Bonduel seeking key win as playoffs draw near

Shawano among local schools playing homecoming games
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Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Isaac Boldt, right, tries to wrap up Iola-Scandinavia’s Carter Kurki during a loss Sept. 14. The Bears need to win two of their final three games to guarantee a spot in the playoffs.

With a 2-2 record in the Central Wisconsin Conference-Large Division, following back-to-back losses to Iola-Scandinavia and Amherst, a conference championship is likely out of the picture for the Bonduel High School football team. The most realistic way for the Bears to guarantee themselves a spot in the postseason is to win two of their final three games.

Bonduel will play home games the next two weeks, starting with a battle against Shiocton on Friday. Shiocton also is 2-2 in conference play, so Bonduel coach James Westrich knows doing the little things well will put the team in a great position to come out on top.

“We are excited to get back on the field this Friday,” Westrich said, after the Bears nearly rallied past Amherst a week ago. “This is a big game for us, and we will have to play good fundamental football and cut down on our mistakes.”

In last year’s matchup, Bonduel raced out to a 32-0 lead before coasting to a 32-14 victory.

While Shawano cannot make the playoffs, this week’s matchup has the team fired up as it will serve as the school’s homecoming game.

“Homecoming is always a special game for our team and our community,” Shawano coach Alan Tomow said. “We know there are distractions during the week with all the festivities, but it doesn’t have to be negative. We encourage our kids to participate in the school spirit week and enjoy it.”

When it comes time to hit the field, the battle of the two Hawks’ rosters could put forth an entertaining game — just like last year when Xavier topped Shawano 49-28. Shawano is searching for its first win, while Xavier is looking for its second, having been winless since the second week of the season.

“Offensively, we need to start the game with a lot more energy and establish the run and not lose patience,” Tomow said. “Defensively, they have pretty dynamic playmaker that we need to keep in check. We have to continue to do better against the run and limit the big plays.”

After falling 27-26 against Shiocton last Friday, Wittenberg-Birnamwood cannot earn enough conference wins to clinch a spot in the postseason. But that doesn’t mean the team won’t be giving it their all when Weyauwega-Fremont visits Friday.

Each team will be looking for its first conference win, and the Chargers will be celebrating senior night in what is their final home contest of the season.

The Clintonville High School football team will also be celebrating its seniors Friday when Luxemburg-Casco comes to town for a North Eastern Conference clash.

The Truckers will try to play the role of spoiler as Luxemburg-Casco needs one more conference win to become playoff-eligible.

After having to forfeit last week’s game due to several injuries, the Marion/Tigerton co-op will return to the field Friday night for a nonconference battle with Algoma. The game will also serve as the co-op’s homecoming game.

The Thundercatz are still searching for their first win, while Algoma tallied one win Sept. 7.

At the eight-man level, Menominee Indian will travel to take on Oneida Nation in a MONLPC-8 clash. Both teams are hoping to earn their first non-forfeit wins of the season.

In order for the Eagles’ young roster to emerge victorious, coach Chris Clache hopes his team can carry over some of the positives it showed during a loss to Sevastopol last week.

“I feel we’re due for a breakout game,” Clache said. “We made a lot of strides last week as a team. We played well for the most part against a very good Sevastopol team. We proved we can be physical. We moved the ball well and finished drives.”

AT A GLANCE

Games at 7 p.m. unless noted

Friday — Bonduel vs. Shiocton

Friday — Wittenberg-Birnamwood vs. Weyauwega-Fremont

Friday — Marion/Tigerton vs. Algoma (at Marion)

Friday — Clintonville vs. Luxemburg-Casco

Friday — Menominee Indian at Oneida Nation

Saturday — Shawano vs. Xavier, 1 p.m.