Countdown to Kickoff: Wausau East eases schedule by going indepe - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Countdown to Kickoff: Wausau East eases schedule by going independent

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

You would be hard-pressed to find a high school football program that has made more struggles than Wausau East.

The Lumberjacks haven't won a game since 2014, but they hope all those struggles are behind them as they have drastically changed their schedule this season.

After concern over participation numbers, the school withdrew from the Valley Football Association and will play an independent schedule this fall.

The schedule features four schools from the Great Northern Conference, as well as other mid-sized programs that East feels better fits its ability-level.

"The kids coming up feel more like they have a chance to play with these teams instead of playing against Kimberly and Appleton North," senior lineman Nick Peterson said. "We feel we can win more."

Peterson and other Lumberjacks players said the attitude and energy at practice is different this summer, creating a better product on the field.

"I thought we had our best four days of contact days that we've had in my four years here," head coach Tom Tourtillott said Wednesday. "I credit that to our senior leadership. These are guys that have not won a lot of football games in their high school and middle school careers, but they're together and they're really a band of brothers."

Because of its decision to leave the conference, Wausau East faces a four-year postseason ban from the WIAA.

The Lumberjacks will still play Wausau East this season. They are scheduled to play the Warriors for "The Log" on Friday, October 6.

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