After a 1-8 season last year and an 0-7 mark in the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference, there’s nowhere for the Weyauwega-Fremont football team to go but up.
“A couple things happened,” coach Tom Chase said. “First, they dedicated themselves in the offseason. We’re stronger and faster than we’ve been in several years because they were dedicated. This is probably the strongest team we’ve had in six or seven years. No. 2, we’re smart. We’re able to pick things up on our own. We can get things that are there where sometimes in the past, we weren’t able to. The third thing is the kids love playing football, they really do. It wasn’t where I had to go pull kids to get them to come out, they wanted to play. I didn’t have to get kids out of summer school because they all passed their classes. It’s a really nice group of kids.”
The Indians opened the season Aug. 24 by hosting Algoma in a nonconference game and will open CWC-8 play at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at home against Iola-Scandinavia.
W-F prepared for the season by scrimmaging Berlin and Columbus Aug. 18 in Berlin.
“We’re pleased with what we did,” Chase said. “We played good, aggressive defense and did some things on offense. Our backfield is pretty quick and we’re getting what we need out of them. Our offensive line is probably the smartest O-line we’ve had in several years. They’re really picking up on checks and whatnot.”
Several underclassmen had plenty of playing time last year.
“The good thing about last year is the sophomores that played a lot have become juniors,” Chase said. “The juniors that played a lot have become seniors. They’ve grown up a lot.”
Returning players on offense include seniors Trevor Potratz (quarterback), Hunter Billington (halfback), Tyler Steinbach and Dustin Hanes (tackle) and Nate Burton (guard); and juniors Adam Krause (fullback), Logan Erdmann (halfback), Cody Chase (tight end), Andrew Wild (guard) and Dan Prillwitz and Aaron Schroeder (receiver).
The defense includes linebackers Krause, Billington, Erdmann and Chase; linemen Nathan Stelzner, Hanes and Schmitt; and backs Potratz, Prillwitz and Schroeder.
Players that graduated from last year’s team include honorable mention all-conference players Treg DeSantis, Austin Ferge and Ben Fox.
Although Chase is convinced the Indians have turned the corner, they’re still in the CWC-8.
“Extremely tough, as always,” he said. “I think it’s as strong as it’s ever been.”
Shiocton and Amherst tied for the conference championship with a 6-1 mark. Shiocton fell to Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs 24-0 in the Division 6 state championship game, while Amherst made it to Level 3 of the playoffs for the first time in school history.
“Those are the top two teams,” Chase said. “You take a look at Bonduel, Iola, Wittenberg, Manawa, us, we’re all kind of in that cluster right there. If you want to win the conference, you have to beat the top two teams. To get to the playoffs, you have to beat the other ones.”
2012 Weyauwega-Fremont Indians Football Schedules
Friday, Aug. 24 – vs. Algoma, 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 31 – vs. Iola-Scandinavia, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 7 – at Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 14 – vs. Bonduel, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 21 – vs. Amherst (Homecoming), 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 28 – at Shiocton, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 5 – vs. Stevens Point Pacelli, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 12 – at Manawa, 7 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 27 – vs. Campbellsport, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 4 – at Iola-Scandinavia, 5:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 10 – vs. Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 17 – at Bonduel, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 1 – vs. Shiocton, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 8 – at Stevens Point Pacelli, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 15 – vs. Manawa, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 30 – vs. Wautoma, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 6 – at Iola-Scandinavia, 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 13 -vs. Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 20 – at Bonduel, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 4 – vs. Shiocton, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 11 – at Stevens Point Pacelli, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 6 – vs. Iola-Scandinavia, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 11 – at St. Peter’s, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 18 – vs. Manawa, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 25 – vs. Shiocton, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 2 – at Bonduel, 4:30 p.m.