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The Greenwood football team works on its offense during a recent practice. The Indians open their 8-man football schedule Friday at New Auburn. (Photo by Paul Lecker/Zaleski Sports)

By Paul Lecker

Zaleski Sports

GREENWOOD – Last season, Greenwood switched to 8-man football for the first time, and with a talented group of seniors, went 6-2, winning its final six games.

This year, the Indians return to the 8-man circuit again, but this time with a lot of players set to log major minutes on the field for the first time.

Only three players that saw significant playing time last year are back.

Senior fullback/linebacker Xander Hinker returns after finishing third on the team with 583 yards rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver/linebacker Fletcher Bredlau and junior lineman Rogan Travis are also back after contributing some in 2020.

Junior Christian Thomas will be Greenwood’s quarterback and also play linebacker, and senior lineman Jesse Susa and junior lineman Ethan Shaw are also expected to be big contributors for the Indians.

“We’re going to have to rely on those kids that played last year, and they have experience on both sides of the ball, so we have some leadership,” Greenwood coach Chris Schmitz said. “With the success we had last year, a lot of those younger kids got to play in the fourth quarter of some games. It’s a new year, and they have to re-learn some stuff, but hopefully it comes back.”

Greenwood will compete in the Central Wisconsin Conference East Division, with conference matchups scheduled against Chippewa Falls McDonell, Phillips, Tri-County, Wausau Newman Catholic, Bowler/Gresham, Tigerton/Marion, and Port Edwards.

All Greenwood games this fall, starting with Friday’s nonconference season opener at New Auburn, will be broadcast live at

“It’s a simple offense and the guys just have to learn where to go, getting reps,” Schmitz said. “Coming into conference, you have Newman that has a pretty solid program. It’s hard to gauge where we fit in. You hope success breeds success, but it’s hard to tell how we pick up where we left off. There’s a lot of learning that has to take place with a young team.”

Greenwood Football Schedule

Fri., Aug. 27 at New Auburn, 7 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 4 at Chippewa Falls McDonell, 1 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 10 PHILLIPS, 7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 17 at Tri-County, 7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 24 WAUSAU NEWMAN CATHOLIC, 7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 1 at Bowler/Gresham, 7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 8 PORT EDWARDS, 7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 15 TIGERTON/MARION, 7 p.m.

(Home games in CAPS, at Greenwood High School)

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