Arrowhead (1-1). The Warhawks fell to Homestead in the regular season for a second year in a row, but that loss last year didn't stop the Warhawks from claiming a second straight sate championship. This time around, Arrowhead still has some work to do to get back to championship level, but even if the Hawks take a couple losses in the Classic 8, they twill still be on the short list of state-title contenders in Division 1.
Catholic Memorial (2-0). The Crusaders eviscerated two nonconference foes, though in fairness, that's exactly what could have been expected given the schedule. The Classic 8 is loaded with landmines this year, but it's always about the end game of the playoffs, which should once again feature CMH as a top-tier Division 3 title threat.
Germantown (2-0). Germantown heads into the North Shore Conference season with back-to-back quality tests looming against Whitefish Bay and Cedarburg, but after wiping out Greenfield and Hartford in the first two games of the season, there have been no indications that the Warhawks can't contend for the league title with mighty Homestead.
Greendale (2-0). One of the season's most impressive early-season resumes belongs to the Panthers, who followed up a thrilling win over Cedarburg with a convincing win over Franklin, the returning state finalist that the Panthers also defeated in Week 2 last year. Quarterback Josh Ringelberg continues to help the Panthers boast one of the state's best offenses.
Homestead (2-0). Last year, a win over Arrowhead was considered an upset, or at the very least a feat worth celebrating. This year's experienced Highlanders team wasn't bathing in self-congratulation though after repeating the win, handling the postgame with a matter-of-factness that demonstrates just how high the Highlanders have set their 2014 expectations.
Lake Country Lutheran (2-0). For years, Burlington Catholic Central had LCL's number, and the torch has been passed over the past few years. In 2012, it was LCL's first win over the Hilltoppers. In 2013, a playoff and regular-season victory showed the Lightning had taken control of the series, and a lopsided Week 2 win this year shows the gulf has increased. If the team does indeed wind up in Division 6, it's no longer under the radar.
Oak Creek (2-0). A lopsided win over Wilmot, traditionally one of the top teams in the Southern Lakes, shows the Knights are ready for business in the Southeast Conference, starting with a big battle against Kenosha Indian Trail. This is a team that should be involved in the Division 1 title chase by season's end.
Waukesha West (2-0). Watertown gave West a slight push in Week 1, but the Wolverines were unrelenting in a blowout win over New Berlin West in Week 2. The hard part is what comes next in the Classic 8, where the league went 14-1 through the nonconferece season (and the one loss was Arrowhead's loss to top-ranked Homestead. Still, West can emerge as the league's best team, and nobody would be surprised.n
Brookfield Central (1-1). Central's first-year coach Jed Kennedy found himself in an intriguing Week 2 battle against one of his old coaching haunts, Kenosha Bradford, and the Lancers rose to the challenge with a close victory. The Greater Metro remains a puzzle to predict, and the Lancers are definitely in the equation.
Brown Deer (2-0). Quarterback Zack Baun was up to his old tricks, rushing for five touchdowns in the first half to propel his team past Laconia. The Falcons' big test against South Milwaukee in Week 3 could determine a divisional title.
Franklin (1-1). Franklin rallied to top Sussex Hamilton and then couldn't contain Greendale in Week 2, which is exactly how last year played out when the Sabers began a run to the Division 1 state title game. It may be true that this year's team isn't as loaded, but with a superior offensive line, the Sabers remain a team that will be tough to beat.
Menomonee Falls (1-1). Falls showed well against Oak Creek and followed up with a convincing win over West Bend East in the second week heading into the balanced Greater Metro season. Quarterback Bryce McMurtry will be one of the league's more intriguing weapons.
Mukwonago (2-0). Mukwonago mashed past Racine Horlick and Lake Geneva Badger to open the season, but one of the season's great games in 2013 will get an encore in Week 3 as Waukesha West hosts the Indians to start a wildly entertaining slate of Classic 8 games.
Pewaukee (0-2). Sure, the Pirates lost a second straight 1-point heartbreaker with a setback against Wisconsin Lutheran in Week 2, but if anything, the outcome improved the Pirates' outlook considering how strong Wisco's candidacy is for a state title. Most will foresee Pewaukee going 0-3 with Greendale next week, and the Pirates will still be one of the area's better teams.
South Milwaukee (2-0). Under new coach Derek Hoff, the Rockets have looked just as good as the old regime, starting the year perfect heading into a crucial East Division clash with Brown Deer on Sept. 5.
Whitefish Bay (2-0). The Dukes followed up an impressive win against Brookfield Central with an overtime win over Slinger. We may know a lot more next week when Bay matches up with Germantown, whether this team can emerge as a dark horse for the North Shore title.
Brookfield Academy (2-0). Quarterback Spencer Francis rushed for 295 yards and threw for 213 in an absurd performance against Milwaukee Pulaski in Week 2. He'll be one of the best small-school players in the state.
Brookfield East (2-0). East passed its nonconference tests with flying colors, but the Spartans will face a meat grinder to open Greater Metro Conference play, with games against Marquette, Sussex Hamilton and Brookfield Central, not to mention West Allis Hale thereafter.
Greenfield (1-1). Fittingly, new coach Joe Koch got his first win with Greenfield over his last team, Milwaukee Pius XI, and did so in overtime. For a program looking to build some momentum, it's an excellent way to head into conference.
Muskego (2-0). A dominant win over Oconomowoc showed the Warriors are ready for Classic 8 play, but so is everyone else in a deep and powerful league. Once again, the talent isn't going to keep Muskego out of the postseason, but the level of competition might. Then again, the Warriors could do this.
Oconomowoc (0-2). The Wisconsin Little Ten remains a road that can help the Raccoons get to the playoffs, but some worries about the inexperienced Raccoons team were confirmed in a lopsided loss to Muskego in Week 2. It will be a challenge this year to get to the playoffs, but it can certainly be done for a program that came into the season in a very good place.
St. Thomas More (1-1). Thomas More was on the wrong side of a battle with St. Francis in Week 2, and it remains to be seen how the Metro Classic will play out.
Sussex Hamilton (0-2). The Chargers haven't been outclassed by any means in their first two games of the season, both against very tough foes. The Greater Metro is such an unclear picture at this point that it's hard to project where the Chargers will fall.
University School (1-0). It's hard to count a loss to a pretty good Ozaukee team against the Wildcats, who still probably have what it takes to make the playoffs out of the Midwest Classic.
Waukesha South (1-0). Anthony Johnson and Jordan Yatchak both rushed for more than 100 yards as South got on the board with a win over Racine Park in Week 2. The team's Week 1 game against Nicolet was canceled when Nicolet canceled its season, so a Week 3 battle against Muskego will be the first on South's new turf.
Wauwatosa West (2-0). The Week 2 win over Grafton in convincing fashion was a nice feather in the Trojans' cap, and realistically the team should be 3-0 heading into a big Week 4 battle with Pewaukee, which will serve as a big-time proving ground for Tosa West this season.
West Allis Hale (2-0). The Huskies left no doubt in Week 2 after a win over Badger to start the year, and now comes a tough Greater Metro stretch against Menomonee Falls and Marquette that will let us know how good the Huskies can be this year.
Cudahy (1-1). New coach Max Wasikowski scored his first win in Week 2 after the Packers endured a close loss to Elkhorn in the opener. Not bad, even though Cudahy still has an uphill battle for a playoff spot.
Dominican (1-1). The Knights got on the board with a win over HOPE Christian in Week 2.
Kettle Moraine (2-0). The Lasers had a great start to the year with a pair of nonconference wins, but the team still has to show it can hang with the big fellas in the Classic 8.
Martin Luther (0-2). Anything can happen in the Metro Classic this year, but the Spartans will have a tough road to hoe to reach the playoffs.
Messmer/Shorewood (0-2). Transitioning out of the Midwest Classic presents a new challenge for the program that has been building since it left the Woodland eight years ago. The team is young, graduating its top playmakers from last year, and a slow start is a bad omen.
New Berlin Eisenhower (1-1). Matt Kern procured his first win as head coach with a close victory over Whitnall in Week 2, and now the Lions head into the Battle of New Berlin in Week 3.
New Berlin West (0-2). The Lions got beaten pretty badly in Week 2, but in fairness, Waukesha West would be capable of rolling up that point total on a lot of teams. West can get some restorative magic out of a Week 3 battle with crosstown rival Eisenhower.
St. Francis (2-0). The Mariners officially have our attention as a viable contender to make the playoffs out of their new conference, the Midwest Classic. The win over returning playoff qualifier Thomas More in Week 2 suggests St. Francis could potentially give conference favorite Lake Country Lutheran a push in Week 3.
St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (0-2). Frequently a bit of an enigma at the start of the season, SJNMA is even more so this year with new coach Tim Vice and a new staff. We'll need some time before we know if this team can reach the playoffs.
Waukesha North (2-0). Nobody had a more eye-opening nonconference performance than North, which avenged a 2013 loss to Port Washington in resounding fashion and followed that with a thrilling rally for victory against Watertown. The Classic 8 is too unforgiving to expect North to sneak into the playoffs, but the Northstars can't be considered an easy out.
Wauwatosa East (0-2). Tosa East lost to an out-of-state foe in Week 2, and the Greater Metro season looms.
West Allis Central (1-1). A lopsided win in Week 1 was followed by a lopsided loss to powerhouse Catholic Memorial in Week 2. WAC has a number of returnees and could stage some surprises in the GMC, but it won't be expected to reach the playoffs.
Whitnall (0-2). The Falcons welcome new coach Jared McGranahan after several close losses sent the team to a 2-7 record last year. Thirteen starters are back (eight on defense), so the cupboard is certainly not bare. A one-touchdown loss to Eisenhower closed down the nonconference season.
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:
What position is the hardest to play for a high-school kid; in other words, at what spot on the field are the "elite" kids hardest to fine?
Coach 1: Offensive line.
Coach 2: Safety and quarterback.
Coach 3: If was lucky; I had a run of great tight ends early in my career, but to find a guy who can do the blocking, route running and catching, that's a special kid. A good tight end can really mess with a defense. Hard to find that dynamic kid, which is one reason why you don't see them as much.
Coach 4: Great QB's are still difficult to find, but when you do, special things can happen.
Coach 5: It is really hard to find quality tight ends. It is tough to get kids with big bodies that can (and are willing) to block as well as run well enough and catch well enough to be a legitimate receiving threat. Good tight ends pose a difficult match up problem for defenses.
Photo by Scott Ash
Pewaukee takes the field for its game against Wisconsin Lutheran on Friday, August 29.
On the week's biggest stage, Homestead senior quarterback Nick Allen rose to the occasion, rushing for 141 yards and two scores while also passing for 152 yards and a touchdown in a 24-20 win over Arrowhead. The two powerhouse programs met for the second year in a row, with Allen delivering a breakout performance both times to lead his squad to victory. Apologies to Spencer Francis of Brookfield Academy, who delivered some eye-popping two-way numbers at the QB spot.
Past Players of Week
A look back at the best of the best from the NOW Newspapers and Lake Country Publications coverage areas.
Area players mentioned among the best in the senior class at their position by Wissports.net.
Kevin Stemke watch list (top specialist)
Connor Allen, Brookfield East; Nathan Erickson, New Berlin Eisenhower; Gerry Gilles, Brown Deer; Carter Schmitz, Germantown
Jim Leonhard watch list (top defensive back)
Gerry Gilles, Brown Deer; Cody Kujawa, Waukesha West; Jack Ringelberg, Greendale; Elijah Strong, Oak Creek; Brandon Valenza, Muskego; Zach Veit, Wauwatosa West
John Anderson watch list (top linebacker)
Matthew Braatz, Greenfield; Dyson Chmura, Waukesha West; Andy Hessler, Arrowhead; Michael Kremer, Whitnall; Richard Kuehl, Oconomowoc; Maurice Lucre', Brown Deer; Nick Radloff, Waukesha West; Ty Ramirez, Greendale; Jake Regazzi, Oak Creek; Kyle Theis, Germantown; Mike Wurster, Catholic Memorial
Tim Krumrie watch list (top defensive lineman)
Jack Bredeson, Arrowhead; Ross Gottschalk, Lake Country Lutheran; Sam Gromacki, Catholic Memorial; Lincoln Gruber, Germantown; Alex Hauke, Muskego; Jamar Manning, Brown Deer; David Pfaff, Homestead
Joe Thomas watch list (top offensive lineman)
Tony Balistreri, Catholic Memorial; Dan Bartels, Franklin; Bryan Beck, Franklin; Michael Cooney, Germantown; Vince Hughes, Franklin; Sam King, Muskego; PJ LeClaire, Brookfield East; Balli Leszcynski, Muskego; Sean Mabbett, Germantown; John Marita, Homestead; Christian Morzinski, Wauwatosa West; Michael Nelson, Homestead; Elijah Perine, Homestead; Andrew Poentisch, Sussex Hamilton; Jacob Schley, St. Thomas More; Joe Schultz, Waukesha West; Nathan Weloz, Oak Creek; Charlie Younger, Mukwonago
Al Toon watch list (top receiver)
Cole Karcz, Germantown; Chase Scharnek, Waukesha West; Mike Schmidt, Catholic Memorial; Mario VanSchaick, Waukesha North
Dave Krieg watch list (top quarterback)
Nick Allen, Homestead; Mike Barnes, Sussex Hamilton; Zack Baun, Brown Deer; Joe Breznik, West Allis Hale; Cannon Cooley, Waukesha South; Spencer Francis, Brookfield Academy; Will Knoecny, West Allis Central; Dwayne Lawhorn, Jr., Germantown; Justin Oliden, South Milwaukee; Josh Ringelberg, Greendale; Jeremy Swider, Greenfield; Ben Wilkins, Lake Country Lutheran
Elroy Hirsch watch list (top running back)
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; Ian Pribyl, South Milwaukee; Demaris Purifoy, Wauwatosa West; Adam Tovar, Lake Country Lutheran; Michael Tucker, University School; Isaiah Webb, Sussex Hamilton; Joe Werner, West Allis Hale
Waukesha North enjoyed a Friday Night Lights-esque moment when backup quarterback Tony Tromblay entered in the second half and led the Northstars on a dramatic comeback. Down 23-7 to Watertown in the third, Tromblay threw three second half touchdowns and ran for the fourth, a go-ahead score with 1:18 left that followed a huge fourth down conversion deep in North's own territory. A game-clinching interception just in front of an arriving rainstorm sealed the deal after Watertown drove into the North red zone.
Keep tabs on the former stars of the NOW/Lake Country coverage area as they suit up on Saturdays and Sundays:
Oakland Raiders: After a tumultuous college career, Shelby Harris (Homestead) hungers for a chance to prove himself. He made the team's Opening Week roster.
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.
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. Grantland took a lengthy look at the busy life of Watt earlier this year, including his offseason trips home.
Dallas Cowboys: Ben Gardner (Homestead) believes he can make it back from an injury in his first NFL camp.
New York Jets: Nick Bellore (Whitefish Bay) has been a crucial part of his team's special teams unit.
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 after he was controversially left on the sidelines of the team's opener against LSU.
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) hopes to be ready for the season opener as he battles a hamstring injury.
Wisconsin: Offensive lineman Kyle Costigan (Muskego) will be playing with his mother on his mind.
Wisconsin: Derek Watt (Pewaukee) will see his role expanded in 2014.
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.
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Sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Sports Channel's JP Cadorin discuss local sports. Latest episode: A look back at the first week of the football season, with major battles looming in Week 2.
WIAA playoff numbers for area programs:
Consecutive playoff berths (through 2013)
Waukesha West (2-0)
Oak Creek (2-0)
Tie Germantown (2-0) and Greendale (2-0)
Others receiving consideration: Catholic Memorial (2-0), Whitefish Bay (2-0), Brown Deer (2-0), Franklin (1-1), Muskego (2-0)
(updated Aug. 30)
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 Team B defensive back sees a Team A receiver running a crossing route, so the defensive back launches himself forward and attempts to make contact near the receiver's helmet. He misses, but he does fly into another receiver taking the under route, striking him just above the shoulder pads in the neck with his forearm. Did he violate the new targeting rules?
(records portrayed are league, overall)
|West Allis Hale||0||0||2||0|
|West Allis Central||0||0||1||1|
|Nicolet (no varsity)||0||0||0||0|
|Kenosha Indian Trail||0||0||1||1|
|New Berlin Eisenhower||0||0||1||1|
|New Berlin West||0||0||0||2|
|West Bend West||0||0||2||0|
|West Bend East||0||0||0||2|
|Lake Country Lutheran||0||0||2||0|
|Living Word Lutheran||0||0||0||2|
|Kenosha Christian Life||0||0||0||2|
|St. Thomas More||0||0||1||1|
|Racine St. Catherine's||0||0||1||1|
|Kenosha St. Joseph||0||0||0||2|
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 2)
A look at area teams in the state polls:
Wisconsin State Coaches Poll (Week 2)
2. Germantown (2-0)
4. Arrowhead (1-1)
6. Oak Creek (2-0)
8. Mukwonago (2-0)
1. Homestead (2-0)
2. Waukesha West (2-0)
3. Greendale (2-0)
7. Whitefish Bay (2-0)
10. South Milwaukee (2-0)
2. Catholic Memorial (2-0)
8. Brown Deer (2-0)
9. Lake Country Lutheran (2-0)
Associated Press Poll (Week 1)
2. Homestead (2-0)
4. Arrowhead (1-1)
5. Germantown (2-0)
6. Oak Creek (2-0)
7. Waukesha West (2-0)
9. Franklin (1-1)
T2. Catholic Memorial (2-0)
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.