2018 Record: 2-7 (2-6)
Notable Losses: OL/DL Jake Johnston, RB/LB Ahmad McClain, OL/LB Matt Parish, RB/LB Jaden Swift, OL/DL Jeremiah Gayle, WR/DB Cameron Giles, WR/LB Ogaga Ezekiel, OL/LB Troy Lambert, WR/DB Daraon Moore
Notable Returnees: QB/DB Joe Marshall (Sr.), WR/DB Tayshawn White (Sr.), OL/DL Eddie Smith (Jr.), RB/DB Joe Berry (Jr.)
Outlook: A slight improvement last year saw the Falcons net two conference wins, but gone is a very large senior class and most of the team’s all-conference selections with it. The positive is that Joe Marshall returns for his third year at QB, and he’ll have 1st-team all-conference wideout Tayshawn White to throw to. The bad news…likely low numbers and needing to replace most of the lines on both sides of the ball. Two wins likely remains their ceiling, depending on the crossover matchup.
2018 Record: 4-6 (4-4)
Notable Losses: TE/DB Austin Eichstaedt, OL/LB Mason Heath, WR/DB Cameron Krueger, RB/LB Jacob Blochowicz, WR/DB Juan Cerda-Bautista, RB/LB Hunter Grisham-Roberts
Notable Returnees: QB/ DB Bryce Barbian (Jr.), OL/DL Kyler Palmatier (Sr.), RB/LB Evan Haugen (Sr.), OL/DL Joe Baughman (Jr.), WR/DB Emmitt Hawkins (Jr.)
Outlook: Following a winless 2017, Cudahy was able to sneak into the playoffs in 2018, thanks to receiving a forfeit win from Milwaukee Lutheran. The Packers were shellacked by IKE in the first round, but that sniff of the playoffs could be a boost to a program that’s really needed it. They do lose some big pieces to graduation but do return experience at QB and a 1,000-yard rusher as well as two all-conference linemen. Good numbers in the 2020 and 2021 classes bode well. The East, as always is a relatively open race, can the Packers make some noise?
2018 Record: 3-6 (3-5)
Notable Losses: WR Elijah Rosario, OL Ahmad Assad, OL Matt Abramczyk
Notable Returnees: QB Omarion Bartlett (Sr.), WR Joel Santa Maria (Jr.), RB/DB Alex Boyko (Jr.), ATH Chris Lopez (Sr.), DL Jalonnie Williams (Jr.), LB Matt Fischer (Jr.), RB/LB Skylar Gill-Howard (Jr.), DB Brody Spiekerman (Sr.), OL Trevor Gray (So.)
Outlook: The Hawks figure to be the odds-on favorite for the East with the return of a large quantity of contributors from last year, a season derailed by inconsistent play and an injury to all-everything QB Omarion Bartlett. With no real backup in place, Greenfield struggled offensively until he returned but by then it was too late. With Bartlett back and healthy and nearly all of his weapons returning, Greenfield figures to be an offensive juggernaut once again. The question, as always with them it seems, remains, can they clean up the penalties and avoid the lapses that have plagued this program in the post-Koch years? The answer, if yes, probably means a division title.
2018 Record: 2-7 (2-6)
Notable Losses: RB/LB Ken Daniel Jr., RB/DB John Jones, LB Ruben Richardson, TE/LB Darrell Bolden, OL/LB Ja’Quavious Richardson, WR/DB Noel Williams
Notable Returnees: RB/LB Kenneth Payne (Jr.), QB Romell Reliford (Sr.), DB Elijah Story (Sr.), OL/DL Ray Woolridge (Sr.), WR/DB Demetrius Brown (Sr.), RB/DB Jamirus Collins (Sr.)
Outlook: The Red Knights appeared on their way to an East Division championship a year ago following a wild 50-46 win over Greenfield, but word soon came out that ML had used an ineligible player in the first four games of the season and had to forfeit several games. Couple this with the loss of RB Kenneth Payne from the lineup for the last few games and Milwaukee Lutheran fell out of contention. They should be right in the thick of things again, but must shore up the defense if they want to actually go places. Offense shouldn’t be an issue, provided all hands are back on deck.
2018 Record: 7-3 (6-2)
Notable Losses: QB Aaron Eimers, RB/DB Zoe McDowell, WR/DB Delroy Perrin, OL/LB Robert Joehnk, OL/DL Jeff Carson, OL/DL Jeremiah Boyle, OL/DL Isaiah Conteh, OL/DL Isaiah Thompson, TE/LB Anthony Acevedo, RB/DB Jerriaute Hardin
Notable Returnees: WR/DB Sam Campbell (Sr.), OL/DL Ilijah Jordan-Taylor (Jr.)
Outlook: The level of consistency this program has gotten to is remarkable and they were rewarded with a division title a year ago. This year, however, will be a test of that consistency as a large and decorated senior class moves on, with seemingly little in the pipeline. With just 12 combined sophomores and juniors in the program last year, it’s likely the co-op turns to a large 2022 class to fill in the gaps. You have to figure there will be a learning curve, and at this point, one can only surmise 2019 will be a struggle for the Grey Bishops.
2018 Record: 5-5 (5-3)
Notable Losses: OL/DL Ty Spaltholz, RB/DB Jake Wysocki, RB/LB Jake Nelson, WR/DB Zach Paczocha, OL/LB Chris Hoffman, OL/LB Joe Lubetski
Notable Returnees: WR/LB Emmitt Lentz (Sr.), QB Tarek Slusar (Sr.), RB/LB Dan Klemstein (Sr.), TE/LB/P Luis Ortiz (Sr.), WR/LB A.J. Slusar (Sr.), WR/LB Calvin Kluz (Sr.)
Outlook: South Milwaukee continues to exist in that middle cream of the Woodland-East, though they did rise to the top of that middle last year. I think the bar for them in 2019 is likely set there as well. Can they raise it? Well, they have a decent amount of talent returning and good class balance across the board meaning they shouldn’t struggle for depth. The Rockets do need to replace three OL who garnered some form of all-conference recognition, including two-way first-teamer Ty Spaltholz, however. If that happens, could be a banner year in Rocketland.
2018 Record: 3-6 (3-5)
Notable Losses: K Sam Thut, P Ianm Davies, QB/DB David Haun
Notable Returnees: OL/DL Anthony Vacula (Sr.), RB/DB Nate Valcarcel (Sr.), RB/LB Isaiah Cornejo (Sr.), OL/DL Rafael Vazquez (Sr.), OL/DL Travis Seidler (Sr.), RB/LB Aidan Galindo (Sr.), WR/DB Ryan Kendziorski (Jr.)
Outlook: Whitnall’s large senior class will be looking to make a run at the top, and it’s certainly possible that they could do it. Offensively, they will need to settle on a QB, but everything else is in place for a good year. Defensively, things are really no different. The Falcons were really only hit hard by graduation at the specialist positions, so those will have to be filled, but with Valcarcel toting the rock behind a big OL, expect good things from the Hales Corners contingent this year.
With last year’s champ likely to fall way off, the division remains as open as it ever has been. Greenfield, Whitnall and SM all return the most key cogs, so that gives them the nod, with Greenfield taking top spot based on Bartlett’s playmaking ability. I’m just not sure what to make of ML this year. I don’t see them falling below fourth, but I’m not sold on them having the horses (especially defensively) to win the East either. Cudahy bumps up and could threaten the top four, though I think their ceiling is probably around the third spot. Really curious to see the fall-off for Shorewood/Messmer, I hesitated even putting them sixth, but they have shown more program stability than BD recently.
3. South Milwaukee
4. Milwaukee Lutheran
7. Brown Deer
The West still to come...