High school football: Teams hoping to cap seasons with wins

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Suring could sneak in playoffs with victory
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Bo Krueger (5) and the Gillett football team are hoping to end the year with a win over Oneida Nation. (Times Herald file photo)

Local football teams enjoyed the eighth week of the season and are now hoping to cap their seasons with another victory in the final week of the regular season.

Oconto Falls picked up its first win of the season last week in a convincing win over Clintonville. While the team cannot make the playoffs, one final win against Luxemburg-Casco this Friday could be extremely special for the Panthers.

“It would give the seniors one last gift and give our underclassmen the taste of victory going into the offseason,” Oconto Falls coach Nick Bohl said. “I hope that by winning Friday, our underclassmen use that as a building block for the offseason. If they want to cherish those moments, that they have to work harder in the offseason. You are only guaranteed nine games in a season so winning a football game is a precious memory.”

All year, Bohl has praised the senior class for buying into what he envisioned for the team, even though that meant building from the ground up and not earning a ton of wins. The Panthers have been competitive all season and Bohl hopes the seniors know their commitment will be remembered.

“As I have been saying all year, our seniors have really bought into what we are doing,” Bohl said. “They were willing to do whatever it takes to lay the foundation. In 10 years, we will talk about the 2018 team as the team that laid the foundation, and sacrificed everything they could to benefit the team this year and in future years.”

Suring enters the final game as an 11-man program in a unique situation. After blanking White Lake/Elcho last week, another win this week over Wabeno/Laona would make the team playoff-eligible with a .500 record in the MONLPC-Small Division.

A victory this week would not only give the seniors a final chance to play in the playoffs but give the team steam as it makes the transition to eight-man football next year.

“I think anytime you can win a game at the end of the year will give you a great feeling going into the next year, especially when you have a lot of young players coming back next year,” Suring coach Mitch Taylor said.

Wabeno/Laona is already eligible for the postseason but a win over Suring could clinch the co-op a spot for certain. Wabeno/Laona took last year’s matchup 21-14.

After failing to put together enough offense against Sevastopol last week, the message for Gillett this week is simple — end the year strong.

Gillett will travel to take on Oneida Nation for its week 9 matchup. The Tigers are hoping to win for the first time since Aug. 30.

“I was pleased with our defense vs. Sevastopol,” Gillett coach Jesse Witcraft said. “We played well as a unit. We let off too much in the third quarter, giving up 24 points, but overall I thought the defense came ready to play more so than previous games. Offensively, we need to finish and execute.”

After snapping its five-game winning streak last week in a win over Oneida Nation, the Lena/Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy co-op is hoping to keep that intensity up to cap the season.

Lena/STAA will travel to face Green Bay NEW Lutheran on Saturday at 1 p.m.

“We played a very solid game and were about to get both the passing game and running game going,” Lena/STAA coach Dale Lange said. “Defensively, we stepped it up and only gave up points on a kickoff return. We will need to play at this level next week to keep the game close against NEW.”