Before the season began, the Reedsville football team was predicted to finish fourth in the Olympian-Packerland Small by WisSports.Net.
The Panthers’ players, currently undefeated, noticed and haven’t forgotten according to Reedsville coach Aaron Fredrick.
“Our players printed that out and taped it up in our locker room,” Fredrick said. “They still look at it everyday.”
Fredrick says the Panthers like playing under the radar which has really fueled his team, especially the defense.
“Our defense has really been playing with a lot of emotion and anger,” Frederick added. “Overall, its just unreal the intensity they’re showing.”
Leading the charge on defense has been the front seven, but specifically the play of Reedsville’s two starting linebackers, Bryce Hasmer and Grant Wedepohl. The pair, Fredrick says, have set the tone for the whole team and have help limited opposing offenses.
The Panthers’ 4-0 record, including 2-0 in the O-P Small, comes as no shock to Fredrick’s players. Reedsville, along with Roncalli (4-0), are the only schools left in Manitowoc County with an unblemished record.
“The kids expected to be undefeated at this point of the season,” Fredrick said. “I was a little more reserved because every year is different but I knew we had the capability to be undefeated after four games.”
One such uncertainty has been the play of Reedsville’s next opponent, Hilbert, which was predicted in the same preview to win the conference but currently sits at 0-4.
“We have to beat (Hilbert),” Fredrick said. “They gave it to us real good last year and if they lose on Friday their season is over.”
Last season’s 46-7 loss against Hilbert is still fresh in the minds of coaches a players alike, with Reedsville wanting nothing more than to knock off the Wolves from playoff contention.
“Hilbert is going to be a real tough game,” Fredrick said. “They’re going to be at home and very hungry with their season on the line.”
Reedsville will be entering the matchup without starting running back Elliott Ebert, who was lost for the season due to an ankle injury during Friday’s 53-33 victory over visiting Howards Grove. It was the second-straight year Ebert has suffered a season-ending injury against the Tigers.
“Elliott just has some really bad luck against Howards Grove,” Fredrick added.
In Ebert’s place will be Tyler Schuh and Dakota LaCaptain, who Fredrick is confident will be able to handle the workload.
Dual-threat quarterback Brock Gilsdorf will also help ease the transition, with Gilsdorf leading the Panthers with 451 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while Ebert tallied 337 yards and four scores.
Frederick says should Reedsville continue its physicality while shoring up play in the secondary, the Panthers’ unbeaten streak will carry deep into fall.
(Week 4 results)
1. Roncalli (4-0) — def. Sturgeon Bay 35-0
2. Reedsville (4-0) — def. Howards Grove 53-33
3. Two Rivers (3-1) — def. Campbellsport 28-8
4. Lincoln (2-2) — def. Preble 24-13