The Kiel Raider football team enters 2019 as the defending Eastern Wisconsin Conference champions after going 7-0 in 2018. The Raiders are now the hunted, and not the hunters. However, Kiel remains a solid favorite to retain its crown.
The 2019 Raider football preview:

Head Coach: Mike Dressler (7th season)
Career Record at Kiel: 43-21
2018 Record: 10-1 overall; 7-0 conference (1st place)
Playoff Appearances: 12
Playoff Record: 6-12

2018 RAIDERS: Kiel ran the table in going unbeaten in EWC play and advanced to Level 2 of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs before again being bumped off by Darius Crowley-Reid and Greendale Martin Luther. It was the fourth straight season of eight victories or more by Kiel and was their fifth consecutive trip to the playoffs. Dressler’s first team, in 2013, was the only one not to make the playoffs under his tenure and the last four Kiel teams have at least one playoff win.
The Raiders do have to replace six seniors who earned all-conference honors including four of whom were First Team All-EWC in wide receiver Brian Barrette, lineman Cole Kienbaum, linebacker Michael Endries and Maximus Ramminger, First Team at defensive back and punter. Defensive lineman Nathan Reszczynski and linebacker Cade Friday were Second Team All-EWC and have also graduated.

Despite those losses, Kiel returns 22 lettermen, three of whom were First Team All-EWC in 2018 in tight end Nathan Goehring, defensive end Jason Klauck and inside linebacker Clayton Lepisto.
The line play is anchored by Keegan Kerber, Second Team All-EWC, and Connor Voelker was Second Team as a kicker and is one of two returning quarterbacks. Mitch Mahler is the other. Second Team All-EWC defensive back Hunter Scharenbroch is back, as are linemen Zach Welnetz and Ian Clark.
Other returning lettermen are Bryce Loof (line), Matthew Schmitt (line), Alex Kleinhans (running back), Wade Kannich (back), Mason Mueller (back), Isaac Isselmann (line), Carson Lepisto (defensive back), Aaron Winkel (end/back), Logan Moioffer (line), Slade Pennigs (end), Jeb Sippel (line/linebacker), Jacob Vogel (line/linebacker) and Keenan Manz (tight end/line). A host of players up from 2018 JV are also expected to be significant contributors.
Adding to the excitement is a totally renovated Fifrick Field complete with new Sprinturf and Lighting. It makes its debut on Friday, August 30.
Kiel is tabbed as the 2019 favorite in the EWC. Top challengers should be Sheboygan Falls and New Holstein with Chilton and Two Rivers as teams to watch out for.