by Jayson Geiser
(WAOW) - Newsline 9 Sports began our Countdown to Kickoff on Tuesday, as high school football teams across the state took to the practice field for the first time this season.
In Edgar, the defending Division 6 state champions are trying to replace more than half their starting line-up. Most notably gone from last year's undefeated squad is Justin Sinz, who earned state Offensive Player of the Year honors at quarterback, while also playing defense, punting, and kicking.
Edgar's neighbors from Marathon are a team with high expectations this fall. The Red Raiders are hoping to pick up where they left off last season, which was one of the best in the school's history. The '09 squad finished 9-2 and made it to level two of the division 5 playoffs. With the bar set high, players and coaches think this year can be just as good.
The Newman Cardinals are also a team on the rise, having made their first 2 playoff appearances ever in the past 2 years. Paul Michlig's boys will be without graduated star running back Luke Gajewski, but they do return 15 incoming seniors. That's the biggest such class in Michlig's tenure. Included amongst the returnees are the quarterback and 6 of the back 7 on defense, so these Cardinals expect to take the next step this season.
Online Reporter - Jayson Geiser