Sports Express: Week 1 Preview - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Sports Express: Week 1 Preview


Each week during the high school football season, the Sports Express team will provide a list of match-ups to watch for, including our Game of the Week. Catch the highlights every Friday night on Sports Express during Newsline 9 at 10.

Central Wisconsin (Non-Conference)

Rosholt (0-0) at Amherst (0-0), 7PM – GAME OF THE WEEK

The defending Division 5 State Champions open their season at home against last year's co-champions in the Central Wisconsin-10, Rosholt. Falcons' head coach Mark Lusic says his team has turned a new page after losing a tremendous amount of talent to graduation, including dual-threat QB Chris Zblewski. If there's one aspect Lusic wants to maintain from last season, its' the team's physicality and hard hitting.


Valley Football Association (Non-Conference)

Wausau West (0-0) vs. Marshfield (0-0), 7PM @ Beell Stadium

Marshfield fell one win shy of the state final last year, finishing their 2012 campaign with a 10-2 record and a share of the Valley Football Association South title with SPASH. Two seniors and a junior spent the preseason competed for the starting QB spot after losing Bo Howard to graduation. And senior Colton Zahradka has earned the nod to start vs. West. Wausau West had only two wins last year but bring back several players who earned all-conference recognition, including senior linebacker Cole Radolff.


Valley Football Association (Non-Conference)

D.C. Everest (0-0) vs. Stevens Point (0-0), 7PM @ Goerke Field

The Evergreens finished one game under .500 last season but brings back a weapon in running back and kick returner Wyatt Brown, considered the quickest player on the team. SPASH made it to Level 2 last season after a thrilling four-overtime win over Green Bay Preble and returns nine of last year's 11 defensive starters. However, the Panthers need to replace their leading passer, receiver and rusher that graduated.


Valley Football Association (Non-Conference)

Wausau East (0-0) at Wisconsin Rapids (0-0), 7PM – RADIO AM 1320 (WFHR)

The Red Raiders lost six of their nine games last season, with five of those losses decided by five points or less. The Lumberjacks begin their 2013 campaign hoping it ends with their third trip to the playoffs. Friday will make the debut of first-year East head coach Scott Mallien, who spent the last four years as defensive coordinator at Green Bay Notre Dame.



Rib Lake/Prentice (0-0) at Edgar (0-0), 7PM

Rib Lake/Prentice finished with a 4-5 record in 2012 while Edgar went undefeated in the Marawood before losing to Regis in Level 4. Connor Handrick moves from wide receiver to quarterback this year for the Wildcats. Handrick also earned first-team all-Marawood honors as a defensive back.



Auburndale (0-0) at Marathon (0-0), 7PM

The Apaches feature a strong QB-WR duo in Blake Anderson and Isaac Castellano, both all-Marawood first-team selections last season. The Red Raiders have their own weapon in wideout Jake Dinkel, who was also an all-conference first-team selection last season. Nathan Martin takes over at QB for Collin Seubert, who started for the Red Raiders for the last two years.



Pittsville (0-0) vs. Stratford (0-0), 7PM @ Stratford Stadium

Stratford lost to eventual Division 5 champion, Amherst, in level 5 last November, ending the remarkable run of coach Cal Tackes, which included six state titles in a row from 2003-2008. New head coach Jason Tubbs takes over after serving as the team's defensive coordinator over the last 10 years. Tubbs says he's looking to make things simpler and have a greater focus on defensive tactics.



Greenwood/Granton (0-0) vs. Newman Catholic (0-0), 7PM @ Stiehm Stadium

Greenwood/Granton made it to Level 2, finishing 2012 with a 6-2 record. G2 lost eight players to graduation and is dealing with injures suffered in preseason practice. Meanwhile Newman finished second to last in the Cloverwood but return nine starters on each side of the ball including first-team wideout Marcus Gabriel.


Mississippi Valley vs. Great Northern

Onalaska (0-0) at Merrill (0-0), 7PM

The Bluejays were described as a young team led by a first-year head coach last season after finishing with a 5-4 record. This year, Merrill returns 16 starters from a team that had the 4th-best offense in the Great Northern Conference. Look for Onalaska to rely on their big, experienced offensive line. The Hilltoppers are going to line up guys like 6-foot-2, 285-pound senior Hunter Clark, 6-foot-5, 260-pound senior Cody Marquardt and 6-foot-2, 266-pound Austin Seidel and call it a day.

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