 12 before the first round of playoffs open on Oct. 19-20. The state championship games will be played on Nov. 15-16 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

Oconto Falls, which will be under the direction of new coach Nick Bohl, will try to bounce back from an 0-9 season. Suring finished 4-5 last year.

For the first time, the WIAA will provide an eight-team tournament for eight-player football teams. The eight-man state final is scheduled for Nov. 3. Gillett finished 5-4 last year while the Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy (STAA) co-op was 3-6.

Monday, Aug. 6 signals the first day girls golf teams can start practicing. Just three days later (Aug. 9), a team could participate in a meet. Regionals are scheduled to take place either Sept. 26 or 27, with sectionals on Oct. 1, 2 or 3. The 2018 state tournament will be held on Oct. 8-9 at University Ridge in Madison.

Oconto Falls will compete in the Division 2 Little Chute Regional.

A day after golf teams hit the links (Aug. 7), girls tennis and swimming and diving teams can also open up practice.

The earliest date a girls tennis team can partake in its first meet is Aug. 11. Subsectionals will take place either Oct. 1 or 2, with sectionals on Oct. 3 or 4. The individual state tournament will run from Oct. 11-13 while the team championships are on Oct. 19-20, with matches taking place at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.

Girls swimming and diving teams can compete in meets starting on Aug. 15. Sectionals are scheduled to be run on Nov. 2 and 3. The state championships will take place at the UW-Madison Natatorium, with the Division 2 competition on Nov. 9 and the Division 1 events on Nov. 10.

Cross country, girls volleyball and boys soccer teams can all begin practicing Aug. 13.

Cross country teams can start competing in meets on Aug. 21. Sectionals will take place on either Oct. 19 or 20 while the state championships will be run on Oct. 27 at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen is hoping to improve upon her third place finish at state as a freshman while Oconto Falls’ Brody Schindel hopes to return to state after finishing 109th last year.

Oconto Falls will take part in the Division 2 Freedom Sectional while Gillett, Suring and Lena/STAA co-op all race in the Westfield Area Sectional in Division 3.

Volleyball regular season matches can open on Aug. 21 and be played until the middle of October. Division 2, 3 and 4 regional dates are Oct. 16, 18 and 20 while Division 1 has its regional games on Oct. 18 and 20.

All volleyball sectionals will be played on Oct. 25 and 27 before the state tournament takes place from Nov. 1-3. All state games will be played at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

Oconto Falls and Gillett each won a regional contest last year before dropping the next matches. Oconto Falls will compete in a Division 2 regional while Gillett, Lena and Suring will all be in the same Division 4 regional this year.

Boys soccer teams can play games beginning on Aug. 21. Divisions 1-2 have regional games slated for Oct. 16 and 20 while divisions 3-4 play on Oct. 16, 18 and 20. All sectional contests will be played on Oct. 25 and 27. The state tournament will run from Nov. 1-3 at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

Boys volleyball is the final fall sport to get underway on Aug. 20 and teams can play games beginning on Aug. 28. Regionals will take place Oct. 26, sectionals on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 and the state tournament on Nov. 9-10 at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee.