db11
Actually got this one done pretty quickly. Not sure if I'll have any time to attempt any more until the weekend.

Brookfield Academy

2018 Record: 5-5* (2-4) *Played and won NC game in Week 9 after receiving forfeit from HOPE

Notable Losses: FB/LB Michael Novacek

Notable Returnees: QB/DB Daniel Kim (Sr.), OL/DL Mark Gundrum (Sr.), OL/DL Michael Hoggatt (Sr.), WR/DL Isaac Schoenwetter (Jr.) RB/DB Jonathan Kim (So.), WR/DL Logan Kobliska (Jr.)

Outlook: An uneven year for a very young Blue Knights squad (just two seniors) saw forfeits both ways and underwhelming wins over poor competition. The positive though is that nearly the whole team comes back and with at least one of the league’s contenders from last year likely to fall way off, there will be chances to crack the top tier of the league and find a playoff berth. The elder Kim is the key player for this squad, and is always the case in small-school football, BA must avoid the injury bug to find success.

HOPE Christian

2018 Record: 0-7 (0-6)

Notable Losses: QB/DB Kemonttie Williams, RB/LB Marquis Hubanks

Notable Returnees: ATH Malcolm Gillie (Sr.), TE/LB Jaylon Banks (Jr.)

Outlook: I don’t know if people realize, but we’re only about five or so seasons removed from HOPE being a relatively competitive team in this league. Unfortunately, what’s happened since then has really hurt the quality of the league. The issues that plague MPS have found their way over to HOPE and numbers, lack of discipline and attendance hamper the program. They return Malcolm Gillie, who has provided most of their big scoring plays the last two years, but the loss of Kemonttie Williams, who at times was the only player keeping things organized and moving on the field will be felt. I have my doubts that HOPE plays out the full season, or is even ready for Weeks 1 (against North Division, that would be something to see, but don’t bet on it happening) and 2.

Lake Country Lutheran

2018 Record: 12-1 (6-0)

Notable Losses: QB/DB Ethan Wilkins, WR/DB Bryce Haertle, RB/LB Dane Vance, OL/LB Isaac Simons, OL/DL R.J. Frerking, OL/DL Tom Johnson, TE/DB Jonathan Buschke, RB/DB Nate Schumacher, RB/DE Aleks Krizans

Notable Returnees: WR/DB Zander Mueller (Sr.), OL/DL Noah Vanderberg (Sr.), WR/DB Will Brazgel (Sr.), OL/DL Tom Oberst (Sr.), OL/LB Steven Johnson (Sr.), RB/LB Jack Leverenz (Sr.), TE/LB Andrew Schumacher (Sr.), TE/DE Chase Caliendo (Jr.), QB/LB Luke Haertle (So.)

Outlook: Wilkins, Vance and Haertle move on, but the beat rolls on for the team that holds the state’s longest conference winning streak. I don’t see that ending this season (though the move to the Metro in 2020 will present a threat) as the Lightning return a plethora of all-conference players. Rising basketball star Luke Haertle likely steps in at QB and he will be behind the league’s best OL, giving him plenty of time to make things happen. A tough early non-conference slate gives way to a conference schedule that won’t likely provide any challenges, and so the question remains can LCL remain focused and sharp heading into the playoffs? Oh, and they are also inching closer to D4. The move to the Metro can’t come soon enough for a program that has outgrown its original home.

Living Word Lutheran

2018 Record: 7-3 (4-2)

Notable Losses: TE/DB Cade Miskimen, RB/DB M.J. Woods, WR/DB J.J. Wingo, QB/LB Sam Crook, OL/FB/LB Jonny Baumann, OL/DL Matt Krull, OL/DL Alex Kashevarof, OL/DL John Schirger

Notable Returnees: RB/DB Tate Rose (Sr.), TE/LB Ryan Haynes (Jr.), OL/DL Gavin Tietz (Sr.), RB/LB Logan Werner (Jr.)

Outlook: Numbers always an issue for the Timberwolves, but a deep senior class helped them to a third-place finish and a playoff berth a year ago. Graduation, however, takes approximately half the roster and the bulk of production with it. I expect Rose to take over at QB and Werner to become primary ballcarrier. Some size returns, but an utter lack of depth and being slight of vrsity experience leaves any notion of LWL approaching anywhere near the success of last season a very precarious thought. They will compete, however, and could throw a wrench into another mid-tier team’s playoff aspirations.

St. Francis

2018 Record: 7-2 (5-1)

Notable Losses: OL/DL Alex Poulakis, PK Manny Quezada, TE/LB Noah Calderon, RB/LB Dylan Baier, OL/LB Donovan Belles, RB/LB Alex Concepcion

Notable Returnees: OL/DL Derek Arns (Sr.), RB/DB Ismael Bastardo (Sr.), QB Jeremiah Burke (Jr.), RB/LB Alex Baltutis (Sr.), RB/DB Patrick Hauser (Jr.)

Outlook: A new era begins for the Mariners as long-time head coach Doug Sarver stepped down and was replaced by former Milwaukee Hamilton/Whitnall/Milwaukee Bay View head man Jeff Wallack. It will be interesting to see what changes this will bring about (particularly on offense), but there is certainly a solid returning core to build around with two-way stud lineman Arns, promising young QB Burke and the returning leading rusher in Bastardo. St. Francis should slot comfortably into second-place. I just don’t know if this is the year they challenge LCL however.

St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy

2018 Record: 2-5 (1-5)

Notable Losses: RB/LB Sean McHugh, RB/LB DiKim Teel

Notable Returnees: OL/DL Rolf Millan (Sr.), RB/OL/LB Ricardo Barnes (Sr.), RB/DB Gerald Gittens (Sr.), WR/DB Guy Sreenan (Sr.), WR/DB Nick Halyard (Sr.)

Outlook: The Lancers ended their season with two blowout wins over HOPE and Tri-County and will hope to carry that momentum into 2019. The Military Academy is always intriguing to me just because with such a worldwide student body, you never quite know what they are going to have from year-to-year. Furthermore with respected line coach Glenn Derby in charge and an experienced staff, you wonder if year two for them will see continued improvement. They do bring some decent players back, but I wonder if they haven’t tried to recruit that Podziemski kid to play football. With his basketball and baseball ability, he could be a nice little QB for them…just sayin’. A good sign is that SJNMA will be playing a full slate of games this season and will begin practice alongside everyone else. They’ve really been behind the eight-ball with the early starts as of late.

University School

2018 Record: 3-6 (3-3)

Notable Losses: WR/DB Tripp Grebe, OL/DL Victor Simanonok, RB/LB Gordy Leech, TE/LB David Mock

Notable Returnees: QB/DB/P C.J. Boyd (Jr.), OL/LB Israel Powell (Jr.), RB/LB Connor Baumann (Jr.)

Outlook: U-School snuck into the playoffs but made a quick exit against Kiel. With just two seniors returning, one might think the Wildcats would be in for a long year, but there is plenty of reason for hope, namely the return of three-way all-conference selection junior-to-be C.J. Boyd, who figures to be one of the top offensive players in the league. They will have to replace a few core players up front, but a lot of young players saw action a year ago and that should speed along their readiness for every-down varsity football. With the conference the way it is, there’s no reason to think the Wildcats can’t improve on last year’s record and make their way back to the playoffs.


---

Prognostication: Spots 1 and 2 are pretty much locked down already. I just don’t see anyone challenging Lake Country Lutheran again. St. Francis will also be well ahead of the rest. Then it gets interesting. BA and USM are really a coin flip. I give USM the nod, but ever-so-slightly. LWL and SJNMA are both wild cards, unlikely to win too much, but could spring a surprise. HOPE languishes well back. It will be interesting to see if the middle-tier cannibalizes itself and costs the league a playoff berth or if things play out to chalk.

1. Lake Country Lutheran
2. St. Francis
3. University School
4. Brookfield Academy
5. Living Word Lutheran
6. St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy
7. HOPE Christian

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amped0808
What no KCL or are you treating them as an independent for this primer?

It was a lot longer when HOPE actually could win more than 2 games (I believe I was still in college for that). The carousel of coaching changes recently has hurt the program and has led to the effects the program faces now.
 
Here is what I see happening for the Midwest Classic

1. Lake Country Lutheran: Challenging non-con slate with Lakeside, St. Mary's Springs should have them gearing up for conference play.

2. St. Francis: There is a big gap between LCL and everyone else but I don't see anyone overtaking SF for #2 in the league. Will be interesting what Wallack brings to the table here for the offense as you stated.

3. University School: They could challenge St. Francis for #2 but with the team as young as it is, I don't see it right now.

4. Brookfield Academy: They have been challenged for depth as of late but could sneak into the postseason once again.

5. Living Word Lutheran: Playoffs are probably going to be a big stretch considering how much production and upperclassmen they lost. 

6. St. John's NWMA: Could finish higher than this but as of right now they are a big unknown. Nice to see them back to playing a full nine game slate.

7. HOPE Christian: See above.

Bonus:

Kenosha Christian Life: Welcome back from the defunct KCL! They'll play most of the league teams this year outside of the two Lutheran schools. I see a bunch of growing pains especially with a pair (they play six road games) of trips to a pair of Ridge & Valley (Wonewoc-Center/Weston, and De Soto) schools.
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db11
amped0808 wrote:
What no KCL or are you treating them as an independent for this primer?


I considered adding them, but the reality is they haven't played varsity (minus the BA game last year) in several years and I know zilch about them as no stats were even reported for that one game.

I do like a good mystery team though...which is why I'm so intrigued (when I otherwise shouldn't be) by their Week 1 game against STM.

I do understand they actually have a youth program (ironically unlike STM) that does OK? Interesting to see how that plays into their future.
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amped0808
There are a few winnable games on the schedule for KCL but I figure it'll be a bunch of growing pains for them. Kudos for having the dedication to get that program back to varsity status again.
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db11
amped0808 wrote:
There are a few winnable games on the schedule for KCL but I figure it'll be a bunch of growing pains for them. Kudos for having the dedication to get that program back to varsity status again.


Yeah, I remember their last varsity team was quite decent and just missed the playoffs, but they lost so many seniors that they weren't viable numbers-wise for the next year or two.

I'm curious if anyone knows when their youth program actually started? It would be interesting to track the numbers trend.

Funny enough, they played a JV schedule last year with more players than their last varsity team had. Realistically, they could have been back in the MWC varsity fold a year ago.
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traviswilson
I don't believe Kenosha Christian Life is fully back in the Midwest Classic Conference. They play five of the other MCC teams but don't play Living Word or Lake Country.

EDIT: Apparently KCL is part of the MCC, but won't play LWL or LCL since those teams had already contracted games. Another one of those weird situations that the 2020 realignment will address. Not the first time it's happened either. If a team is in the league, they should play all the teams, even if those teams have to back out of contracts.
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db11
I don't believe Kenosha Christian Life is fully back in the Midwest Classic Conference. They play five of the other MCC teams but don't play Living Word or Lake Country.

EDIT: Apparently KCL is part of the MCC, but won't play LWL or LCL since those teams had already contracted games. Another one of those weird situations that the 2020 realignment will address. Not the first time it's happened either. If a team is in the league, they should play all the teams, even if those teams have to back out of contracts.


Interesting.

KCL's not playoff-eligible correct? Or are they? Does this mean that LWL and LCL will play one less conference game than everybody else (besides KCL)?

Oh, the headache.
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db11
db11 wrote:


Interesting.

KCL's not playoff-eligible correct? Or are they? Does this mean that LWL and LCL will play one less conference game than everybody else (besides KCL)?

Oh, the headache.


Bump.

I know Travis is on vacation, but wondering if he's heard anything more about this quirk.
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traviswilson
As far as I know, LWL and LCL will play one less conference game and KCL is playoff-eligible.
The Packers/Badgers/Brewers are like your children; you don't love them because they're good, you love them because they're yours.
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db11
As far as I know, LWL and LCL will play one less conference game and KCL is playoff-eligible.


Thanks.

I don't think it'll have much impact (no one's touching LCL and LWL will probably be way down), but it may create a couple more sub-.500 conference record playoff candidates, which may cause some calculation headaches.
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"Doin' right ain't got no end."
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-Pat McAfee
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db11
With KCL officially being back in the MWC I figure I'll give them a go....this is all a shot in the dark, mind you.

Kenosha Christian Life

2018 Record: 0-1 (played BA for their homecoming, rest was a JV schedule)

Notable Losses: QB/DB Colin Conyers, OL/DL Zachary Descourouez, OL/DL Caleb Kapity

Notable Returnees: WR/DB Elijah Houston (Sr.), WR/DB Austin Eifert (Sr.), RB/LB Jacob Shaffer (Sr.), OL/DL Jimmy Santarelli (Sr.), OL/DL Leo Luo (Sr.)

Outlook: The Eagles return to varsity football and not a year too soon for a conference struggling with bodies. They fortunately get to avoid Lake Country Lutheran, but also miss out on a likely-to-be-hurting Living Word Lutheran. They also have several winnable non-cons alongside two potential conference wins. Not knowing much about the team other than they didn't get embarrassed in their one varsity game a year ago makes any real concrete predictions hard but it's not out of the realm of possibility they nab a couple of Ws in their return foray.

Revised predicted standings:

1. Lake Country Lutheran
2. St. Francis
3. University School
4. Brookfield Academy
5. Living Word Lutheran
6. Kenosha Christian Life
7. St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy
8. HOPE Christian

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

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-Pat McAfee
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