Nekoosa and Omro, a pair of WIAA playoff teams a year ago, open Week 1 of the high school football season tonight at Holland Field in Nekoosa.
The Papermakers, the four-time defending South Central Conference champions, have reached Level 3 of the WIAA playoffs the past three years, while the Foxes lost in the first round. Nekoosa appears to have successfully replaced its entire front four on defense, and returns a pair of experienced running backs in Colton Kukulka and Brett Merrit.
Omro was third in the Flyway Conference last year and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Omro has a strong sophomore class — 25 players — that is led by small senior class that had just nine players.
The teams have not played recently. The game between the nonconference foes is one of six games involving Wisconsin Rapids-area teams. The other matchups include Wausau East at Wisconsin Rapids, Assumption at Owen-Withee, Johnson Creek at Port Edwards, Pittsville at Stratford and Adams-Friendship at Weyauwega-Frenont.
Here’s a closer look at some of the other top matchups for Week 1.