db11

Arrowhead

2018 Record:  7-4 (6-2)

Notable Losses: OL Matthew Fried, OL Jalen Webster, WR Jacob Schleicher, WR Avan Prange, TE Jonathan Witter, ATH Davis Zeutzius, QB Nic Wohlfiel, PK Seth Fohey, DE Jake Hazod, DE Will Paulson, LB Robbie Lindemann, DB Jacob Boray

Notable Returnees: OL Loic Venon (Sr.), OL Mason Carnell (Sr.), WR/P Robbie Symdon (Sr.), RB Josh Nielson (Sr.), DL John Henry Schlager (Sr.), LB Brady Riphenburg (Sr.), LB Dalton Elrod (Sr.), LB Everett Fawley (Sr.), LB Johnny Orlando (Sr.), RB/DB Owen Arnett (Jr.)

Outlook: The Warhawks finally started to look like the Arrowhead of old towards the end of last year and nearly knocked off Fond du Lac in the playoffs. They have plenty returning, so thoughts of a return to the top-tier of the Classic 8 standings aren’t out of the question. One thing that has hurt them the last two years is starting the wrong QB to start the year. With Wohlfiel graduated, replacing him correctly is paramount to offensive success as they have struggled mightily without a competent QB. Defense should remain the Warhawks calling card. No reason to think this isn’t a top-3 Classic 8 team is things go as expected.

Catholic Memorial

2018 Record: 13-1 (7-1)

Notable Losses: OL Joe Balistrieri, OL Brendan McKnight, FB/LB Alex Cyskiewicz, RB Tate Kopulos, DL J.C. Latham (Jr., Transferred to IMG Academy), DE Luke Hubley (Sr.), DB Joe Oechsner, DB Matthew Schultz

Notable Returnees: QB/PK Luke Fox (Sr.), OL Sam Bautz (Sr.), OL Rocco Pellegrini (Sr.), WR Joe Sikma (Sr.), DL Jason Guzniczak (Sr.), LB Ben Kreul (Sr.), LB Joey Goetz (Sr.), LB Cole Dakovich (Sr.), DB Dan Fynaardt (Sr.)

Outlook: CMH was pretty dominant on their way to a D3 title. A final-play loss to D1 Champ Muskego was their only blemish. Ironically, they only really struggled in the first half of the title game before turning it on to win rather easily. If all goes to plan, I would expect a very similar season. The Crusaders took a blow when J.C. Latham decided to transfer to Florida, but they still return the state’s top linebacking corps and one All-Conference player each on the D-Line and in the D-Backfield. Offensively, they just so happen to also have the state’s top-ranked QB back, plus a couple O-Linemen and a top receiving threat. They’ll have to uncover a RB, but that’s not something they’ve ever really had a problem doing. All remains well in Crusader-land…though the odd move to the Woodland is looming.

Kettle Moraine

2018 Record: 6-5 (4-4)

Notable Losses: OL/DL Jake Rock, OL Jimmy Dowd, OL Michael Barker, WR Will Knutson, RB/LB Eli Weis, PK/P Blake Wilcox, LB Caleb Rife, LB Hunter Denor, DB Caleb Hotchkiss

Notable Returnees: OL/DL Trey Wedig (Sr.), DL Chandler Fontaine (Sr.), LB Lucas Spencer (Sr.), DB Nick Randgaard (Sr.), DB Logan Ohm (Sr.), DB Nolan Gende (Jr.)

Outlook: The Lasers have a good piece to build around in the state’s top-ranked O-Lineman Trey Wedig (who is also good on the other side as well), but offensively they will have to replace quite a lot of production. Defensively, Kettle Moraine remains in a pretty good spot. The loss of All-State kicker Blake Wilcox will be felt as he was a weapon offensively and field position-wise. There is such little margin for error in this league though, that I’m not sure the Lasers can repeat last year’s playoff appearance without someone really coming out of nowhere on the offensive side of the ball.

Mukwonago

2018 Record: 6-5 (4-4)

Notable Losses: OL Brett Pladies, OL Tristan Klumb, WR/TE Wesley Juszczak, RB Josh Jendusa, TE Dalton Gillette, FB Michael West, DL A.J. Major, LB Mitch Magolan, LB Luke Siewert, DB Paul Vildberg

Notable Returnees: OL Tyler Pitcel (Sr.), DL Nate Wilcher (Sr.), LB Will Borchert (Sr.), DB Aaron Schmitz (Sr.)

Outlook: Mukwonago, who finished with an identical record to Kettle Moraine, doesn’t quite have the Lasers’ luxury of a great two-way lineman to build around although Pitcel is very solid in his own right. Mukwonago also has less returning with post-season accolades and thus probably faces an uphill climb to repeat last season, especially with the loss of every offensive playmaker. Mukwonago though, is a proud program, so expect the Indians to at least spring a surprise or two, and who knows, maybe even get back to the post-season.

Muskego

2018 Record: 14-0 (8-0)

Notable Losses: OL Austin Burke, FB John Reiske, QB A.J. Makinen, PK Lucas Amaya, DL Nate Stewart, DE Lenny Roecker, LB Mitch Borkovec, DB Joe Mlachnik, DB Sam Chovanec, DB Mitch Kudronowicz, RB R.J. Bosshart

Notable Returnees: OL Jacob Leszczynski (Sr.), OL Ethan Jacquet (Sr.), OL Kyler Mason (Jr.), OL Terrin Hey (Sr.), RB Andrew Leair (Sr.), RB Alex Current (Jr.), LB Bryan Gruehn (Sr.), LB Richard Wauer (Sr.), DB Hunter Wohler (Jr.), PK/P Shane Dunning (Sr.)

Outlook: Muskego ascended to the mountaintop a year ago, ending Kimberly’s five-year title streak. Those hoping that the Warriors would just be a one-hit wonder are going to be sadly disappointed. In fact, it could be argued that anything short of a repeat will be a disappointment in itself. Muskego returns a large chunk of starters on both sides of the ball, including four O-Linemen and two of their RBs, meaning the Wing-T will continue to churn out yardage. They need to find a replacement for QB A.J. Makinen, but I don’t see that being an issue. Some key spots need to be refilled up front on defense, but the back-end remains pretty good.

Oconomowoc

2018 Record: 0-9 (0-8)

Notable Losses: OL Leif Engstrand, WR Ethan Burch, WR Miller Wallace, RB Alex Biddle, DL Theo Ringgold

Notable Returnees: OL Noah Zupke (Sr.), LB Rome Zupke (Jr.)

Outlook: From many standpoints, there is no reason to question Oconomowoc’s fit in the Classic 8, but much like their time in the Little Ten, the Raccoons fluctuate wildly from season-to-season talent-wise. The difference being, there isn’t the margin for error in the C8 that there was in the WLT. As such, Cooney isn’t likely to make a huge leap this year. Quite frankly, they may be in for something eerily similar to last year as they don’t have much in the way of All-Conference players returning. That said, they have “come out of nowhere” before.

Waukesha North

2018 Record: 2-7 (2-6)

Notable Losses: OL Jared Thompson, OL J.R. Shiddell, RB Kai Lermer, RB Ben Sorge, DB Alex Lesperance

Notable Returnees: WR/DB Chimere Dike (Sr.), QB Johnny Kelliher (Sr.), PK/P Austin Peters (Sr.), DB Javeonta Brown (Jr.)

Outlook: North has been close for the last several seasons now, but as is the tale of the C8, you can’t just get one big win and expect to make the playoffs; you need two, three of them, and the reality is for programs that lack quality depth, that is a tall order. The Northstars also are still dealing with the untimely off-season passing of running back Kai Lermer who would have shouldered the load of the ground game. As it stands, North still has the combo of Kelliher/Dike to put up big numbers through the air, but they must replace several key linemen and improve by oodles defensively if they hope to have any shot of breaking their playoff drought.

Waukesha South

2018 Record: 2-7 (1-7)

Notable Losses: OL/DL Spencer Vigo, WR/LB Isaiah Garcia, OL/DL Alex Vazquez, OL/DE Matt Garrity, RB/LB Manny Martinez, WR/LB Jacob Pilon

Notable Returnees: QB Jordan McNello (Jr.), WR/DB Zeke Diaz (Jr.), RB/DB Lavante Cleveland (Jr.)

Outlook: It isn’t for lack of trying, but South’s football struggles continue, and will likely continue as long as the league is made up as it is. Promising young QB Jordan McNello returns, as do fellow juniors Zeke Diaz and Lavante Cleveland on offense. The Blackshirts lose a bit from the line and on defense, which doesn’t bode well for a team that gave up 43.2 points per game, while only scoring 15.8 themselves.

Waukesha West

2018 Record: 7-5 (4-4)

Notable Losses: OL/P Nick Hanke, WR/DB Trae Tetzlaff, RB Sam Mikulak, LB Max Peters, WR/DB Trent Remmers, DB Trenton Tucker  

Notable Returnees: OL Jake Sobczak (Sr.), OL Zach Kluge (Sr.), FB Lucas Stray (Sr.), QB Brooks Blount (Sr.), DL Craig Hanson (Sr.), DL Nick Redding (Sr.), WR/DB Devon Townsend (Jr.)

Outlook: It was not a year from the Wolverines that we’ve become accustomed to them having. The record was one thing, but the first year without a MacCudden to ride in a long time was also a factor. Brooks Blount returns for his third-year as a starter, looking to finally have a true breakout season. Unfortunately, the Wolverines will have to develop some weapons and fast as most of the skill position production is gone. Keep an eye on junior Devon Townsend as a potential breakout star. The Wolverines are well-known for their great line play and that should continue, and as always that really does give you a leg up on the competition. Still, even as the most “affluent” of the directional Waukesha schools, you start to wonder if maybe they’re coming back to the pack just a bit? With CMH leaving in 2020, it’ll be interesting to see if that helps, or hurts the public Waukeshas (or even the conference as a whole for that matter) as well.


---

Prognostication: The Classic 8 is so good that I just don’t want to flat-out state that Muskego should repeat as champs, but the needle certainly points in that direction. Catholic Memorial also should be right there with the Warriors. Beyond that is where it gets tricky. I think Arrowhead will be in the mix, followed by Waukesha West. Kettle Moraine gets the nod over Mukwonago based on more contributors returning. The bottom three stays static, again simply based on amount and quality of contributors coming back.

1. Muskego
2. Catholic Memorial
3. Arrowhead
4. Waukesha West
5. Kettle Moraine
6. Mukwonago
7. Waukesha North
8. Waukesha South
9. Oconomowoc

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amped0808
My Thoughts:

1. Muskego: Alright raise your hands if you thought Muskego would come away with the D1 title last year? If Fond Du Lac ended Kimberly's winning streak in week one, Muskego ended their run atop of division in the D1 title game last year. They lose a bit of production on the offensive end but the scary thing is they bring a bunch back. I expect nothing short of a finish near the top in the league and another run back to Madison to defend their crown for this team.

2. Catholic Memorial: The Classic Eight had two state champions last year as Memorial continued running roughshod in D3 with a convincing win over West De Pere in the title game. Losing Latham will hurt on the D-Line and there is a slight question at RB but outside of that, there is nothing to say that CMH will be right behind Muskego for top billing in the league again this year and a major player in the D3 field before moving to the Woodland next year.

3. Arrowhead: You can say that Arrowhead is one of the tougher coaching jobs in the area. Not because they are a struggling program but expectations placed on the program are usually high. The last few years have been rather mediocre for the Warhawks but they started to turn back into a force to be reckoned with late in the regular season. If they can settle on the best QB to run the offense, they could make a run at CMH and Muskego.

4. Waukesha West: Now West had a rather (for recent standards) sub-par year going 5-4 and only .500 in league play. However with the talent lost it wasn't too out of the ordinary but still a bit surprising. In typical West fashion they still made a run to Level 3 before falling to Brook Central. Their offense is lead by a multi-year starter at QB and should be a bit more cohesive compared to last year.

5. Kettle Moraine: KM has returned to being a regular playoff contender in recent seasons but there's still a bit of a gap between the top half of the league and they need to get some help on offensive as they lost a bit to graduation. I see not much of a dropoff but there isn't muck slack in this league either.

6. Mukwonago: The Indians are usually heard from in the league but they will have their work cut out for them if they want to make it back to the playoffs again.

7. Waukesha North: North is usually competitive in the league but being competitive won't get you far unless you can pull off a few upsets and beat the teams you are favored against.

8. Waukesha South: South has some young talent on the offensive side of the ball but the defense must be a lot better if they want to push upward.

9. Oconomowoc: To say the last two years have been brutal for a Coons team is an understatement. They should be a bit better again this year but I don't see it translating over in the win-loss column unless they pull off a win against South or North this year.

Playoff Bids: Muskego, Catholic Memorial, Arrowhead, Waukesha West, Kettle Moraine

On the Bubble: Mukwonago
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sonsofdonbosco
Remember the original configuration of the Southeast Conference back in 1993?

You had the Waukesha, Racine and West Allis schools all in that weird, three-headed league with a few other "big schools" thrown in for good measure. It might have been crazy but what I wouldn't give to see a football-only conference with South and North, Hale and Central, Horlick / Park / Case and... what the hell, maybe Reagan or King thrown in. Until then, South and North have a hopeless road ahead in this league. North at least should get into some shootouts with their experienced QB and Badger-bound wideout at the helm. Oconomowoc is funny; they have a lot more resources to work with but probably less outright talent.

Agreed that KM and Mukwonago are in the middle tier. KM has a great prep lineman in Wedig but it's very hard for an offense like theirs to take full advantage of his presence unless they absolutely retool to maximize his talents. There's only so much a dominant tackle can do on jet sweeps, RPOs and zone-read. Mukwonago is definitely aspirational-- they're scrimmaging Homestead and Marquette-- but as Muskego showed, climbing the standings in this conference is a multi-year process.

I'm not so sure that I wouldn't flip-flop West and Arrowhead just based on QB play. West in particular won't be happy settling for third or fourth and it would not surprise me to see them beat either of the front-runners this year. Beating both could be a stretch, but that's not impossible either.

Memorial is really good. You have to wonder if they'll be able to keep punching above their weight once they move to the Woodland and replace Waukesha West with New Berlin West, but for one more year they will hit the playoffs after running the C8 gauntlet and the rest of D3 is on notice. They were one of several teams within one score of Muskego last year... 

...which brings me to the Wing-T Warriors. We remember the blowouts and the triumphs but lost in all of that are the close wins. Muskego was extremely good and will be again, no doubt, but they also had a couple games that could have broken either way. They might well make another run to Camp Randall-- it wouldn't surprise me, but neither would it be a shock if they pick up a loss or two along the way this time around. As good as the Warriors are, there are four teams on the schedule with the talent and coaching to slow them down. It's a good bet at least one of them does.
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db11
Remember the original configuration of the Southeast Conference back in 1993?

You had the Waukesha, Racine and West Allis schools all in that weird, three-headed league with a few other "big schools" thrown in for good measure. It might have been crazy but what I wouldn't give to see a football-only conference with South and North, Hale and Central, Horlick / Park / Case and... what the hell, maybe Reagan or King thrown in. Until then, South and North have a hopeless road ahead in this league. North at least should get into some shootouts with their experienced QB and Badger-bound wideout at the helm. Oconomowoc is funny; they have a lot more resources to work with but probably less outright talent.

Agreed that KM and Mukwonago are in the middle tier. KM has a great prep lineman in Wedig but it's very hard for an offense like theirs to take full advantage of his presence unless they absolutely retool to maximize his talents. There's only so much a dominant tackle can do on jet sweeps, RPOs and zone-read. Mukwonago is definitely aspirational-- they're scrimmaging Homestead and Marquette-- but as Muskego showed, climbing the standings in this conference is a multi-year process.

I'm not so sure that I wouldn't flip-flop West and Arrowhead just based on QB play. West in particular won't be happy settling for third or fourth and it would not surprise me to see them beat either of the front-runners this year. Beating both could be a stretch, but that's not impossible either.

Memorial is really good. You have to wonder if they'll be able to keep punching above their weight once they move to the Woodland and replace Waukesha West with New Berlin West, but for one more year they will hit the playoffs after running the C8 gauntlet and the rest of D3 is on notice. They were one of several teams within one score of Muskego last year... 

...which brings me to the Wing-T Warriors. We remember the blowouts and the triumphs but lost in all of that are the close wins. Muskego was extremely good and will be again, no doubt, but they also had a couple games that could have broken either way. They might well make another run to Camp Randall-- it wouldn't surprise me, but neither would it be a shock if they pick up a loss or two along the way this time around. As good as the Warriors are, there are four teams on the schedule with the talent and coaching to slow them down. It's a good bet at least one of them does.


The original SEC was something else, particularly in basketball and in the days of this region of the state being almost all summer baseball as well. Football was weird with the imbalanced schedule, but 1994 did yield an all-Southeast D1 title game.

That league sounds good to me!

Very true on KM. They also have a new coach, so it will be interesting to see if scheme changes are made to maximize the big man. Really unsure of what they bring back skill position-wise so change may have been needed anyway. The Mukwonago community is pretty-starved for a return to the top of their league. Every time it seems like they get close, they lose a coach or something else happens (maybe the rest of the league just gets better?) and they fall back.

West has had better continuity as of late...and it does remain to be seen if Arrowhead's run at the end of last year was smoke-and-mirrors or not.

The CMH transition raises a lot of questions. One of which I hadn't really thought of, because it doesn't seem possible, but maybe this year is Bill Young's swan song? It'd be a good time to go out and hand over the reins to someone who wouldn't necessarily have to worry about maintaining their high level off the bat in a lesser league. I don't know, just musing. There's no way the transition won't have an effect come playoff time. It's so much different playing the big boys all year and then pounding poor old Jefferson or East Troy or McFarland in Level 1. Now Jefferson is roughly the level you'll be seeing all year. You definitely lose edge from that.

I tend to agree that Muskego probably slips up somewhere along the way this year, but I still think it's much more likely it happens in league play and not the playoffs (or even Week 1). That probably says more about the overall state of D1 in Wisconsin than anything though.
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sonsofdonbosco
db11 wrote:
I tend to agree that Muskego probably slips up somewhere along the way this year, but I still think it's much more likely it happens in league play and not the playoffs (or even Week 1). That probably says more about the overall state of D1 in Wisconsin than anything though.
Honestly, they’re loaded.

I do think they tend to benefit from being the only Wing-T team anyone faces, especially in this era of defenses geared to combat the spread. Used to be, you’d line up with a 5- or 6-man front, fill every gap and force a Wing-T offense to throw their one pass play (waggle!!!) to a waiting safety... nowadays most teams don’t even have four starter-quality D-linemen, never mind much experience in that kind of run-stopping alignment.

Add to that the absolute truth that defending the Wing-T is really tough the first time around, and all Muskego,s talent? Ouch.

But familiarity with all those pulling linemen and ball fakes goes a long way. That’s why I think Memorial, West, Arrowhead and Marquette all have a shot to slow Muskego down. They’re all bringing back enough faces on defense to not get hoodwinked on those potentially backbreaking counters. Of that group, CMH and West return the most on offense so I’d consider them the most likely culprits to pull one out against the Warriors. Easier said than done right now, for sure, but those schools should have the size, strength, numbers and experience to make things very interesting.
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db11
Honestly, they’re loaded.

I do think they tend to benefit from being the only Wing-T team anyone faces, especially in this era of defenses geared to combat the spread. Used to be, you’d line up with a 5- or 6-man front, fill every gap and force a Wing-T offense to throw their one pass play (waggle!!!) to a waiting safety... nowadays most teams don’t even have four starter-quality D-linemen, never mind much experience in that kind of run-stopping alignment.

Add to that the absolute truth that defending the Wing-T is really tough the first time around, and all Muskego,s talent? Ouch.

But familiarity with all those pulling linemen and ball fakes goes a long way. That’s why I think Memorial, West, Arrowhead and Marquette all have a shot to slow Muskego down. They’re all bringing back enough faces on defense to not get hoodwinked on those potentially backbreaking counters. Of that group, CMH and West return the most on offense so I’d consider them the most likely culprits to pull one out against the Warriors. Easier said than done right now, for sure, but those schools should have the size, strength, numbers and experience to make things very interesting.


All last year, I just kept waiting for the inevitable "Krause Wing-T" loss where an opponent shuts down all alleys and it just never happened. Throw that on the back of a real good defense and well, you got what happened.

There's no reason to think they won't maintain that. If a regular season loss is to come, it almost certainly will happen to one of those four teams.
https://twitter.com/barwickipedia - Follow me. Because we all need a bit of sports snark in our lives.

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