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By Paul Lecker

For Zaleski Sports

STEVENS POINT – Heading into its opener Friday against Rosholt, the Pacelli High School football team is low on numbers by high on enthusiasm.

The Cardinals, coming off a 3-6 season and a 2-3 mark in the Central Wisconsin Conference Small Division in 2019, has just 19 players on varsity, but a strong group of juniors and seniors have taken the reigns and coach Drew Nelson said he hopes the team will be competitive in 2020.

“We are hopefully going to be in a position to be successful in conference,” Nelson said. “We will continue to work hard during practice and get ready for each Friday that we are fortunate to be able to play this fall.”

Junior running back/defensive back Brycen Cashin, an all-region and first-team all-CWC Small pick in 2019, returns, along with sophomore quarterback/defensive back/punter Drew Kedrowicz, and second-team all-conference lineman Mason Lawlis.

Cashin ran for 1,421 yards and 16 touchdowns last year, and also caught a team-high 14 passes for 261 yards and five more TDs. Kedrowicz threw for 662 yards and eight touchdowns.

Others returning are lineman Adam Mueller, tight end/linebacker Jacob Firkus, and wide receiver/linebacker Wes Peplinski, who Nelson called “The heart and soul of the team, unquestioned leader.”

“Having 19 players on varsity, with a few freshmen that haven’t experienced a varsity sport, will be a learning curve that we will need to hurry them along,” Nelson said. “I am super pleased with how the upper classmen are taking this season. They are leading the team, leading individual groups and other things that really show how they have bought into the team. A player-run team, holding each other accountable, is a much more effective team than having coaches always barking at them. It has been a really fun first few weeks. Obviously with everything going on, we are not taking each day for granted, but are blessed to be able to coach and play football on a daily basis.”

All of Pacelli’s games will be on the road this year, adding another interesting wrinkle to the craziness that is 2020. The Stevens Point Common Council voted back in July to not allow any football games to be played at Goerke Park this fall.


Sept. 25 at Rosholt

Oct. 2 at Iola-Scandinavia

Oct. 9 at Loyal

Oct. 16 at Wild Rose

Oct. 23 at Pittsville

Oct. 30 at Wisconsin Rapids Assumption

Nov. 6 at Almond-Bancroft

*All games begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live at

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