(8) Milwaukee Riverside (5-4, 5-1 in City) at (1) Arrowhead (6-3, 5-2 in Classic 8). Arrowhead lost two close calls to Mukwonago and Waukesha West and lost those games without starting quarterback Johnny Duranso. The Warhawks are in a pod of 8 where the other top team (Muskego) is one the Warhawks have beaten, and they can get all the way to Madison before meeting Kimberly. The Week 8 win over Muskego helped the Warhawks net the top seed.
(5) Milwaukee King (9-0, 6-0 in City) at (4) Menomonee Falls (6-3, 5-2 in Greater Metro). Menomonee Falls had a chance to share the Greater Metro title and almost pulled off the upset against Marquette before falling short. King will be considered the underdog as a member of the long-maligned City Conference, but as the undefeated conference champ, it will at least be intriguing to see if the Generals can give Falls a push.
(6) Hartford (4-5, 4-3 in Wisconsin Little Ten) at (3) Mukwonago (6-3, 4-3 in Classic 8). The Indians ran into a motivated Muskego in Week 9, falling behind 35-0 at halftime in a lopsided loss. It was a jarring finish, but a win over Catholic Memorial one week earlier meant Mukwonago was still playoff bound. The matchup with Hartford is tougher than their record appears -- the Orioles have three losses against powerful teams like Wisconsin Lutheran, Homestead and Germantown.
(7) Manitowoc Lincoln (5-4, 4-4 in Fox River Classic) at (2) Muskego (7-2, 5-2 in Classic 8). Muskego was clicking on all cylinders in Week 9, racking up its usual allotment of points and also virtually shutting out a very good Mukwonago team after back-to-back weeks of allowing 35 points.The Ships play in a strong conference and have won three of their last four.
(6) Kenosha Bradford (3-6, 3-4 in Southeast) at (3) Franklin (7-2, 6-1 in Southeast). Franklin finished off its Southeast Conference slate with an easy win, giving the Sabers a share of the league title with the only team to beat them, Oak Creek. The Sabers crushed Bradford in the regular season, 48-2.
(7) Milwaukee Hamilton (4-5, 4-2 in City) at (2) Oak Creek (8-1, 6-1 in Southeast). Oak Creek finished off the Southeast season and returned to the top of the heap, sharing the league title with Franklin. The Knights will be heavily favored to win.
(8) Milwaukee Madison (5-3, 5-1 in City) at (1) Homestead (8-1, 6-1 in North Shore). Another year, more of the same excellence from Homestead. Needing a late defensive stop to hold off Whitefish Bay, the Highlanders secured at least a share of the North Shore for a staggering 14th straight season. Will they wind up facing North Shore rival Germantown in Level 3 of the D2 playoffs? It certainly appears that way.
(5) Whitefish Bay (6-3, 4-3 in North Shore) at (4) Oshkosh North (8-1, 7-0 in Valley South). The Blue Dukes are just a notch behind the tri-champions of the North Shore Conference, but a close call against Homestead showed that they can have a major impact in the playoffs. Still, this is a brutal trip, having to head a ways north to face what might be the best 4-seed in the state.
(6) Brookfield East (7-2, 5-2 in Greater Metro) at (3) Cedarburg (7-2, 6-1 in North Shore). The Spartans got a lot healthier in Week 9, which makes the narrow 15-12 win over last place West Allis Central set off some alarm bells. It's still a win, but East has its hands full in D2. Cedarburg is one of the true dark horses of the tourney and might be the best team in the North Shore's championship triumvirate.
(7) Brookfield Central (5-4, 4-3 in Greater Metro) at (2) Germantown (8-1, 6-1 in North Shore). Germantown closed down the North Shore schedule with an easy win and became the largest school in Division 2. That's good news if the Warhawks didn't want to face Kimberly, with 9 more students on the enrollment and the smallest school in D1. But D2 is positively loaded, too, though Germantown is one reason why. Meanwhile, it seemed possible that West Allis Hale would be a thorny obstacle as Central went into the final week of the season needing a win, but a lopsided Lancers victory has Central into the playoffs under first-year coach Jed Kennedy.
(7) Sussex Hamilton (4-5, 4-3 in Greater Metro) at (2) Waunakee (7-2, 4-2 in Badger North). Needing a win in the regular-season finale after an uplifting win over Brookfield Central the week before, the Chargers delivered. Not only that, but they might have a friendly Division 2 bracket layout relative to other Milwaukee-area teams in the D2 draw. Obviously, as the seventh seed hitting the road to face powerhouse Waunakee, it won't be easy. But don't count them out.
(8) Bradley Tech (6-3, 4-2 in City) at (1) Greendale (9-0, 7-0 in Woodland West). Greendale had the misfortune of finishing as the smallest school in Division 2, but the Panthers are good enough to compete for that state title in a loaded segment of teams. The Panthers will have to get past some excellent teams, but many of them are on the other side of the bracket.
(6) Waterford (6-3, 5-2 in Southern Lakes) at (3) South Milwaukee (8-1, 5-1 in Woodland East). South Milwaukee held tightly to Greendale at halftime before the Panthers pulled away from the Rockets in the second half. But South Milwaukee still showed it's ready for primetime once the playoffs begin, though this is far from an easy first-round meeting. Waterford shared the league title with three other teams.
(7) Greenfield (5-4, 4-2 in Woodland East) at (2) Waukesha West (7-2, 5-2 in Classic 8). Greenfield assured itself a playoff berth and eliminated Wauwatosa West in the final week of the season, but this will be a whole new ballgame for first-year coach Joe Koch and his Hustlin' Hawks. Waukesha West came achingly close to Catholic Memorial last week, but the loss meant the Wolverines would have to share the Classic 8 title with three other teams.
(8) St. Francis (6-3, 4-3 in Midwest Classic) at (1) Wisconsin Lutheran (9-0, 7-0 in Wisconsin Little Ten. The Mariners fell in their finale against University School but will play in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. It will be a short stay, however, barring an upset against one of the heavyweights in the Division 3 field.
(5) Pewaukee (4-5, 4-2 in Woodland West) at (4) Brown Deer (7-2, 5-2 in Woodland East). Not only is it a rematch from the regular season, it's a rematch on the same turf as one seven days earlier, when Brown Deer defeated Pewaukee in the Week 9 finale. It wasn't a glamorous record for the Pirates, though all five losses came against playoff teams, including undefeated Wisco and Greendale and one-loss South Milwaukee. The Pirates will need to improve to move on in the D3 playoffs, but they remain a very dangerous foe. Brown Deer's win over Pewaukee was one of several examples in Week 9 that showed the Woodland East has drawn closer to the Woodland West, perhaps to dead even. Now, let's do it again.
(7) Two Rivers (4-5, 4-3 in Eastern Wisconsin) at (2) Catholic Memorial (7-2, 5-2 in Classic 8). Four teams shared the Classic 8 title, and none of it would have been possible without Memorial's narrow win over Waukesha West in Week 9. The Crusaders get to compete next against like-sized schools in Division 3, but nothing will come easily against the likes of Wisconsin Lutheran, Kewaskum and Brown Deer.
(8) University School (6-3, 5-2 in Midwest Classic) at (1) Lodi (8-1, 5-1 in Capitol North). Michael Tucker scored two of his three touchdowns in the tense fourth quarter, helping the Wildcats edge St. Francis in the Week 9 finale, 35-27. Lodi has scored no fewer than 34 points in all but one of the contests in its current six-game winning streak.
(5) Winnebago Lutheran (6-3, 4-3 in Flyway) at (4) Brookfield Academy (8-1, 6-1 in Midwest Classic). The Blue Knights will get to test their wares in Division 5, where they find themselves in a winnable pool with only a couple teams in the lower portion of the WFCA state rankings. Winnebago Luheran has two one-score losses, however, in addition to a lopsided loss to mighty St. Mary Springs.
(7) Pecatonica/Argyle (6-3, 5-3 in Six Rivers) at (2) Lake Country Lutheran (9-0, 7-0 in Midwest Classic). It was smooth sailing for LCL in the final game of the year to cap an undefeated regular season for the second time in three years. Now comes a tougher challenge: the Division 6 playoff field. This first matchup in interesting, with two of its three losses by a combined eight points to a pair of playoff teams (including 8-1 Potosi) ... and then a puzzling lopsided loss to 3-6 River Ridge.
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:
If two teams have the exact same talent, what's the best "X-factor" a coach can contribute to give his team the edge? In other words, in what area can a coach make the most difference?
Coach 1: Coaches can teach their players to become tacticians and thinkers just as they can teach skills. The coach who mentally prepares his team to think on their own and to perform naturally is the one who best prepares his team.
Coach 2: Preparation = confidence.
Coach 3: I think those games are won during the week - on game day, in close games, I think coaches lose more games then win them. If you did your job, your kids take care of the tight ones. I do think clock management is an overlooked item in tight evenly matched ball games.
Coach 4: I think experience and tactical ability provide the most noticeable and meaningful advantages. Just having seen it makes that coach better, and having a true understanding of the opposition's scheme allows the coach to make the right adjustments along the way, staying ahead of the other team.
Coach 5: Using unbalanced formations offensively, multiple formations, and multiple types of motions allow you an edge offensively that can make a tremendous difference.
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.
Josh Ringelberg and the Greendale football team have been rolling all year, and the Panthers capped off an undefeated season with a convincing 42-7 win over fellow unbeaten South Milwaukee in the Woodland title game. The senior quarterback finished witth 194 yards passing and three scores, plus another 70 yards rushing and three more touchdowns.
Past Players of Week
A look back at the best of the best from the NOW Newspapers and Lake Country Publications coverage areas.
After a one-year absence, Kenosha Bradford is back in the WIAA football playoffs, though not without some head-scratching from rival Kenosha Tremper.(2)
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
Messmer/Shorewood unsurprisingly experienced some speed bumps in its first year back with the Woodland Conference, but the Greyhounds picked up one for the road in a 21-17 upset of New Berlin Eisenhower in the regular-season finale. Eisenhower came in needing a win to become playoff eligible, but Louis Williams passed and ran for touchdowns in the second half to help his team rally back from a 17-7 deficit.
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. His team is 3-1, and he caught a touchdown in Week 2 -- with more to come? Are we talking about an NFL MVP here?
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: Heading into Week 6, Brad Nortman (Brookfield Central) ranked fifth in the NFL in average 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) has been shut down because of a recurring shoulder injury -- or not -- after he was controversially left on the sidelines of the team's opener against LSU. After appearing in a loss to Northwestern, he's back in a timeshare for work with Tanner McEvoy.
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: Linebacker Derek Landisch (Arrowhead) had a monster day against Bowling Green.
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) won't be back until November after needing surgery following his team's opener against LSU.
Michigan: Punter Will Hagerup (Whitefish Bay) is working back from off-the-field issues.
North Dakota State: Alex Hahn (Oak Creek) recorded a sack as the Bison knocked off Iowa State in the season opener.
Northern Illinois: Cameron Clinton-Earl (Sussex Hamilton) had six tackles, and Josh Orne (Kettle Moraine) has been handling kickoffs as the team downed UNLV in a shootout Sept. 13.
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 talks about his trip to Miami to watch the Packers win in dramatic fashion, and parity rules the high-school football scene with playoff pairings mere days away from unveiling.
WIAA playoff numbers for area programs:
Consecutive playoff berths (through 2014)
Oak Creek (8-1)
Others receiving consideration: Catholic Memorial (7-2), Franklin (7-2), Muskego (7-2), South Milwaukee (8-1), Waukesha West (7-2)
(updated Oct. 18)
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: The WIAA does not follow the National Federation of High School procdures for overtime, with each team getting a series starting on the opponent's 25-yard line, and the technical term for each "overtime" (where both teams get a shot) is an "inning." In the third "inning" of overtime, Team A scores a touchdown and lines up for the extra-point, and the kicker splits the uprights perfectly. But the back judge waves his arms, signaling no point has scored, and it will not be re-kicked. What did Team A do wrong?
(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 Week 8)
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 (Week 8)
4. Greendale (8-0)
6. Homestead (7-1)
7. Germantown (7-1)
10. Waukesha West (7-1)
Others receiving votes: Oak Creek (7-1), South Milwaukee (8-0)
8. Catholic Memorial (6-2)
10. Lake Country Lutheran (8-0)
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.