The 2019 high school football season officially began Tuesday with the first official day of practice.

For Edgerton, though, the season began on Nov. 3 of last year.

That’s when the Crimson Tide lost to Lakeside Lutheran in a Division 4 state quarterfinal game.

“I told the kids to think back to how you felt walking off the field that night,” Edgerton coach Mike Gregory said of the 45-14 loss to Lakeside. “It’s not a good feeling, and they know to get back to that point, they had to work even harder in the offseason.

“And they’ve done a great job of doing just that. We lost some very good players off last year’s team, but we’ve also got a lot of talent, plus we added a couple kids—one a transfer and one that played soccer last year—that are really going to help.”

Edgerton was second in the Rock Valley Conference last season and is ranked second in the state in the Wisconsin Sports Network preseason poll. The Crimson Tide lost their season opener to McFarland last season before rattling off a school-record 10 straight wins.

Led by the return of all-Rock Valley first-team selections in running back Devin Jorgensen, two-way lineman Reed Farrington, inside linebacker Ben Wileman and cornerback Skylar Gullickson, Edgerton has an excellent chance to make another long playoff run. Half the teams on Edgerton’s regular-season schedule are Division 3 teams, with the Tide dropping down to Division 4 for the playoffs.

“Our motto this season is to dream big and to work harder,” Gregory said. “We kind of stole that saying from JJ Watt, but I don’t think he’d mind that we’re using it.

“We’re embracing the ranking that we got but taking nothing for granted. Because of the success we had last season, the kids know that there’s a bull’s-eye on their back now and that nothing is going to be given to them.”

Edgerton will see how it stacks up against the rest of the Rock in Week 1. The Crimson Tide open on the road at McFarland before hosting longtime rival Evansville the second week.

“McFarland has nine starters back on defense, so you know they’re going to be very strong again this year,” Gregory said. “And Evansville might’ve been down last year, but they’ve got everybody back it seems.

“But we’ll continue to take it one game at a time. That formula worked well for us last year.

“And like I said, with a bullseye on our back now because of what we did last year and the ranking we have coming into this season, we know we’re going to get everybody’s ‘A’ game.”

Craig, Parker say goodbye to Big Eight

Tuesday marked the last time that Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker’s football teams will begin preparation for the Big Eight Conference season.

Both schools will play in the Badger Large beginning in 2020.

As has been the case the last several years, the city rivalry game and the Battle for the Monterey Rock takes place before school starts.

Craig host Beloit Memorial to open Big Eight play Aug. 23, while Parker plays at Verona.

The city schools meet in Week 2 at Monterey Stadium in the final Big Eight meeting in the storied history of the rivalry.