Truckers ready to hit the field
Clintonville has new conference, coach
By Greg Seubert
A new conference and a new coach are two of the changes in store this season for the Clintonville football team.
Not only are the Truckers moving from the North Eastern Conference to the Packerland Conference, they also have a new coach in Nick Winkler.
Although Winkler is the new face on the sidelines, his players haven’t had a problem adjusting to a new system.
“The upperclassmen have done such a good job and the underclassmen have been great,” he said. “I don’t think the seniors, the juniors and the sophomores get enough credit for being able to handle that.”
The Truckers will compete with Bonduel, Kewaunee, Mishicot, Oconto, Peshtigo and Southern Door and the Packerland and will open the season at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at home against Southern Door.
“Probably the biggest thing (fans) see is we’re going to play hard, really hard,” Winkler said. “Fundamentally, we’re getting a lot better and there seems to be a very positive attitude about everything. I think there’s a different effort, a different enthusiasm, a different energy level.”
The Truckers finished 1-8 last year in the North Eastern, a conference that included five teams that qualified for the WIAA playoffs: Freedom, Wrightstown, Fox Valley Lutheran, Denmark and Little Chute.
Winkler doesn’t want his team to dwell on the past.
“Practices are a lot of fun and I enjoy them quite a bit,” he said. “The thing that I’m impressed with is they are willing to do whatever it takes to get an opportunity. It’s not an attitude that ‘I deserve an opportunity,’ but ‘I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get one.’ What a great thing to see, especially from a young group of kids.”
The Truckers’ roster has several players with varsity experience, including seniors Brady Kasson, Nathan Morse, Ryan Wegenke, Tyler Tellock and Brock Smejkal.
The Truckers plan to answer a lot of questions in the season opener against Southern Door.
“That game is going to have so much meaning behind it because of the opportunity to play,” Winkler said. “That game is a culmination of everything that we’ve done and everything we’ve worked for. Friday night is their time to let it rip. I want them to be loose, I want them to have fun out there. We’re going to play hard until the game clock hits zero.”
The Truckers have been practicing since Sept. 8.
“We’re excited to be back and extremely grateful for the opportunity,” Winkler said. “We need to do everything within our power to make sure we keep this going. I think it’s really good for the kids. The opportunity for them to have the ability to compete is extremely important.
“We’re approaching every day like you don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring, but you know what you have right now,” he said. “That’s what we’re focused on.”
Clintonville 2020 Football Schedule
• Friday, Sept. 25 – vs. Southern Door, 7 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 2 – vs. Bonduel, 7 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 9 – at Peshtigo, 7 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 16 – vs. Oconto, 7 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 23 – at Mishicot, 7 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 30 – vs. Kewaunee, 7 p.m.
• Friday, Nov. 6 – at Oconto Falls (NC), 7 p.m.