KHS FB Lettermen

Kiel football has a new coach in former Raider great David Esswein. He welcomes back these lettermen. Front Row (from left) Jack Ramminger, Jayden Gimbi, Logan Kalista, Jose Capetillo, Max Schaefer, Isaac Isselmann, Connor Meyer, Alex Kleinhans and Bryce Loof. Back Row- Keenan Manz, Odin Funkhouser, Michael Plautz, Reed Libke, Max Kraus, Carson Lepisto, Jason Klauck, Jacob Vogel, Matt Schmitt, Tyler Halfmann and Nate Plautz.

It’s hard enough taking over for a coach who took his team to the state finals. Now David Esswein has the COVID pandemic to deal with as a new era in Kiel Raider football unfolds this Friday night. It’s a reduced schedule, but Esswein should have another strong Raider squad in his debut season.

The 2020 Raider football preview:


Head Coach: David Esswein (1st Season)

2019 Record: 13-1 overall (State runnerup in Division 4); 7-0 conference (1st place)

Playoff Appearances: 13

Playoff Record: 10-13

2019 RAIDERS: The most successful season in Kiel football history as Kiel not only made Level 4 playoffs for the first time ever, but also the state finals for the first time where they met a Waukesha Catholic Memorial team that plays in a Division 1 conference. Coach Mike Dressler retired after the season winning back-to-back Eastern Wisconsin Conference championships.

Kiel had 12 All-EWC selections including Defensive Player of the Year Jason Klauck and co-Offensive Player of the Year in Hunter Scharenbroch.

Mitch Mahler (1st Team-QB), Alex Kleinhans (1st Team-RB), Keegan Kerber (1st Team-O Line), Zach Welnetz (1st Team-O Line), Connor Voelker (1st Team-D Back and kicker), Nathan Goehring (1st Team- Def. End and Punter; 2nd Team-Tight End), Ian Clark (1st Team-D Line & 2nd Team-O Line), Clayton Lepisto (2nd Team-Inside LB); Wade Kannich (2nd Team-Outside LB); Jacob Vogel (HM- O Line); and Aaron Winkel (HM-D Back).

2020 RAIDERS: A lot of graduation losses, but also a lot of ammunition with 20 lettermen returning led by Klauck with Kleinhans returning in the backfield and Jacob Vogel on the line. Other returning lettermen are Bryce Loof (line), Matthew Schmitt (line), Isaac Isselmann (line), Carson Lepisto (quarterback and defensive back), Keenan Manz (tight end/line), Jack Ramminger (line), Jayden Gimbi (line), Logan Kalista (split end & DB), Jose Capetillo (split end & DB), Max Schaefer (split end & DB), Connor Meyer (running back & linebacker), Odin Funkhouser (line), Michael Plautz (line), Reed Libke (end & linebacker), Max Kraus (split end & DB), Matt Schmitt (line), Tyler Halfmann (line) and Nate Plautz (quarterback and def. back).

Kiel enters the season with a 15-game conference win streak. Prior to that Sheboygan Falls won 21 in a row. Prognosticators due pick Kiel as the favorite again.

As far as post season goes, there will only be two rounds of regionalized playoffs, so the thinking is that you have to win their conference if they want to be in the playoffs. Official playoff announcements are due out in early October.

2020 Kiel Raider Schedule

(All games at 7 pm)

Sep. 25- Home vs. Kohler/Sheb. Lutheran/Sheb. Christian

Oct. 2- at Two Rivers

Oct. 9- Home vs. Valders

Oct. 16- Home vs. Manitowoc Roncalli

Oct. 23- at Chilton

Oct. 30- Home vs. New Holstein

Nov. 6- at Brillion

Nov. 13- WIAA Level 1 Playoffs (tba)

Nov. 20- WIAA Level 2 Playoffs (tba)

(No state finals this season)

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to