This'll be my last one as it completes the Milwaukee-area conferences.
2018 Record: 1-7 (1-5)
Notable Losses: QB/DB Tavirelle Kimbrough-Moore, WR/DB Richard Burdine, OL/DL Trayvon Cosey
Notable Returnees: QB/WR/DB Kalandus Hudson (Sr.), TE/DL Ernest Billingsley (Sr.)
Outlook: Last year was a struggle for the Knights who have not been competitive since former coach LaDela Greer moved on. Only a win over North Division kept the Knights from going winless. Unfortunately, the struggles are likely to continue as Madison returns zero all-conference players (Note: they actually didn’t have any last year, so it wasn’t due to grad losses). Well, there’s always the game against North, although I have a suspicion somebody else will also be down toiling in the Blackbourn cellar with them.
2018 Record: 0-8 (0-6)
Notable Losses: OL/DL Isaiah Jones, WR/DB Brian Humphrey, OL/DL De’Anthony Echols
Notable Returnees: RB/LB Roy Cameron (Jr.), QB/DB Ajavien Knight (Sr.), TE/DL Earl Cross (Sr.)
Outlook: It’s been quite some time since the Blue Devils won a conference game on the field (or any game on the field). Unfortunately I don’t see that changing this year. They have some nice skill position talent but have struggled mightily with line play, turnovers and discipline for years now. Numbers as always will be an issue. They might have a shot in Week 1 against HOPE, but the odds of either of these teams having the numbers to play that one is doubtful.
2018 Record: 6-4 (4-2)
Notable Losses: QB/LB Kevonte Hamilton, TE/DL/PK Daquan Hardman, OL/DL Ahmad Blake, DL Joe Fields, WR/LB Lateveon Walton
Notable Returnees: RB/DB Amarion Hamilton (Jr.), FB/LB Miegel Myers (Sr.), RB/LB Elyjah Thomas (Sr.), WR/DB Isaiah Hudson (Jr.)
Outlook: The Cougars are the lowest enrollment school in the City, but have been one of the more consistent squads in the league since their reboot. That likely continues this year, though the loss of multi-year starters Ahmad Blake, Kevonte Hamilton and Daquan Hardman will be tough to replace. The Cougars have wisely relied on a good running game the past few years and Amarion Hamilton and Miegel Myers should carry that torch in 2019.
2018 Record: 2-6 (2-4)
Notable Losses: RB/LB Ben Bell, QB/DB Isaac Lindner, FB/DL Ricardo Soto
Notable Returnees: OL/DL Brandon Damman (Sr.), WR/DB Davon Finch (Jr.), TE/LB/P Lee Hurt-Jenkins (Jr.)
Outlook: Any predictions on Pulaski this year come with the caveat that the School of the Arts has left the co-op (and joined up with Bradley Tech), and I don’t know what (nor how many) kids are returning to the program. The numbers have trended heavily towards the Arts kids in recent years, so Pulaski could be in for a long year short on numbers, which could see them ticketed for the bottom of the league. Stay tuned.
2018 Record: 6-4 (6-0)
Notable Losses: RB/LB Max Gulland, TE/LB Isaac Wells, OL/DL Lucas Maxwell, OL/DL Julius Sayavong, OL/DL Jeremy Saloj, RB/DB Jamaica Gobel
Notable Returnees: OL/DL Zach Reed (Sr.), FB/DB Carter Grant (Sr.), OL/TE/DL Deven Michalak (Sr.), QB/DB Keagan O’Keefe (Sr.), RB/DB Conley O’Keefe (Sr.), TE/LB Edan Ness (Sr.)
Outlook: The defending division champion Huskies should be in a good position to repeat in the Blackbourn with several returning multi-year starters. Reagan has more depth than most City schools and that should help alleviate some losses to graduation that included Max Gulland, who played most snaps the last four years on both sides of the ball. What the Huskies lack in athleticism they make up for in execution and discipline, often confounding opponents with their simple Power-T offense. That should continue this year with the Sept. 13th showdown against Vincent likely deciding the Blackbourn again.
2018 Record: 4-5 (3-3)
Notable Losses: FB/LB Robert Jordan, TE/DL Erix Just-Perez, OL/DL Junior Aguirre, PK/P Juan Razo, RB/LB Johnquaveaon Acevedo
Notable Returnees: QB/WR/DB Luis Davila (Sr.), OL/DL Abdi Adan (Sr.), OL/DL/LS Moua Lor (Jr.)
Outlook: South qualified for the playoffs, but declined the invitation citing low numbers and health concerns. South was a pretty competitive team within the league last year, but loses a lot of production. The Cardinals historically though, despite persistently low numbers, have always found a way to remain competitive. I have no reason to believe that won’t continue in the lesser-competitive division of the City Conference.
2018 Record: 5-5 (5-1)
Notable Losses: QB/DB Davanny Hammil, RB/LB Breon Hurt, WR/DB C.J. Cunningham, OL/DL Jaylon Raymond, OL/DL Marcarion Blalock
Notable Returnees: WR/LB Devonte Smith (Sr.), OL/DL Cortez Oglesby (So.), RB/DB Lester Brown (Jr.), QB/DB Darren Hudson (So.)
Outlook: Vincent finished one game behind Reagan in the Blackbourn standings and is in position to challenge for the league again. The Viking had real good numbers last year and despite a smaller incoming senior class, still has plenty of experienced players to fill in the holes from several graduated All-Conference players. Northern Illinois commit Devonte Smith will be the guy on both sides of the ball. Vincent will have to find more a running game to compliment their passing attack, but other than that should be in a pretty good position heading into year two under Coach Shane Covington.
Prognostication: The league will likely remain heavily stratified with Reagan and Vincent battling for the top spot and Obama SCTE and South fighting for the remaining playoff spots. Pulaski could see a major drop-off, which may allow Madison and the long-struggling North to notch another conference victory, but it’s very hard to see any of those three avoiding running clocks in most games this season.
3. Obama SCTE
4. South Division
7. North Division
2018 Record: 3-6 (1-5)
Notable Losses: QB/DB Xavier Santiago, TE/DL Sim Williams, OL/DL Armani Northern, OL/DL Josh Heim, PK Cristian Pantoja
Notable Returnees: WR/DB Lenden Anthony (Sr.), OL/LB Pelmore Lee (Sr.)
Outlook: The first post-Isiah Wright season for the Redcats was a struggle to stay competitive. They were able to notch some wins over some of the lesser MPS sides, but struggled much to score or stop most of the Richardson teams. The hill to climb now appears even steeper heading into 2019 as a large chunk of experienced players have moved on, including Richardson O-Linemen of the Year, Armani Northern. The offense will be led by returning leading rusher Lenden Anthony, but Bay View has questions in the trenches on both sides, and probably some beyond that as well.
2018 Record: 4-4 (2-4)
Notable Losses: RB/LB Rayshawn Simpson, OL/DL Daris Santiago, OL/DL Jaquan Brelove
Notable Returnees: QB/DB Kenneth Dixon (Sr.), RB/LB Isaiah Peace (Sr.), WR/DB Jaylyn Wesley (Sr.)
Outlook: Tech has made 31 playoff appearances but has missed out the last two seasons. This year, the School of the Arts has joined the co-op and that influx of numbers should help the Trojans in their pursuit of a playoff berth. They must replace leading rusher Rayshawn Simpson, but two-way all-conference player Kenneth Dixon is back to quarterback the offense and defense. The Trojans will have to replace a couple big bodies up front, but should be poised for a jump in the standings this year.
2018 Record: 6-4 (3-3)
Notable Losses: QB Luke Parr, RB/DB Josh Johnson, WR/DB/P Jaylen Bounds, OL/DL Ramiro Ramirez, WR/LB Kejuan Stewart, WR/DB Donovon Parker, WR/LB Moustapha Seck
Notable Returnees: OL/DL Kevin Hanson (Sr.)
Outlook: It was another playoff season for the Wildcats, but 2019 presents a big challenge for them as no MPS program lost more of its offensive and defensive production combined to graduation than Hamilton. Gone are 1,500-yard passer Luke Parr and 1,100-yard rusher Josh Johnson and 19 other seniors. No one with All-Conference recognition from 2018 is returning leaving the Wildcats in a bit of a rebuilding mode. OL Kevin Hanson has started for three seasons and is something to build around. Hamilton has been able to remain very consistent over the past 15 years or so, but this may be their biggest test of that to-date.
2018 Record: 6-4 (5-1)
Notable Losses: QB/DB Noland Dixon, WR/DB Maurice Wallace, FB/LB Justin Colbert, OL/DL Tay’jion Johnson, DL Kendrick Gibson
Notable Returnees: RB Kai Ross (Sr.), OL/DL Taurean Galloway (Sr.), OL Jered Knox (Sr.), LB Adon Mitchell (Sr.), RB/DB Solomon Dotson (Sr.), WR Jerry Cross (So.)
Outlook: King has relinquished the City crown the last two seasons, but is poised to make a run at it again this year, hoping for a better result in the showdown with Riverside that will likely decide the league title. The Generals have a sizable and talented incoming senior class which should give them, if not the upper hand, a much stronger hand in the conference race than a year ago. Another year of development should see promising sophomore WR Jerry Cross turn into a playmaker for the offense, while the team returns the bulk of their linemen which should give whomever takes over at QB ample time to make throws and for a talented LB corps to make plays. Circle October 3rd, as that’s the date of the showdown with Riverside.
2018 Record: 6-4 (4-2)
Notable Losses: OL Josh Whitaker, OL Cornell Edwards, LB Jacari Hale, WR/LB Sheldon Cruickshank, WR/DB Solomon Sumlin
Notable Returnees: RB/DB Amareon Allen (Sr.), DL Malik Williams (Sr.), LB Carnell Carter (Sr.), DB Quintin Ballentine (Sr.), FB/LB Azarion Waits (Sr.), WR Damon Taylor (Sr.)
Outlook: The Marshall co-op has also found a nice level of consistency over the last five years or so and that should continue this year. Contending for the top spot might be slightly out of reach for the Eagles, but they certainly will be in the mix with the return of Amareon Allen, who has rushed for over 2,500 yards the last two seasons. There is a large senior class incoming (28 players!), but the Eagles will have to find some linemen to block for Allen and fullback Azarion Waits. It hasn’t been a problem in the past, but it will have to be addressed.
2018 Record: 8-2 (6-0)
Notable Losses: QB Jahari Clark, ATH Chris Sykes, OL/DL Pierce Gray, LB Rick James, ATH Corey White
Notable Returnees: RB Ammiel Jackson (Sr.), DB/KR Amaun Williams (Sr.), OL/DL Ezekial Simmons (Sr.), FB/LB Jamir Hayes (Sr.), OL/DE Marquell Rash (Sr.), OL/DL Montrell Rash (Sr.), RB/DB Tyrell Hazelwood (Sr.)
Outlook: The Tigers got back to the City mountaintop for the first time in a hot minute a year ago, and appear poised to remain there in 2019 as they return quite a bit of high-level talent with the state’s top-ranked defensive back in Amaun Williams, the conference’s defensive lineman of the year in Montrell Rash and the offensive player of the year in Ammiel Jackson. Riverside should remain formidable along the lines and certainly won’t be hurting at the skill positions. They were far ahead of the rest of the league a year ago, and while that gap may close a bit this year, they still should win the league with room to spare.
2018 Record: 1-7 (0-6)
Notable Losses: OL/DL E’dan Carson, RB/LB Jamirkall Wells, WR/DB Deveryion Tucker
Notable Returnees: QB/LB Woodie Philon (Sr.), OL/DL Travyon Wardlaw (Sr.), RB/DB Nasir Brooks (Sr.), RB/LB Donovan Washington (Sr.), WR/DB Elijah Johnson (Jr.), WR/DB David Smith (Sr.)
Outlook: With the exception of a drubbing of North Division in the Week 9 crossover, the Purgolders struggled mightily in 2018, a rarity for a program that has more often than not found themselves in the playoffs. In the tougher division of the City, they may find it tough to make much headway up the standings in 2019. They do return a quality lineman in Wardlaw and Philon is an athletic QB, but any chance of success rides on their ability to fill quality guys in a round those two.
Prognostication: The division remains Riverside’s to lose, but they’ll get pushed by King and perhaps even Marshall. I’m curious about who fills that middle-tier though. Hamilton was slammed by graduation losses, while Tech has added the School of the Arts to their co-op. Those two could find themselves fighting it out for a playoff spot. Bay View and Washington will remain near the bottom of the standings for another year, though it will be intriguing to see if either shows some more cohesiveness than from a year ago.
6. Bay View