Once august rolls around, the pads finally get put on and the football teams from around the state are finally able to go full practice. “Contact days” as they are called, starts today for 11-Player Football, and players from all over the county are ready to finally be able to go full contact and really start to get that football feeling back after a couple month summer break. The earliest scrimmage date that can be on the schedule is August 11th, and the first games start August 18th and 19th.
Today is the day where coaches can issue the full equipment that will be needed for the football season ahead, and the first time that any team can do any sort of tackling or physical contact. The Packerland Conference has seen some changes this past year, and Luxemburg-Casco looks to build on the sectional semifinal trip they took last year.
The Kewaunee Storm are coming off of a Packerland Conference championship, after claiming it over inter-conference rival Southern Door in the last week of the season by a score of 33-0. The Storm would finish the season at 10-3 and 7-0 in conference play. Kewaunee made it to Level 2 of the postseason after defeating Southern Door once again 39-0, but was narrowly beat by the #1 seed Amherst Falcons 28-21. Kewaunee looks to dominate the Packerland Conference once again after outscoring conference opponents 149-45 in the regular season. Kewaunee returns their starting quarterback Mitchell Thompson who was All-Conference First Team Quarterback last season. Kewaunee opens their season Thursday August 18th against the Kiel Raiders.
The Eagles of Southern Door underwent a coaching change this past offseason, bringing in new Head Coach Mark Jonas. Coach Jonas has been a head coach at Oconomowoc, Kaukauna, and most recently Ashwaubenon. Those jobs led him to become a member of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2022. Jonas takes over for former Head Coach Ryan Zuehlke who stepped down from his position last season. Southern Door was one game short of winning conference last year with a 8-5 record overall, and a 6-1 record in conference, but had their title dreams ended by the Storm. Southern Door is returning most of their team from last year, only losing a handful of seniors, and most notably Offensive Lineman of the Year in the Packerland, Brodie Overbeck. The Eagles will be leaning on senior linebacker Taylor Schaefer, who was named Defensive Player of the Year in the conference last year, and has received multiple Division II offers over the summer. Southern Door opens their season on Friday August 19th, against the Oostburg Flying Dutchmen.
Sturgeon Bay has been the talk of the conference so far this offseason, after rejoining 11-Player Football after a brief multi-year stint in 8-Player Football. Coach Jim Adams stepped down from his head coaching position in January, and Carl Waterstreet has officially taken over the job for the Clippers. Sturgeon Bay is coming off of a 2-6 season last year as an independent in 8-Player Football, but look to have a lot of potential back in the Packerland Conference this season. Sturgeon Bay’s offense showed glimpses of reaching their full potential in wins over Williams Bay, 62-6 and Bowler/Gresham, 48-12 and will look to add to that this coming up season. Jackson Starr and Mason Sacotte are two players that could take huge jumps for Sturgeon Bay this season, and the team as a whole has a chance to burst onto the scene in their first season back in the Packerland Conference. Sturgeon Bay opens up their season Friday, August 19th, at home against Green Bay West.
Steering away from the Packerland Conference and into the North Eastern Conference, the Luxemburg-Casco Spartans are looking to repeat success from last season where they went 11-1 on the year with their only loss coming in Level 2 of the postseason against Menasha 27-13. LC outscored opponents 274-79 behind their senior workhorse running back Isaac VandenBush. Every year the Spartans are a lock for contending in the NEC and usually a top 10 team in Division 3 in the Wissports rankings every week. Luxemburg Casco will look to replace their quarterback and running back duo that amounted over 52 total combined touchdowns on the season. They do return wide receiver and defensive back Ryan Routhieaux back to the team this season. Routhieaux was top 6 in the NEC in forced fumbles on defense and second in the conference in receiving yards and touchdowns. The Spartans every year will run out a contender onto the field every week of the season, and they could see themselves making another deep run into the playoffs again this year.