Countdown to Kickoff: Medford Raiders - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Countdown to Kickoff: Medford Raiders

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With the start of the high school football season just hours away, our Countdown to Kickoff series is winding down. This edition profiles the Newsline 9 Power 9's number nine team, the Medford Raiders.

The Raiders won the Great Northern last season behind a perfect 6-0 conference record, but nearly every starter from that team has graduated.

2013 Great Northern Coach of the Year Ted Wilson does have 12 seniors on this year's squad with GNC second-team offensive line selections Derrick Bizer and Lloyd Bernatz as the only returning starters. Bernatz tells Newsline 9 that he'll move from the line to tight end offensively, but he'll remain as the anchor of the defensive line. Medford will insert junior Ben Meier into the starting quarterback position. Senior Dalton Hildenbrandt will get most of the carries in the backfield. The Raiders plan to run the ball more than they did in 2013, so Wilson is stressing the importance of the offensive line opening holes for that running game to succeed.

Even with lots of inexperienced players being forced to step up, the Raiders are ready for the challenge.

"Our kids know what's at stake and what our tradition is here," said Wilson. "We're going to be a competitive football team week in and week out. I think they're stepping up to that challenge right now."

Bernatz is confident that the team will hit it's stride at the right time, allowing the Raiders to keep the Great Northern Conference crown.

"It might be a little tough here in the beginning of the year but by the time conference games start, we'll be ready and we'll be going for another conference championship this year," said Bernatz.

Medford will open the season on the road, facing Rice Lake on Friday.

 

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