DE PERE (WLUK) -- Under normal circumstances this would be Week 6 of the high school football season but 2020 has been anything but normal.
Friday, the football season kicks off and a couple of old rivals highlight Week 1 as West De Pere hosts Menasha in the Game Time Game of the Week.
Phantoms quarterback Josh Blount says reaching Week 1 took an unfamiliar route due to COVID-19.
"It is a lot different," Blount said. "The adjusting we've had to make, starting later, now knowing if we were going to have a season, even. We were trying to get workouts in anyway any shape that we could and now preparing for Week 1.
"We're glad we made it this far, obviously. We're really amped up. We're watching film a lot. We're getting down in practice, working hard, so it should be fun."
Friday's matchup is usually later in the season as West De Pere and Menasha always contend for the Bay Conference title. Having the teams meet in Week 1 will give one team a head start.
Last season, West De Pere beat Menasha in the regular season, but the Bluejays rebounded and surprised the Phantoms in the playoffs. Blount remembers the last game of his junior season.
"Obviously, you never forget a game like that to end the season," Blount said. "It's nice to have them back early this year, same field. Not the same type of situation, obviously due to the pandemic and everything like that.
"Same Menasha team. They're going to be quick. Hopefully, we'll be ready for them."
First-year coach Chris Greisen was previously assisting at Freedom, but he knows what this rivalry is all about. Two great teams always battling each other.
"There's a rivalry, it's not just from last year," he said. "It's from how many years back? Those are the two teams in the Bay Conference that were typically fighting for the conference championship.
"It's like where I came from with Freedom, Wrightstown and Little Chute, those were some great battles right there, so it's going to be fun. (Menasha's) Jeramie (Korth) is a great coach, they have a great coaching staff and great players."
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay