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Robins have eyes on GNC repeat, season kicks off Friday
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A number of the names may be different, but the goal is the same for the Antigo Red Robins football team in 2018, an outright Great Northern Conference championship.

After losing a whopping 25 seniors to graduation, the Red Robins are ready to re-load behind a handful of outstanding returnees and talented newcomers for Head Coach Tom Schofield, who enters his fourth season at the helm.

Schofield has left his mark on Antigo football already, with shares of the GNC crown in 2015 and ‘16, and last season's outright title, the first for the Robins since 2010. His team finished the 2017 campaign 10-2 overall after a deep playoff run, which ended with a level three loss to perennial powerhouse Rice Lake.

Now it's a matter of sustaining that success.

“We lost a lot of seniors, but this team set its goals at the beginning and it's to win another outright title,” Schofield said. “They've been busting their butts in the off-season, two-a-days, had a good scrimmage Friday, but like every year it's one game at a time.”

That first game will come Friday, as the season begins with a non-conference trip to Berlin. Small-school powerhouse Stratford is on the schedule for a week two road game and those matchups should give the Robins plenty of opportunities to tune up for its GNC and home opener, Aug. 30 against Ashland.

“Camp has gone well,” Schofield said. “It's tough on them mentally and physically as we've thrown a lot at them on both sides of the ball, memorizing plays, knowing assignments, and then a lot of conditioning, pushing them and getting their bodies ready for battle.”

Leading the returnees for Antigo is another solid group of seniors, led by last season's GNC Defensive Player of the Year, linebacker C.J. Levis, who joins Korbin Krueger, another first team all-conference pick on defense, along with Dominic Smith, who was a second team pick at running back, and Eric Langseth, a valuable contributor in the defensive backfield, as captains.

“Our four captains are leaders on the field and off the field,” Schofield noted. “They are very vocal and also lead by example.”

Even more may be expected from the quartet, as all will likely see extensive playing time on both sides of the ball.

“We may have a lot of iron man football going on this year,” Schofield added. “Having them be leaders is big, they can't do it all however, it's 11 guys playing together to reach our goals.”

Antigo's run-heavy offense will likely feature Smith this season, although things should be reminiscent of a year ago, when the Robins' multi-faceted running attack gave opponents' fits.

Jericho Kelly and Adam Schmidt were also very productive out of the backfield, both are gone and this season it's Levis and Krueger expected to pick up those carries. Ben Stimac and Isaac Wickersheim could see time as well.

Another change at a skill position comes under center, as junior Nevin Cornelius steps in at quarterback, replacing the graduated Matt Winter.

Early indications are the coaching staff is impressed with Cornelius' athleticism and skill set.

“Nevin is a heck of a runner and a thrower,” Schofield said. “He showed his ability to do both in the scrimmage, he is also great at carrying out his fakes which is just as good as a block.”

Blocking up front for Antigo's versatile attack is a solid group of big bodies.

Nick Roller will step into the center position, and will be flanked by Jordan Arrowood and Kaleb Jaje at the guard positions. Aidan Hafner and Jett Hoeft, Antigo's most experienced lineman will likely line up at the tackle positions.

Arrowood, Jaje and Hoeft are all expected to play both ways, with time on the d-line as well.

Langseth will split out at receiver as well as his cornerback position on defense.

“Everyone has been stepping their game up and that's what we need,” Schofield added. “We had some new guys come out and some players from last year that didn't, but the new guys are catching on quick and learning the Antigo football way of hitting and competing.”

As far as the Great Northern Conference is concerned, the Robins' biggest challenger appears to again be Mosinee, who returns a number of all-conference selections from a year ago, but the conference as a whole could be its deepest in some time.

“Any given Friday anyone can win,” Schofield said. “Everyone has good coaches and players that can do well, we have to be fundamentally sound to compete, otherwise anyone can beat us.”

Joining Schofield on the Robins staff this season includes returning coaches Dan Whitman, Tom Weix, Al Fredrickson, Alex Kohler and Matt Meronk.

A season ago, the Robins opened with a 20-14 win over Berlin, this time around the Indians should provide another stiff challenge.

“Berlin has a solid program,” Schofield noted. “They run the wing-T like we do, they'll pull their big guards around the edge, we have to get hands on them when they are down blocking and not miss tackles.”

The Indians were runners up in the East Central Conference a year ago, finishing 8-3 overall and falling to West De Pere in level two of the playoffs.

Berlin returns its starting quarterback, the very capable Lane Sobieski, and its second leading rusher in Alec Moriarty, who averaged 5 1/2 yards a carry. The speedy Ryan Bartol appears to be a big part of the Indians plans this season as well.

“We just need to put drives together and play our game,” Schofield said. “If we do that we'll be fine.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Berlin.
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Robins have eyes on GNC repeat, season kicks off Friday
space
A number of the names may be different, but the goal is the same for the Antigo Red Robins football team in 2018, an outright Great Northern Conference championship.

After losing a whopping 25 seniors to graduation, the Red Robins are ready to re-load behind a handful of outstanding returnees and talented newcomers for Head Coach Tom Schofield, who enters his fourth season at the helm.

Schofield has left his mark on Antigo football already, with shares of the GNC crown in 2015 and ‘16, and last season's outright title, the first for the Robins since 2010. His team finished the 2017 campaign 10-2 overall after a deep playoff run, which ended with a level three loss to perennial powerhouse Rice Lake.

Now it's a matter of sustaining that success.

“We lost a lot of seniors, but this team set its goals at the beginning and it's to win another outright title,” Schofield said. “They've been busting their butts in the off-season, two-a-days, had a good scrimmage Friday, but like every year it's one game at a time.”

That first game will come Friday, as the season begins with a non-conference trip to Berlin. Small-school powerhouse Stratford is on the schedule for a week two road game and those matchups should give the Robins plenty of opportunities to tune up for its GNC and home opener, Aug. 30 against Ashland.

“Camp has gone well,” Schofield said. “It's tough on them mentally and physically as we've thrown a lot at them on both sides of the ball, memorizing plays, knowing assignments, and then a lot of conditioning, pushing them and getting their bodies ready for battle.”

Leading the returnees for Antigo is another solid group of seniors, led by last season's GNC Defensive Player of the Year, linebacker C.J. Levis, who joins Korbin Krueger, another first team all-conference pick on defense, along with Dominic Smith, who was a second team pick at running back, and Eric Langseth, a valuable contributor in the defensive backfield, as captains.

“Our four captains are leaders on the field and off the field,” Schofield noted. “They are very vocal and also lead by example.”

Even more may be expected from the quartet, as all will likely see extensive playing time on both sides of the ball.

“We may have a lot of iron man football going on this year,” Schofield added. “Having them be leaders is big, they can't do it all however, it's 11 guys playing together to reach our goals.”

Antigo's run-heavy offense will likely feature Smith this season, although things should be reminiscent of a year ago, when the Robins' multi-faceted running attack gave opponents' fits.

Jericho Kelly and Adam Schmidt were also very productive out of the backfield, both are gone and this season it's Levis and Krueger expected to pick up those carries. Ben Stimac and Isaac Wickersheim could see time as well.

Another change at a skill position comes under center, as junior Nevin Cornelius steps in at quarterback, replacing the graduated Matt Winter.

Early indications are the coaching staff is impressed with Cornelius' athleticism and skill set.

“Nevin is a heck of a runner and a thrower,” Schofield said. “He showed his ability to do both in the scrimmage, he is also great at carrying out his fakes which is just as good as a block.”

Blocking up front for Antigo's versatile attack is a solid group of big bodies.

Nick Roller will step into the center position, and will be flanked by Jordan Arrowood and Kaleb Jaje at the guard positions. Aidan Hafner and Jett Hoeft, Antigo's most experienced lineman will likely line up at the tackle positions.

Arrowood, Jaje and Hoeft are all expected to play both ways, with time on the d-line as well.

Langseth will split out at receiver as well as his cornerback position on defense.

“Everyone has been stepping their game up and that's what we need,” Schofield added. “We had some new guys come out and some players from last year that didn't, but the new guys are catching on quick and learning the Antigo football way of hitting and competing.”

As far as the Great Northern Conference is concerned, the Robins' biggest challenger appears to again be Mosinee, who returns a number of all-conference selections from a year ago, but the conference as a whole could be its deepest in some time.

“Any given Friday anyone can win,” Schofield said. “Everyone has good coaches and players that can do well, we have to be fundamentally sound to compete, otherwise anyone can beat us.”

Joining Schofield on the Robins staff this season includes returning coaches Dan Whitman, Tom Weix, Al Fredrickson, Alex Kohler and Matt Meronk.

A season ago, the Robins opened with a 20-14 win over Berlin, this time around the Indians should provide another stiff challenge.

“Berlin has a solid program,” Schofield noted. “They run the wing-T like we do, they'll pull their big guards around the edge, we have to get hands on them when they are down blocking and not miss tackles.”

The Indians were runners up in the East Central Conference a year ago, finishing 8-3 overall and falling to West De Pere in level two of the playoffs.

Berlin returns its starting quarterback, the very capable Lane Sobieski, and its second leading rusher in Alec Moriarty, who averaged 5 1/2 yards a carry. The speedy Ryan Bartol appears to be a big part of the Indians plans this season as well.

“We just need to put drives together and play our game,” Schofield said. “If we do that we'll be fine.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Berlin.
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Phone: 715-623-4191
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Phone: 715-623-4191
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