For football coaches, players and fans at any level, there are four seasons.

The preseason; the regular season; the postseason; and the offseason.

For some Wisconsin high school football teams, this offseason was even shorter than usual. Some teams played in the alternate season, which was played in the spring.

That included both Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker. Craig went 0-5 in the 2021 alternate season and Parker 2-4 with one of the Vikings’ only wins coming against the Cougars, 25-14 on April 30.

With the 2020-21 school year in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for area teams to turn their focus to the regular 2021 season.

There’s just more than a month until the 2021 regular season calendar kicks off with the official date for equipment issue Aug. 2.

The first allowed date for practice is Aug. 3.

The first allowed scrimmage date is Aug. 12, with the first allowed date for games a week later Aug. 19.

Last spring’s odd season saw a number of things you don’t usually see as football practice gears up.

Last week, a group of rising Parker seniors recalled having to shovel snow off the football field in March so they could practice.

It didn’t matter, the Viking group said. They were just happy to be playing football.

“We didn’t care,” lineman Abiathar Curry said as he and his fellow seniors finished a weightlifting session. “We were playing, we weren’t playing. We wanted to play.”

But all that is in the past now for the Vikings and their coaches.

“It’s our time,” Parker senior linebacker Jax Spoden said. “We’re the seniors now.”

The Viking seniors know they are expected to lead—and they’ve already taken that torch and started carrying it.

Parker head coach Clayton Kreger said 2021’s group of seniors will be smaller in numbers, but experienced, with a number of players who have seen varsity action since they were sophomores in 2019.

Summer work on the west side of Janesville in Viking country, Kreger said, will include morning lifting, as well as a 7-on-7 passing drills.

Craig coach Adam Bunderson, meanwhile, said his team enters the offseason looking forward to a return to normalcy.

The Cougars are having conditioning drills, as well as weightlifting and a four-day camp set for July 19-22.

“After that, the guys will be ready to roll August 3,” Bunderson said.

Craig is slated to open the 2021 regular season Friday night, Aug. 20 at Monterey Stadium against Oconomowoc.

Parker, meanwhile, will be on the road at Waukesha South that night.

The two teams will meet in the annual Battle for the Monterey Rock on Friday night, Sept. 24.


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