(5) Milwaukee King (10-0, 6-0 in City) at (1) Arrowhead (7-3, 5-2 in Classic 8). Milwaukee King got everyone's attention with a stunning win over Menomonee Falls in Level 1. Arrowhead is a different ballgame entirely, but this is not the juggernaut Arrowhead of years past and has been in numerous close games this year. Just how good is the City Conference entrant? Let's find out.
(3) Mukwonago (7-3, 4-3 in Classic 8) at (2) Muskego (8-2, 5-2 in Classic 8). Both Mukwonago and Muskego handled their first-round opponents with relative ease, but Muskego will head into this battle with confidence after handling Mukwonago in the final week of the regular season. We wouldn't expect that outcome again, but how close can the Indians get, especially if Muskego running back Ryan Borton is unable to play?
(3) Franklin (8-2, 6-1 in Southeast) at (2) Oak Creek (9-1, 6-1 in Southeast). Age-old rivals meet with a ton on the line, a trip to Level 3. The Sabers showed no sign of letup with a win over Kenosha Bradford in the playoff opener, and Oak Creek comes in after an easy victory of its own. The two teams shared the Southeast Conference title during the regular season.
(5) Whitefish Bay (7-3, 4-3 in North Shore) at (1) Homestead (9-1, 6-1 in North Shore). Bay took the voyage to Oshkosh North, an 8-1 team with just one loss to Kimberly on the season, and staged a shutout to advance into the first half of this playoff bracket starring four North Shore schools. The Highlanders held off Bay in a close one to close hte regular season.
(3) Cedarburg (8-2, 6-1 in North Shore) at (2) Germantown (9-1, 6-1 in North Shore). Germantown dismissed Brookfield Central and Cedarburg got the best of Brookfield East, and now the North Shore rivals turn to each other after tormenting Brookfield. Cedarburg will be looking to atone for an early-season loss to Warhawks.
(4) Burlington (6-4, 5-2 in Southern Lakes) at (1) Greendale (10-0, 7-0 in Woodland West). Burlington won a close game with Wilmot in Level 1 and was one of four co-champs in the Southern Lakes, while the Panthers resumed their warpath with an easy first-round win. Greendale continues to look like a team that can get back to Madison, where it finished second last year in Division 3.
(6) Waterford (7-3, 5-2 in Southern Lakes) at (2) Waukesha West (8-2, 5-2 in Classic 8). Waterford upset South Milwaukee in the first round -- one of the few true first-round surprises, and brings a pretty good tradition of winning into this battle with West, no stranger to winning itself. The Wolverines took down Greenfield in Level 1 and appear to be on a collision course with Greendale.
(4) Brown Deer (8-2, 5-2 in Woodland East) at (1) Wisconsin Lutheran (10-0, 7-0 in Wisconsin Little Ten. With Zack Baun racking up more than 400 yards rushing and six touchdowns in a ridiculous performance against Pewaukee, the Falcons found a way to top the same team in back-to-back weeks and must now beat a team that comes in undefeated -- though Wisco had a close call against that same Pewaukee team back in Week 2, a one-point victory.
(3) Kewaskum (9-1, 6-1 in Eastern Wisconsin) at (2) Catholic Memorial (7-2, 5-2 in Classic 8). This is a pretty tough Level 2 draw for the Crusaders, facing off with an opponent that lost only once all season to conference champion Plymouth. CMH downed Kewaskum's conference mate, Two Rivers, in the opening round with ease.
(3) Cuba City (9-1 overall, 6-1 in SWAC) at (2) Lake Country Lutheran (10-0, 7-0 in Midwest Classic). It was a satisfying start to the D6 playoffs for Lake Country Lutheran in a drilling of Pecatonica/Argyle, but Cuba City is the first of many teams that will be among the best LCL has faced all season.
Menomonee Falls (6-4, 5-2 in Greater Metro). The Indians shared second in the Greater Metro this season before getting upset in the first round by upstart City foe Milwaukee King, which landed its first playoff win since 1996.
Brookfield East (7-3, 5-2 in Greater Metro). Overcame a number of injuries to make the playoffs, though East was unable to hang with Cedarburg in Level 1.
Brookfield Central (5-5, 4-3 in Greater Metro). First-year coach Jed Kennedy laid the foundation for Central, which bowed out of the playoffs against Germantown.
Sussex Hamilton (4-5, 4-3 in Greater Metro). The Chargers, who needed a three-game winning streak to reach the playoffs, gave Waunakee everything it cound handle in the Division 2 opener.
South Milwaukee (8-2, 5-1 in Woodland East). South Milwaukee had an excellent season but was always considered a notch below some of the area's heavyweights because of the competition in the Woodland East. The Rockets season ended in a heartbreaker against Waterford in Level 1.
Greenfield (5-4, 4-2 in Woodland East). First-year coach Joe Koch got the team in position to give some teams a push and make the playoffs, but the Hustlin' Hawks were knocked out by Waukesha West in Level 1.
St. Francis (6-4, 4-3 in Midwest Classic). The Mariners' first trip back to the playoffs since 2008 was short lived with mighty Wisconsin Lutheran as a first-round draw.
Pewaukee (4-6, 4-2 in Woodland West). The record belies just how good the Pirates were this year, with two shootout losses against Brown Deer to close the season.
University School (6-4, 5-2 in Midwest Classic). University School faced a tough draw in the opening round when it met top-seeded Lodi.
Brookfield Academy (8-2, 6-1 in Midwest Classic). Academy faded in the fourth quarter against Winnebgao Lutheran in Level 1, bringing a wildly successful season to a close.
Cudahy (2-7, 1-5 in Woodland East). Cudahy couldn't pull the major upset against South Milwaukee to stay alive in Week 7.
Dominican (2-7, 1-6 in Metro Classic). The Knights were eliminated with a loss to Catholic Central in Week 6, but Dominican did procure its first conference win by downing Thomas More in Week 8.
Kettle Moraine (5-4, 3-4 in Classic 8). The Lasers hung with some of the very best teams in the state within the Classic 8 Conference, but the system wasn't kind to KM, and it was one of the first teams left out of the 224-team playoff field.
Martin Luther (2-7, 2-5 in Metro Classic). A close loss to Kenosha St. Joseph in Week 8 put Martin Luther's tenuous playoff hopes to pasture.
Messmer/Shorewood (2-7, 2-4 in Woodland East). Messmer/Shorewood showed some flashes and will head into the offseason on a positive note after downing New Berlin Eisenhower in Week 9 and keeping the Lions from the playoffs.
New Berlin Eisenhower (4-5, 2-4 in Woodland West). A surprising loss to Messmer/Shorewood in Week 9 will keep the Lions from the playoffs -- and also suggests maybe the Woodland East has gained on the Woodland West to the point of the divisions being equal.
New Berlin West (2-7, 1-5 in Woodland West). West's loss to Pewaukee in Week 6 eliminated the Vikings from playoff consideration. The Vikings finally procured their first win of the season in a nonconference Woodland crossover win against Whitnall in Week 8, then topped Cudahy in Week 9.
Oconomowoc (1-8, 1-6 in Wisconsin Little Ten). Oconomowoc shut ou West Bend West in an uplifting win in Week 8 that ensured the Raccoons would not go winless coming off a banner 2013. Cooney then fell to playoff-bound Watertown in a close 17-14 call.
St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (3-6, 3-4 in Midwest Classic). The Lancers have taken their lumps in the Midwest Classic but at least had an outside shot at a playoff spot by finishing 3-4 in conference. It didn't happen, however.
St. Thomas More (1-8, 0-7 in Metro Classic). After reaching the playoffs last year, it's been a different story in 2014.
Waukesha North (2-7, 0-7 in Classic 8). North went 2-0 in the nonconference season but never got on track in a loaded Classic 8.
Waukesha South (2-6, 1-6 in Classic 8). South made Catholic Memorial, Mukwonago and Arrowhead all uncomfortable and should easily win the award for best two-win team in the state.
Wauwatosa East (1-8, 1-6 in Greater Metro). Tosa East has some nice players and put together some decent offensive performances, but it wasn't enough to procure upsets against the top-shelf Greater Metro foes.
Wauwatosa West (5-4, 2-4 in Woodland West). A heartbreaking close loss to Greenfield in Week 9 meant the Trojans would be staying home from this year's playoffs.
West Allis Central (1-8, 0-7 in Greater Metro). Central made playoff-bound Brookfield East uncomfortable before taking a 3-point loss in Week 9.
West Allis Hale (4-5, 2-5 in Greater Metro). Hale was solid with multiple close calls in the Greater Metro.
Whitnall (1-8, 1-5 in Woodland East). Whitnall gave Greenfield a push in Week 7, but it wasn't enough to secure a victory and stave off playoff elimination.
Nicolet has canceled its varsity football season in 2014.
Asking area football coaches their anonymous thoughts on the greater issues of coaching at the prep level:
How would you change the WIAA postseason seeding process, if at all?
Coach 1: I would ensure that no conference teams play each other until third round.
Coach 2: Highest seed should always host.
Coach 3: I liked what they were going for with the different preset districts; it lets you know who you might play. I am not sure why that didn't go through. I do like the seeding. It gets tough when you load up one conference in a group of 8. It's not fair for the teams in that conference.
Coach 4: I would like to see two 16-team brackets (N/S in even years, E/W in odd years). Even with the change in format, we see many brackets stronger than others, and a seeding of 16 teams would make it a better overall product.
Coach 5: I would like to see some form of a weighted system put in place where you are rewarded for wins against other teams that also qualify for the playoffs. Strength of schedule should matter more than it currently does, in my opinion. The current system is more about certain coaches that are friends with each other voting in a certain manner to get the best bracket set up (easiest path) in the playoffs. That is not why the seeding system came into place in the beginning.
Photo by Stephanie Jones
New Berlin Eisenhower players watch in anticipation as the Lions attempt a 4th and goal play Oct. 17 against Messmer//Shorewood.
We normally try to avoid choosing the same player twice in one season, but there simply is no denying what Brown Deer quarterback Zack Baun brought to the table in Level 1 against Pewaukee, a 49-40 victory. The Falcons virtuoso ran for 402 yards and six touchdowns -- all but one from 39 yards or more -- as he answered every Pirates score and willed his team onward. Oh, and he committed play at the University of Wisconsin on Saturday.
Past Players of Week
A look back at the best of the best from the NOW Newspapers and Lake Country Publications coverage areas.
Arrowhead went to work Friday dissecting Milwaukee King, shutting down the Generals’ offense when it counted and going over the top of their defense for a handful of big pass plays that set the stage for a 36-8 victory in a Level 2 playoff game.
Area players mentioned among the best in the senior class at their position by Wissports.net.
Kevin Stemke Award (top specialist)
Semifinalists: Connor Allen, Brookfield East; Nathan Erickson, New Berlin Eisenhower
Watch list: Gerry Gilles, Brown Deer; Carter Schmitz, Germantown
Jim Leonhard Award (top defensive back)
Semifinalists: Cody Kujawa, Waukesha West; Calvin Shilling, South Milwaukee; Elijah Strong, Oak Creek; Brandon Valenza, Muskego;
Watch list: Gerry Gilles, Brown Deer; Jack Ringelberg, Greendale; Zach Veit, Wauwatosa West
John Anderson Award (top linebacker)
Semifinalists: Nick Radloff, Waukesha West
Watch list: Matthew Braatz, Greenfield; Dyson Chmura, Waukesha West; Andy Hessler, Arrowhead; Michael Kremer, Whitnall; Richard Kuehl, Oconomowoc; Maurice Lucre', Brown Deer; Ty Ramirez, Greendale; Jake Regazzi, Oak Creek; Kyle Theis, Germantown; Mike Wurster, Catholic Memorial
Tim Krumrie Award (top defensive lineman)
Semifinalists: Dyson Chmura, Waukesha West; Sam Gromacki, Catholic Memorial; Lincoln Gruber, Germantown; Alex Hauke, Muskego; Marcus Kelly, Waukesha West; David Pfaff, Homestead
Watch list: Jack Bredeson, Arrowhead; Ross Gottschalk, Lake Country Lutheran; Jamar Manning, Brown Deer
Joe Thomas Award (top offensive lineman)
Semifinalists: Bryan Beck, Franklin; Vince Hughes, Franklin; Sean Mabbett, Germantown; John Marita, Homestead; Elijah Perine, Homestead; Andrew Poenitsch, Sussex Hamilton; Jordan Steckler, Franklin; Nathan Veloz, Oak Creek
Watch list: Tony Balistreri, Catholic Memorial; Dan Bartels, Franklin; Michael Cooney, Germantown; Sam King, Muskego; PJ LeClaire, Brookfield East; Balli Leszcynski, Muskego; Christian Morzinski, Wauwatosa West; Michael Nelson, Homestead; Jacob Schley, St. Thomas More; Joe Schultz, Waukesha West; Charlie Younger, Mukwonago
Al Toon Award (top receiver)
Semifinalists: Mitchell Dess, South Milwaukee; Grant Johnson, Lake Country Lutheran; Patrick Novacek, Brookfield Academy
Watch list: Cole Karcz, Germantown; Chase Scharnek, Waukesha West; Mike Schmidt, Catholic Memorial; Mario VanSchaick, Waukesha North
Dave Krieg Award (top quarterback)
Semifinalists: Zack Baun, Brown Deer; Spencer Francis, Brookfield Academy; Dwayne Lawhorm, Germantown; Justin Oliden, South Milwaukee; Josh Ringelberg, Greendale; Ben Wilkins, Lake Country Lutheran
Watch list: Nick Allen, Homestead; Mike Barnes, Sussex Hamilton; Joe Breznik, West Allis Hale; Cannon Cooley, Waukesha South; Will Knoecny, West Allis Central; Jeremy Swider, Greenfield
Elroy Hirsch Award (top running back)
Semifinalists: Ian Pribyl, South Milwaukee; Demaris Purifoy, Wauwatosa West
Watch list: Nick Coleman, Brown Deer; Xavier Copeland, Greenfield; Tommy Garza, Catholic Memorial; Jordan Jones, Pewaukee; Joe Lemerond, Germantown; Bryce McMurtry, Menomonee Falls; Nick Monty, Whitnall; Matt Patterson, Brookfield Central; Adam Tovar, Lake Country Lutheran; Michael Tucker, University School; Isaiah Webb, Sussex Hamilton; Joe Werner, West Allis Hale
Menomonee Falls was a surprise ouster from Level 1 of the playoffs when the City Conference champion Generals of Milwaukee King came to Falls and took down the Indians, 14-0, on the strength of two big plays. It was just the second playoff victory in King's history and represented a huge feather in the cap of the conference in general, even though on paper it was a fifth seed beating a fourth seed.
Keep tabs on the former stars of the NOW/Lake Country coverage area as they suit up on Saturdays and Sundays:
Cleveland Browns: Joe Thomas (Brookfield Central - pictured) remains one of the primary reasons why the Cleveland Browns offense can work, regardless of who the quarterback is. He talked about the brotherhood of the franchise's great left tackles. Turns out he can (kind of) dance, too.
Houston Texans: Houston Texans star J.J. Watt (Pewaukee) has become one of the highest-paid defensive players in NFL history with his new six-year contract. Are we talking about an NFL MVP here? In the meantime, he's taking selfies with one of his sack victims.
New York Jets: Nick Bellore (Whitefish Bay) has been a crucial part of his team's special teams unit. He was prepping to face the Packers in Week 2 of the NFL season.
Carolina Panthers: After his Week 9 game, Brad Nortman (Brookfield Central) ranked fifth in the NFL in punting yardage and seventh in yards per punt.
Baltimore Ravens: Compromise led Rick Wagner (West Allis Hale) to football, and he's now a starting offensive lineman for the Ravens.
Wisconsin: Joel Stave (Whitnall) is back in action as the starting quarterback for the Badgers after a tumultuous start to the year.
Wisconsin: Chikwe Obasih (Brookfield Central) and Alec James (Brookfield East) have bulked up in their redshirt seasons and will likely contribute this year on the defensive line.
Wisconsin: Offensive lineman Kyle Costigan (Muskego) will be playing with his mother on his mind. She has received an outpouring of support.
Wisconsin: Drew Meyer (Arrowhead) is looking for more from his punting.
Wisconsin: Derek Watt (Pewaukee) is working his way back after injury kept him off the field in the early part of the season.
Wisconsin: Derek Landisch (Arrowhead) was back from injury.
Michigan: Punter Will Hagerup (Whitefish Bay) is working back from off-the-field issues.
North Dakota State: Alex Hahn (Oak Creek) and Nate Tanguay (Mukwonago) both have two sacks each, and Tanguay has started every game for the undefeated Bison.
Northern Illinois: Cameron Clinton-Earl (Sussex Hamilton) was in on his firs half-sack of the season for his 6-2 football team in a win over Eastern Illinois.
South Dakota: Ryan Saeger (Arrowhead) rushed for a career-high 108 yards from the QB position and scored twice in a win over ranked Northern Arizona.
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Sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Sports Channel's JP Cadorin discuss local sports. Latest episode: JP and JR break down the 2014 WIAA football brackets, summarizing potential champions, upsets, the "Group of Death" and intriguing storylines.
WIAA playoff numbers for area programs:
Consecutive playoff berths (through 2014)
Oak Creek (9-1)
Others receiving consideration: Catholic Memorial (8-2), Franklin (8-2), Muskego (8-2), Waukesha West (8-2)
(updated Oct. 26)
Test your knowledge of the high school football rule book with help from Patrick Miles, a member of the Executive Board of the Milwaukee Officials Association and an official who has worked WIAA state championships, the NCAA Division III national championship and other NCAA contests, including the Big Ten.
Scenario: During a forward pass in which the ball crosses the netural zone, Team A's receiver is in position to catch the ball, but a Team B linebacker waves his arms to block the receiver's view and the ball lands incomplete. Is this legal?
(records portrayed are league, overall)
|West Allis Hale||2||6||4||6|
|West Allis Central||0||7||1||8|
|Nicolet (no varsity)||0||7||0||7|
|Kenosha Indian Trail||5||2||6||3|
|New Berlin Eisenhower||2||4||4||5|
|New Berlin West||1||5||2||7|
|West Bend East||3||4||3||6|
|West Bend West||1||6||3||6|
|Lake Country Lutheran||7||0||9||0|
|Kenosha Christian Life||1||6||1||8|
|Living Word Lutheran||1||6||1||8|
|Racine St. Catherine's||7||0||8||1|
|Kenosha St. Joseph||3||4||3||6|
|St. Thomas More||0||7||1||8|
* Some North Shore overall records include credit for forfeit victory over Nicolet as well as nonconference game played in lieu of league meeting with Nicolet.
A look at top upcoming games in the coverage area:
Mark Stewart and JR Radcliffe discuss high school sports in this weekly video.
Area statistical leaders (through Level 1)
A look at area teams in the state polls:
Wisconsin State Coaches Poll (Week 8)
3. Germantown (7-1)
7. Oak Creek (7-1)
9. Mukwonago (6-2)
10. Muskego (6-2)
1. Greendale (8-0)
3. Homestead (7-1)
4. South Milwaukee (8-0)
7. Waukesha West (7-1)
3. Catholic Memorial (6-2)
8. Brown Deer (6-1)
6. Lake Country Lutheran (8-0)
Associated Press Poll (Final)
4. Greendale (9-0)
6. Homestead (8-1)
7. Germantown (8-1)
Others receiving votes: Oak Creek (8-1), Waukesha West (7-2), Muskego (7-2), Arrowhead (6-3)
8. Catholic Memorial (7-2)
10. Lake Country Lutheran (9-0)
Joe Koch brings program-building talents to Greenfield.
High-profile Jed Kennedy takes helm for Brookfield Central.
Jared McGranahan initiates new era at Whitnall.
Alumnus Matt Harris comes home to Waukesha North.
Matt Kern looks to open up offense at New Berlin Eisenhower.
Central's Ben Strickland continues to excel in Madison.
Project brings Franklin into 21st century.
Zany 84-82 game will be remembered for years to come.
KM grad Joe Donner brings foreign influence.