db11
Hey y'all. I'm back with another MKE-area conference preview.

Catholic Central

2017 Record:  0-9 (0-7)

Notable Losses: QB/LB Chad Zirbel, RB/LB Frank Koehnke, RB/DB Charles Robinson

Notable Returnees: WR/DB Brandon Pum (Jr.), QB/DB David Doerflinger (Jr.), RB/DB Paul Nevin (Jr.), WR/LB Payton Meinholz (Sr.), RB/DL Tristan Welka (Sr.), RB/LB Cade Dirksmeyer (Sr.), OL/DL Doug Januszewski (Sr.), OL/DL Tyler Shaw (Sr.)

Outlook: Low numbers and injuries galore took their toll on the proud Hilltopper program in 2017 causing them to forfeit their last three contests of the year (including a potential win vs. STM). Things should be slightly more positive this year for Catholic Central. The team graduates just three seniors (all of whom’s contributions from a year ago were muted by injuries) and brings back healthy numbers in the upper classes (though just two kids in the 2021 class is cause for concern). All three players who garnered HM All-Conference nominations return. Size is a bit of a concern, but returning nearly all contributors at the skill positions should help. The Metro Classic will likely be split into the haves and have-nots this year with very little middle ground, so while the sledding will be tough against the big boys, there should be three winnable games (plus the second non-con) out there for the Hilltoppers. Be interesting to see where BCC falls in the rumored upcoming realignment. Not many D7s in this area, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them lumped in with some MWC teams instead.

Dominican

2017 Record: 4-5 (3-4)

Notable Losses: RB/LB Jalen Black, FB/OL/LB John Hudak, WR/DB George Wong

Notable Returnees: QB/DB Bo Bennett (Sr.), TE/DL Drew Dlugopolski (Sr.), WR/DB Sean Dlugopolski (Jr.), OL/DL Ben Jelacic (Jr.), RB/DB Phillip Jones (Jr.), OL/DL Christian Vega (Sr.), RB/DB Ethan Lee (Sr.)

Outlook: Dominican returns a healthy dose of contributors from last year, and has a large and vastly experienced senior class, but likely faces an uphill climb for a playoff berth despite only missing out by one game a year ago. The key for Dominican is the health of QB Bo Bennett, who has been starting since his freshman year (stepping in after elder brother Jake broke his collarbone early in the season). Dominican’s pass-heavy offense needs a trigger man, and they don’t really have anyone behind him. His main targets both return in the Dlugopolskis, Drew and Sean, as well as leading rusher Ethan Lee. Up front, the Knights will be buoyed by returning almost all of their starters, led by multi-year starter Ben Jelacic and returning all-conference OL Christian Vega. Phillip Jones returns to patrol the secondary after being HM all-conference a year ago. What the future holds for Dominican is worth watching as numbers are always an issue and they will graduate a large senior class.

Kenosha St. Joseph

2017 Record: 5-5 (4-3)

Notable Losses: OL/DL Connor Rhey, TE/DL Matt Ausse, RB/DB Wyatt Draper, RB/LB Cole Aschenbrenner, OL/DL/P Kade Cable, OL/DL Kyle Janis

Notable Returnees: QB/DB Jake Gessert (Jr.), WR/LB Adam Antonneau (Sr.), OL/LB John Laken (Sr.), TE/LB Kyle Matrise (Jr.), K Patrick Connolly (Jr.)

Outlook: The Lancers enter 2018 with a new coach as Dave Witthun replaces Jim Kenesie looking to build on last year’s Level 1 exit. They bring back a healthy dose of experience, but do have some holes to fill, namely first-team OL Connor Rhey and second team RB Wyatt Draper. The returning talent is fairly well spread out amongst the senior and junior classes. QB/DB Jake Gessert and WR/LB Adam Antonneau return to lead the charge on both sides of the ball, if they (particularly Gessert at QB) have taken that step up, the Lancers should remain in the hunt for a playoff berth. Don’t think they have the horses to break into the top-tier of the league this season, but should be competitive nonetheless.

Martin Luther

2017 Record: 8-5 (5-2)

Notable Losses: WR/DB Jake Blazei, RB/LB Luke Howard, OL/DL Sylvester “Petey” Campbell

Notable Returnees: RB/DB Darios Crawley-Reid (Sr.), WR/DL Ariel Cortes (Jr.), RB/LB Bryce Kulinski (Sr.), WR/LB Brad Kulinski (Sr.), TE/LB Brody Lee (Sr.), QB/DB Nik Mueller (Sr.)

Outlook: Following a third-place finish in conference, the Spartans went on a historic run to Level 4 of the D4 playoffs, losing to eventual champ Lodi, 17-0. The Spartans got there on the back of two-way standout Darios Crawley-Reid, and he is back and poised for an even better senior season. Joining him is QB Nik Mueller, the Kulinski twins, DL Ariel Cortes and TE Brody Lee as the Spartans look to top last year’s effort. A Week 8 showdown at Horlick Field against Racine St. Catherine’s could very well decide the conference title. A gauge as to how good this Martin Luther team is will come right out of the chute as they welcome Woodland Conference member Whitnall to kick things off.

Racine Lutheran

2017 Record: 10-2 (6-1)

Notable Losses: OL/DL Bradley Bozak, OL/DL Dakota Dexter, WR/DE Austin Honore, RB/LB Thomas Moore, TE/DE Trenton Tenner

Notable Returnees: RB/DB Tyler Tenner (Jr.), WR/DB Josh Hess (Sr.), RB/DT/K David Voss (Jr.), RB/LB Bruce Cosey (Jr.), QB/DB Colton Kraus (Sr.), WR/DB James Wilson (Sr.), RB/LB Jaylen Houston (Jr.), OL/DL Alex Schulz (Sr.), TE/DE Elijah Solis (Sr.)

Outlook: Racine Lutheran themselves had a very fine 2017, finishing second behind Racine St. Cat’s and making a run to Level 3 in D6 before falling to eventual champ St. Mary’s Springs. The Crusaders should be in for much of the same as they bring back nearly all of their skill position players including Tyler Tenner, who went for nearly 1,900 yards on the ground a year ago. That’s not all though as the leading passer, top three leading rushers and top four receivers are all back. The one spot where the Crusaders did take a graduation hit was in the trenches, and that may be what keeps them from a repeat of (or even bettering) a year ago. If they can fill those spots capably then the sky’s the limit.

Racine St. Catherine’s

2017 Record: 10-1 (7-0)

Notable Losses: FB/LB Matt Clope, FB/LB Adonis Herrington, OL/DL Austin Tuttle

Notable Returnees: QB/DB Da’Shaun Brown (Sr.), WR/DB Rashid Poole (Sr.), OL/DL Timmy Carthron (Sr.), RB/DB Isaiah Dodd (Jr.), OL/DL Guy Van Dis (Sr.), OL/DL Gavin Moriarity (Sr.), FB/LB D.J. Carter (Sr.), OL/DL Adrian Garcia (Sr.), TE/DB Luke Letsch (Sr.), FB/LB Anthony Cable (Jr.), WR/DB Azarien Stephens (Sr.), TE/LB Aleks Haeuser (Sr.)

Outlook: The Angels dominated Metro Classic proceedings a year ago, and 2018 could be much of the same as they lost just three players to graduation. Post-season-wise, enrollment growth looks like it will continue to keep St. Cat’s in D4, which is unfortunate as they’d be a bonafide state champion contender in D5. As it stands, they still should be favored for a big run regardless behind the return of a plethora of returning all-conference players, spearheaded by D1 recruit Da’Shaun Brown, a dual-threat QB who is a threat on every snap. The Angels also return speed and power at all positions and an impressive amount of size and experience in the trenches. Week 2 matchup vs. Union Grove will give us a good gauge of where they’re at, while the Week 6 and 8 games against Racine Lutheran and Martin Luther, respectively, will decide the conference and likely be the Angels only close conference matchups. It’s probably to their benefit that those matchups are coming in the back half of the schedule.

Saint Thomas More

2017 Record: 1-8 (1-6)

Notable Losses: OL/DL Devin Cunningham, QB/DB Kenton Wilk, RB/LB Devin Barfoth

Notable Returnees: RB/LB Eric Williams (Sr.) RB/DB Matt Wejrowski (Sr.), OL/LB E.J. Holley (Sr.)

Outlook: Well, I’d like to say there’s nowhere to go but up for the Cavaliers this year, but Catholic Central won’t be forfeiting their game against STM this year. Tom Handziak takes over as head coach for Chris Roggeman and has his work cut out for him. Low numbers and a tiny junior class will make sledding difficult. Sole 1st-team all-conference player Devin Cunningham has graduated leaving a gaping hole in thin lines. One positive is the return of playmaker Eric Williams, and he will be counted on to provide some sort of spark.

Shoreland Lutheran

2017 Record: 4-5 (2-5)

Notable Losses: OL/DL Carter Hagedorn, RB/LB/K/P  Jared Landreman, WR/LB Leland Weingart, OL/DL Zack Slechta, OL/DL Michael Potisk

Notable Returnees: QB/DB Noah Ahles (Sr.), WR/DB John Marshall (Sr.), WR/DB Ivan Schimanski (Jr.), WR/DB Nathan Lahti (Sr.), WR/ LB Jordan Teska (Sr.), RB/LB Andy Barnier (Sr.), RB/LB Donville James (Jr.)

Outlook: After starting 2017 off with a 4-0 record, the Pacers lost their last five games of the season as the strength of schedule ratcheted up. The good news is that a lot of players who saw time last year are back. The bad news, the Pacers do not return a single player who garnered all-conference consideration. I would expect the Pacers to once again have a similar record to a year ago, likely beating the STMs and BCCs, but struggling to generate much of anything against the upper echelon of the Metro Classic.

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Prognostication: I really don’t see a ton of fluctuation from last year to this year. The top teams are returning quite a bit, and the bottom teams aren’t…not exactly a breeding ground for a standings shakeup. Only squad with a real chance of breaking into the top three is KSJ, and even that is quite a long shot. As it stands, I only see two changes to the standings from a year ago.

1. Racine St. Catherine’s
2. Martin Luther
3. Racine Lutheran
4. Kenosha St. Joseph
5. Dominican
6. Shoreland Lutheran
7. Catholic Central
8. Saint Thomas More

 

 

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amped0808
Have the same order of finish in my head. Will be interesting to see if ML can mount a challenge at St. Cat's.
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db11
amped0808 wrote:
Have the same order of finish in my head. Will be interesting to see if ML can mount a challenge at St. Cat's.


FWIW, I almost feel as if I'm selling RaLu a bit short, they're still gonna be very good, but sometimes filling gaps in the line takes longer than replacing skill guys.

As far as ML challenging St. Cat's it's certainly possible, but I think it would require a certain RB going wild....which is a distinct possiblity...but so is RSC's QB doing the same.
https://twitter.com/barwickipedia - Follow me. Because we all need a bit of sports snark in our lives.

"Doin' right ain't got no end."
-The Outlaw Josey Wales

"'Allegedly' is right, Mr. Polian. I have a hole in my ear drum, I'd never go for a swim, no matter how drunk me is."
-Pat McAfee
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db11
The Metro Classic would get a new look in the WFCA's football-only realignment proposal:

https://cdn2.sportngin.com/attachments/document/d034-1604387/WFCA-WIAA_FB_ONLY_CONF._all_revised_7-8.pdf

St. Francis - 543
St. Thomas More - 523
Martin Luther - 520
Brown Deer - 514
University School - 423
Racine St. Catherine's - 421
Dominican - 337
Lake Country Lutheran - 323

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Catholic Central, Kenosha St. Joe's, Racine Lutheran and Shoreland Lutheran all depart for the Midwest Classic, while St. Francis, Brown Deer, University School and Lake Country Lutheran come in.

First impressions are that I like it. At some point St. Francis had to move out of the MWC, and at some point, LCL would be become too big and quite frankly, too good. It provides a safe/quality landing spot for Brown Deer, whose shrinking enrollment was making it quite the outcast, even in the Woodland-East. Numbers were killing BCC (they're down in the 120s), and while it stinks for some to lose some of the rivalries (RSC/KSJ, RSC/RaLu), I think this mix does a great job of boosting the quality of the Midwest Classic, while not hurting the quality of the Metro.
https://twitter.com/barwickipedia - Follow me. Because we all need a bit of sports snark in our lives.

"Doin' right ain't got no end."
-The Outlaw Josey Wales

"'Allegedly' is right, Mr. Polian. I have a hole in my ear drum, I'd never go for a swim, no matter how drunk me is."
-Pat McAfee
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sonsofdonbosco
Again, thanks to DB for doing the previews.  Could this be the year that St. Cat's finally fields a senior-led team and makes a deep run in the playoffs?  It sure feels like it. 

Dominican is my dark horse for all of SE Wisconsin this season.  They have a talented senior class led by the Flying Dlugopolski Brothers and a scheme that seems tailor-built for it.  It's also probably their best shot, as numbers will always be an issue for them.  I really think they seize their moment. Stories like that are what high school football is all about.

Meanwhile, Martin Luther turning themselves into a championship football program is not something I ever could have predicted.  They've shown that anyone can do it if you take the right steps.  I wonder if Thomas More is listening. 

This Handziak guy at STM brings a level of polish and professionalism that they lacked, and word is numbers are up... but they still lack experience, size, athleticism and a youth program to drive all of the above. We'll see if a small business owner from Delafield is willing to drive in every day for the next few years in order to turn that around, or if he'll move on quickly like Swabek at Pius. 
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db11
Again, thanks to DB for doing the previews.  Could this be the year that St. Cat's finally fields a senior-led team and makes a deep run in the playoffs?  It sure feels like it. 

Dominican is my dark horse for all of SE Wisconsin this season.  They have a talented senior class led by the Flying Dlugopolski Brothers and a scheme that seems tailor-built for it.  It's also probably their best shot, as numbers will always be an issue for them.  I really think they seize their moment. Stories like that are what high school football is all about.

Meanwhile, Martin Luther turning themselves into a championship football program is not something I ever could have predicted.  They've shown that anyone can do it if you take the right steps.  I wonder if Thomas More is listening. 

This Handziak guy at STM brings a level of polish and professionalism that they lacked, and word is numbers are up... but they still lack experience, size, athleticism and a youth program to drive all of the above. We'll see if a small business owner from Delafield is willing to drive in every day for the next few years in order to turn that around, or if he'll move on quickly like Swabek at Pius. 


Welcome back!

D4 is always weird, and it was a bridge too far for RSC last year, so IDK. They're certainly loaded, and if ML can put a run together, so can they.

Maybe Dominican sneaks into the playoffs, but that top half of the conference is deep and loaded, plus if Bennett goes down, that offense is probably toast.

How exactly did that happen? I mean, we know with their boys b-ball team (wink, wink), but they've found success through mostly "homegrown" kids in both girls' b-ball and football. Better coaching? I know Hoppert and Co. as they mostly matriculated through WAC, and they're all solid football guys, perhaps they harvested as much as they could from program-builder Krause?

Nowhere to go but up for STM, but I can't see someone making that commute every day to mire in continued mediocrity.

I have a suspicion things will be a little bit more cohesive at KSJ if they avoid the injury bug that plagued them last year.
https://twitter.com/barwickipedia - Follow me. Because we all need a bit of sports snark in our lives.

"Doin' right ain't got no end."
-The Outlaw Josey Wales

"'Allegedly' is right, Mr. Polian. I have a hole in my ear drum, I'd never go for a swim, no matter how drunk me is."
-Pat McAfee
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