High school football: Local teams look to reverse fortunes

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Just two weeks remain in regular season
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One team will earn its first win of the season Friday in Oconto Falls as Clintonville visits for a North Eastern Conference matchup. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Week 7 was not kind to the four area football teams.

Oconto Falls, Suring and Gillett each scored once in their losses while the Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy co-op was shutout.

With the playoffs no longer on the minds of the four teams, each roster will look to enjoy the final two weeks the regular season has to offer.

Oconto Falls, which is 0-7 overall and 0-6 in the North Eastern Conference, will host its final game Friday against winless Clintonville. The team will look to give its seniors a victory on senior night.

“These kids have worked so hard all season long, and to be rewarded for earning a victory will mean a lot for our team and our seniors,” Oconto Falls coach Nick Bohl said. “It is senior night, and our seniors have done everything we ask out of them. And to get the opportunity to walk out on our home field one last time and get a win would mean the world for the seniors. They understand what is on the line, and they will lay it out on the field just like they have every week.”

In last year’s tilt, Clintonville secured a low-scoring 16-0 win over Oconto Falls.

Suring will be looking to snap its four-game losing streak when White Lake/Elcho comes to town Friday. Suring took the matchup 44-0 last fall behind a big first half.

Suring, which will make the transition to eight-man football next fall, is hoping to end the season on a high note.

“It is very difficult to stay positive (while on a losing streak), but all we can do is just keep working on our fundamentals and go one game at a time,” Suring coach Mitch Taylor said.

Gillett has not tasted victory since late August, with the most recent setback against Wausaukee squashing the team’s playoff hopes. Things don’t get any easier this week for the Tigers, who host MONLPC-8-leading Sevastopol for homecoming this Friday.

“It’s been tough sledding since losing some kids to injuries,” Gillett coach Jesse Witcraft said. “Our depth this season is down compared to last season at the skilled positions. Our RBs have been banged up most the year on JV and varsity. When guys have to play all three ways, it takes a toll on your body after awhile. That’s why the off season workouts are so important in keeping yourself healthy and strong.”

As the team looks to pull an upset, coach Witcraft also wants to team to enjoy their time on the gridiron.

“One thing these kids have not done is quit playing — they continue to battle week in and week out,” he said. “Unfortunately, the past few weeks we’ve come up on the short end of those battles. We’ll continue to work on things this week, but more importantly, have fun doing so.”

The Lena/STAA co-op is also looking to end the year on a bright note after playing some of the top eight-man teams in the state the past few weeks. The co-op will host winless Oneida Nation this Friday.

“Now is when we really have to focus and believe in ourselves,” Lena/STAA coach Dale Lange said. “Work on our positives and what has worked for us. The next couple of weeks are critical for us. We can salvage the season and finish in the middle of the pack or be cellar dwellers. We have done some things right and need to focus on those. Our young players have had some tough games but now they have to step it up.”

Lena/STAA won last year’s clash 40-26.