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Kimberly, Springs among teams to watch for in 2018

Kimberly GT preview3.jpg
Kimberly will once again look to win a gold ball this season. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Practice kicks off for the high school football season on Tuesday and for Northeast Wisconsin it should be another spectacular season.

Last year, Kimberly completed its fifth straight perfect season, while St. Mary's Springs captured its third state title in four years. Gold is on those teams' minds this coming season, but they aren't the only teams to keep an eye on.

While Kimberly has ruled the state, winning 70 straight games since the start of the 2013 season, this season could be its toughest to produce another perfect season. The Papermakers have quality company in the Valley Football Association this season and Fond du Lac, Appleton North and Neenah -- all teams that lost by one possession last year to Kimberly -- aren't going anywhere. Kimberly plays all three this season and you know those teams are hoping to end the streak.

Fond du Lac gets the first chance in Week 1 at Papermaker Stadium.

In the Fox River Classic Conference, Bay Port has won 18 straight league games and once again will be tough, but don't forget about Pulaski and Notre Dame, which also return quality players.

In the Bay Conference, West De Pere and Menasha will be strong and should battle for the conference's top spot. Menasha is the defending league champs.

Meanwhile, Wrightstown won the North Eastern Conference in 2017 but will have challenges as Freedom , Little Chute and Luxemburg-Casco aren't going anywhere and should be in the mix in a conference that's always tough to win.

In the Central Wisconsin-Large, Iola-Scandinavia will be a factor as the Thunderbirds are one of the favorites to win the Division 6 state title after losing to Springs last year in the state title game.

Also, Valders and New Holstein are teams to watch in the Eastern Wisconsin, while in the MONLPC-Large Southern Door is the defending champ and has Division I recruit Derik LeCaptain to rely on.

The 2018 season kicks off on Aug. 16 and ends on Nov. 16. It should be quite a ride.

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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