Updated: Nov. 23
Asking area football coaches their anonymous thoughts on the greater issues of coaching at the prep level:
What one element does a team most need to contend for a state title?
Coach 1: A lot of luck. Avoid injuries, hope your star player's girlfriend doesn't dump him on a Friday, hope the flu that's going around school misses your team, etc. Belief and preparation are huge, of course, but you can't overlook good fortune.
Coach 2: Talent. You can't get there without great players
Coach 3: The team that can combine good chemistry with stud players wins state.
Coach 4: Talent. Teams that win state championships, especially in D1 when you get to the big-boy level, it's very rare when you see a team that makes it without at least one Division 1 (college) player. A great coach makes sure he gets the most out of the talent, but traditionally it helps when you have great players. A good coach takes advantage of it.
Photo by Mark Hoffman
Arrowhead's P.J. Shaw (with trophy) and his teammates celebrate the WIAA Division 1 state title Nov. 22 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
Sophomore quarterback Johnny Duranso was unfazed by the big moment. The Arrowhead quarterback completed 18 of 29 passes for three touchdowns and 235 yards in the Division 1 state title game, leading Arrowhead to a second straight gold ball and showing that AHS still has plenty of weapons next year. The yardage mark would have set a new Division 1 record, though Franklin's Sean McGuire threw for 250 yards in the game in defeat. Greendale's Josh Ringelberg set the Division 3 yardage record in defeat, as well.
Past Players of Week
Level 4: Josh Ringelberg, Greendale
Level 3: Elijah Fort, Waukesha West
Level 2: Dominic Cizauskas, Mukwonago
Level 1: Drew Patterson, Sussex Hamilton
Week 9: Ryan Stepanovich, Pewaukee
Week 8: Sean McGuire, Franklin
Week 7: Christian Almonte, Menomonee Falls
Week 6: Canton Larson, Oconomowoc
Week 5: Michael Tucker, University School
Week 4: Isaiah Pitchford, Waukesha South
Week 3: Zack Baun, Brown Deer
Week 2: Mitchell Brees, Greendale
Week 1: Dominic Cizauskas, Mukwonago
A look back at the best of the best from the NOW Newspapers and Lake Country Publications coverage areas.
Jeff Lewiston, who coached New Berlin West to its only state boys basketball title, is retiring. The 30-year coaching veteran who spent the past 20 seasons at West told the school of his decision last week and informed players Tuesday.
Greendale appeared to be on its way to its first state title when it took a 17-0 lead at halftime against fellow undefeated squad Monona Grove, but the Silver Eagles clawed back and scored a touchdown with less than a minute to play, giving Greendale a gut-wrenching 21-17 loss. The Panthers had to settle for a second straight silver ball, matching a 2006 outcome that also came down to a heartbreaking finish in a 7-3 loss to Waupaca.
Level 4: Franklin thrashes Mukwonago
Level 3: Kimberly puts running clock on Homestead
Level 2: Oconomowoc overcomes key injuries to win
Level 1: Falls bounced by Fond du Lac in playoffs
Week 9: Tosa West makes playoffs at 2-4
Week 8: North beats South in Waukesha clash
Week 7: Hartford makes Cooney sweat it out
Week 6: Kettle Moraine takes CMH to brink
Week 5: Hamilton trounces Menomonee Falls
Week 4: South Milwaukee moves to 4-0
Week 3: South tops Muskego, moves to 3-0
Week 2: Battle of state champs goes to Homestead
Week 1: Menomonee Falls downs Oak Creek
Keep tabs on the former stars of the NOW/Lake Country coverage area as they suit up on Saturdays and Sundays:
Houston Texans: Pewaukee's J.J. Watt had his number retired by his old high school during halftime of his team's playoff opener.
Carolina Panthers: Brookfield Central's Brad Nortman is top-ten in the NFL in punt average.
Dallas Cowboys: Arrowhead's Nick Hayden recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown as the Cowboys topped the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 3.
Wisconsin: Whitnall's Joel Stave (pictured) tossed two touchdown passes as the Badgers topped Iowa for the Heartland Trophy.
Wisconsin: Menomonee Falls' Kyle French talked about his decision to leave the program.
Northern Illinois: The Huskies had to work for it on national TV but wound up bouncing Ball State on Nov. 13. Arrowhead's Jared Volk startson the offensive line. Others on the roster include Arrowhead's Jackson Abresch, Hamilton's Cameron Clinton-Earl, Waukesha West's Jake Heckel, Franklin's Levon Myers, Greenfield's J osh Ruka and Homestead's Ryan Stendler.
Northwestern: Arrowhead's Jeff Budzien remained perfect on extra points and kicked another field goal, though the Wildcats lost a fourth straight game in an overtime heartbreaker against Iowa. Check out Chuck Delsman's feature on Budzien.
Bowling Green: Oconomowoc's Paul Swan forced a fumble as BG reclaimed the lead in the MAC East with a win over Ohio.
Stanford: Homestead's Ben Gardner registered a sack in his team's win over Oregon State. The popular website NFL Draft Scout has Gardner listed as the No. 7 defensive end for the 2014 NFL Draft, with a third-round projection, but word came down mid-week that Gardner was done for the season.
Indiana: Homestead's John Laihinen ran his sack streak to four games in a near-upset of Michigan, and he added a tackle for loss against Minnesota on Nov. 2 and a win over Illinois on Nov. 9.
UW-Whitewater: Homestead's Justin Howard scored a 99-yard touchdown on special teams, and Mukwonago's Josh Williams had another big day as Whitewater clinched the WIAC title with a win over Stevens Point.
UW-LaCrosse: Arrowhead's Jordy Pendergast was named the WIAC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance Oct. 26.
UW-Oshkosh: Menomonee Falls' Cole Myhra had another strong day, and Oconomowoc's Luke Guenther added a big return in an easy win over Eau Claire.
WIAA playoff numbers for area programs:
Consecutive playoff berths (through 2013)
Mark Stewart and JR Radcliffe discuss high school sports in this weekly video.
Arrowhead (12-1), 18 points
Greendale (13-0), 16 points
Homestead (11-1), 12 points
Franklin (12-1), 10 points
Catholic Memorial (10-2), 4 points
Others receiving votes: Waukesha West (10-3)
(updated Nov. 17)
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*: On fourth and 10, Franklin punts to Mukwonago, and it bounces once on the Mukwonago 20 before getting touched at the 10 by an MHS player. The back judge drops a bean bag to spot the "first touch," and it rolls to the 5-yard line where a Franklin player tries to pick up the ball. It hits off his leg and rolls into the end zone, where another Mukwonago player pounces on it. Is it a touchdown?
*Scenario is theoretical
(records portrayed are league, overall)
|West Allis Hale||1||6||1||8|
|West Allis Central||0||7||0||9|
|Kenosha Indian Trail||5||2||7||2|
|New Berlin West||3||3||6||5|
|New Berlin Eisenhower||2||4||4||5|
|West Bend West||2||5||2||7|
|West Bend East||0||7||0||9|
|Lake Country Luth.||6||1||8||1|
|Living Word Lutheran||3||4||4||5|
|Kenosha Christian Life||0||7||0||9|
|Racine St. Cat.||7||0||8||1|
|Kenosha St. Joe||6||1||7||2|
A look at championship weekend (Camp Randall Stadium, Madison)
Area statistical leaders (through 2013)
A look at area teams in the state polls:
Wisconsin State Coaches Poll (updated Oct. 15)
2. Arrowhead (7-1)
3. Franklin (7-1)
4. Oconomowoc (8-0)
5. Menomonee Falls (7-1)
2. Homestead (8-0)
3. Greendale (8-0)
8. Waukesha West (7-1)
2. Catholic Memorial (7-1)
6. Pewaukee (7-1)
6. Lake Country Lutheran (7-1)
Associated Press Poll (updated Oct. 21)
1. Homestead (9-0)
3. Arrowhead (8-1)
5. Greendale (9-0)
Votes: Franklin (8-1), Oconomowoc (9-0)
4. Catholic Memorial (8-1)
6. Pewaukee (8-1)
Votes: Lake Country Lutheran (8-1)