Shawano football team hoping experience leads to turnaround

Clintonville gearing up for NEC play
Brayden Dickelman, right, carries the football while Gage Timm looks to throw a block during a game against Green Bay East in 2018. Dickelman and Timm will be focal points for the Hawks’ offense.

File | NEW MediaShawano’s Elliott Lowney, front, hauls in a touchdown pass during a game against Xavier in 2018. Lowney will serve as one of the Hawks’ top targets in the passing game after making an all-conference team as a freshman last year.

File | NEW Media
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

SHAWANO — The Shawano Community High School football team hopes the tough and trying season it experienced last year will lead to a more successful year on the gridiron this fall.

The Hawks posted a 1-8 record in 2018, going 1-7 in the Bay Conference.

While it lost some impact players to graduation, several other starters are back from both sides of the ball for coach Alan Tomow.

Seniors Brayden Dickelman (running back), Keith Tourtillott, Jagger Theis and Ben Smits (offensive line) and Chase Huntington (tight end), junior Gage Timm (quarterback) and sophomores Elliott Lowney (wide receiver) and Jackson Smits (offensive line) are all back on offense.

Behind many of the same linemen, Dickelman rushed for 1,070 yards and nine touchdowns on his way to earning first team honors in the Bay Conference. Two of the team’s linemen earned all-conference spots, with Tourtillott (honorable mention) back.

Dickelman will be the focal point of the team’s offensive attack again this fall and other teams know that. Still, the Shawano running back remains confident he can keep producing, especially after the work he put in since last season ended.

“My offseason kind of started with track this year. I decided to participate in that and I got faster, and coach Tomow changed how we did our offseason lifting this summer and I feel I got a lot out of it and I’m even stronger and in better shape than last year,” said Dickelman. “Being my senior year, I’m gonna give everything I have this year so I’m very confident and I’m ready for anything that teams throw at me.”

With experience under their belt, Lowney and Timm — honorable mentions last year — will hope to help out Dickelman and the running game with their work in the passing game.

“The offense will have to be able to pass and run. Last year, we were very heavy on the run game and that hurt because other teams would just stack the box and be ready for the run, so we have to be better in our passing game this year to put the team in the best position and score more,” said Timm.

Starters back on defense are senior Ian Reinders (linebacker) and juniors Trace Yeager and Nick Kohn (defensive line) and Zach Erdmann (linebacker).

Tomow said Dickelman and Tourtillott will serve roles on defense this season too. The coach is also expecting big things from seniors Ethan Bolin and Ben Carroll.

The Hawks are hoping several individuals step up on defense, as the unit does not return any all-conference players.

Shawano will get a big test in their season-opening game, hosting West De Pere, the reigning Bay champions, on Aug. 23.

Shawano will then trade off road and home games the rest of the season, never playing two home or away games in a row. The Hawks homecoming game will be Sept. 21 against Seymour.

“I expect us to be competitive in every game,” said Tomow. “Our goal is always to compete for a postseason spot. We have a lot of competition at certain positions and there is a little more positional depth than we’ve had in the past couple of seasons.”


Clintonville is also coming off a one-win season, with it coming in the last week of the season in nonconference play.

Coach Tom Burkhalter, in year two as the team’s coach, hopes to take things a day at a time as the team tries to build an identity.

“Our expectations for the season are to get better each and every day and compete with every team in this conference,” said Burkhalter. The Truckers compete in the North Eastern Conference, which was won by Little Chute last fall.

The first order of business for Clintonville will be replacing several starters on each side of the ball, including finding a new quarterback.

Returning starters on offense are seniors Dylan Danforth (wide receiver), Seth Keller and Ben Papendorf (offensive line) and juniors Brock Smejkal (wide receiver) and Ryan Wegenke (tight end).

Back on defense are seniors Hunter Allender (defensive back), Daniel Rohrer and Matt Seefeldt (linebackers) and Devyn Gee and Levi Engel (defensive line). Junior Nathan Morse (defensive back) also returns.

“The challenges that we face are that we are still undersized and inexperienced on the offensive and defensive lines,” said Burkhalter.

Burkhalter is hoping seniors Dominick Bricco and juniors Dylan Arnold, Brady Kasson, Connor Tate and Tyler Tellock will help fill some of the voids in the starting lineup.

Clintonville will open the season on the road against Wrightstown on Aug. 23. The team’s next two games will come at home before four of the final six games are away.