HS FB Two-A-Days: EC Regis & Altoona - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

HS FB Two-A-Days: EC Regis & Altoona

Regis head coach Bryant Brenner Regis head coach Bryant Brenner
Regis will need to replace a number of key starters from last year Regis will need to replace a number of key starters from last year
Altoona head coach Ben Coenen Altoona head coach Ben Coenen
The Rails returns 20 starters this season The Rails returns 20 starters this season

Eau Claire, Altoona (WQOW) -- High school football practices hit day two, as do the WQOW Two-A-Days with stops at Regis and Altoona.

Eau Claire Regis ended the 2012 season with just one loss. That came in the WIAA Division 6 state championship game against St. Mary's Springs. The Ramblers motto this year is on every shirt -- 'Finish It'. Coach Bryant Brenner says his team will be young, but last year's experience will pay dividends.

"One of the advantages of making a trip to Camp Randall and a state tournament trip is you get a whole month of extra practice, in terms of practice for next year. So that's the thing we do have going despite having a lot of inexperienced kids," says Brenner.

Brenner says the team had its biggest turnout in his time at Regis, which should help lessen the blow of losing a number of key players from last year.

"We have a lot to replace, I think more than we ever have," adds Brenner. "This will be our biggest challenge in six years in terms of how many guys we have to replace. We have a lot of younger kids, sophomores and juniors, kids without a lot of varsity experience. You know, we're not where we need to be right now, but hopefully tomorrow we'll be a little bit better than we were today. That's our main goal, just get better each day."

Regis will open the season August 23rd at Osseo-Fairchild.

The Ramblers second opponent will be Altoona. The Rails begin their second season under coach Ben Coenen. The team went 2-7 last season, but with all but two starters returning, Coenen says his team is in position to take the next step.

"Throughout last year, we never talked about winning. We talked about the ability to compete," says Coenen. "In my mind, this year, we need to start preaching winning. My hope is that we can get out in the conference, start winning games. That will breed excitement and who knows where this group can go."

The Rails' players say a commitment to the program's off-season program should help them compete in the Cloverbelt Conference this year.

"We have a lot of high hopes. We lost a couple of our key players last year, but we return a lot of athletic kids and we're hoping to have a great season," says junior quarterback Micah Burch.

Senior TE/LB Tristin Wibel adds: "Our coaches have a lot of faith and expectations for us this year. They said this is the strongest group that Altoona has had in awhile. They want us to be rock and roll so right when our first game comes, we're ready to go right away and play fast."

Altoona opens up the season at home against Fall Creek.


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