Numbers not a problem at W-F
Warhawks face stiff competition
By Greg Seubert
Finding football players at Weyauwega-Fremont High School is not a problem.
Playing in a conference that includes some of Wisconsin’s most successful small-school teams is another story, however.
The Warhawks compete with Amherst, Manawa, Nekoosa, Shiocton, Spencer/Columbus Catholic, Stratford and Wittenberg-Birnamwood in the Central Wisconsin Conference-Large and all five of their losses last year came against teams in the league.
“Manawa, Shiocton and ourselves are now the three small schools in our league,” coach Pat Fee said. “Our kids understand that and they know what they’re playing in. If they can qualify for the playoffs, that’s huge for us. We’re a Division 6 school right now and most of our conference is Division 5. They’re not just Division 5 schools, they’re elite Division 5 schools, ones that are on the carpet either winning the championship or losing it. To make our next step forward, we have to get that winning record in conference. Anything can happen then.”
Wins have not exactly been adding up for the Warhawks in recent years.
“I really like our numbers,” Fee said. “I think we’ll probably end up with 40 to 42 guys. That’s pretty good for not being very successful in the win-loss category the last few years, we’ve been able to keep our numbers high.”
Returning players for Fee and his staff this season include senior Quinn Dittmann, back for his third season as quarterback.
“It’s always nice to have a senior quarterback coming back,” Fee said. “He’s worked very hard. He’s extremely explosive and athletic. We expect a lot out of him.
“Our skill positions are probably more loaded since I’ve been head coach,” he said. “Of course, there are a lot of questions there yet with who and what.”
Other returning players include senior Parker Groskreutz, a second team all-conference linebacker last year.
“He’s still as strong as he’s been and he’ll be the quarterback of our defense,” Fee said. “He’s the guy who gets everybody set once the call comes in from the sideline. We have a senior there and that’s a good thing.”
On the other hand, the Warhawks have to replace several players, including all-conference linemen Ben Strehlow and Logan Bartel.
“We had some good linemen that graduated,” fee said. “That’s probably the biggest question on our team right now. It’s not because of the kids in general, it’s because they haven’t had a lot of varsity time.”
Weyauwega-Fremont needs to win four of its seven CWC-Large games to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
“When you win the game you’re not supposed to, that’s when it changes,” Fee said. “That’s what we’re looking to do.”
That almost happened last year after the Warhawks opened the season with losses to Amherst and Stratford.
“We saw that we might not be as far behind as the score looked,” Fee said. “Then, later in the year, we went up to Spencer/Columbus Catholic. We were up 14-0 at halftime, had a touchdown called back and would have been up by 21. We lost the game, but we weren’t used to winning. They came down two weeks later and beat Amherst on their home field.”
COVID-19 concerns limited the Warhawks to five games last year. Fee is hoping that football programs like his can return to normal this season.
“I hope that we can continue to be able to go down this path,” he said. “I know the kids need that normalcy, too.”
Weyauwega-Fremont 2021 Football Schedules
Friday, Aug. 20 – vs. Pacelli, 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 27 – at Brillion 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 3 – at Nekoosa, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 10 – vs. Spencer/Columbus Catholic, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 17 – at Shiocton, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 24 – at Amherst, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 1 – vs. Stratford, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 8 – vs. Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 15 – at Manawa, 7 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 30 – vs. Manawa, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 7 – vs. Nekoosa, 5 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 13 – at Spencer/Columbus Catholic, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 20 – vs. Shiocton, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 27 – vs. Amherst, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 4 – at Stratford, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 11 – at Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 4:30 p.m.