Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

Your home for Milwaukee-area prep football as teams make a push for the 2016 postseason.



Others receiving consideration: Brookfield East (8-2), Lake Country Lutheran (10-0), New Berlin Eisenhower (7-3), Oconomowoc (8-2), Waukesha West (8-2)
Journal-Sentinel rankings
Coaches poll (Week 8)

D1: Franklin (7); Oconomowoc (8)
D2: Brookfield Central (3), Homestead (4), Waukesha West (8); Greendale (9); Brookfield East (10), 
D3: Catholic Memorial (1), Pewaukee (7)
D6: Lake Country Lutheran (5)

Player of the Week

Not only did Brookfield Central's Zach Heckman rack up some impressive numbers on the ground, per usual, with 126 yards and three touchdowns, he also threw a score to Drew Leszczynski on a trick play that was part of Central's easy win over Wauwatosa West. He also caught a 22-yard pass. Tosa West was the eighth seed to Central’s top seed, but the Trojans have some talented players and handed Pewaukee its only loss of the year, but Central put this one away early.

Past Players of Week

  • A.J. Spychala, Muskego 
  • Austin Mozdzen, Germantown
  • Jake Siumncak, South Milwaukee
  • Alex Anthony, Whitefish Bay
  • Griffin Johnson, West Allis Central
  • Zach Clayton, Oconomowoc
  • Peter MacCudden, Waukesha West
  • Brennan Demark, Waukesha North
  • Mitchell Gnadt, Greendale

Surprise of the Week

What Menomonee Falls did last week was shocking, and what they did in Level 1 of the playoffs was borderline mind boggling. Two weeks ago, it appeared Falls had an uphill battle to get into the playoffs at all, but a win over undefeated Brookfield Central put the Indians in, and they showed they belonged by beating undefeated and the state’s No. 2-ranked team, Menasha, by a 21-14 count. Third-seeded Brookfield East should be awfully nervous next week, even after a 20-0 win over Falls in the regular season.

Past Surprises

  • Falls topples unbeaten BC
  • Wisco wins big over Oconomoowc
  • Tosa West throttles Pewaukee
  • West Allis Central clips Falls
  • Messmer/Shorewood wins thriller
  • Metro Classic goes up for grabs
  • Waukesha North stuns Arrowhead
  • KM gives Oconomowoc a push
  • Nicolet breaks losing streak

First and short blog

Division 1

(4) Oak Creek (7-3, 4-3 in Southeast) at Franklin (9-1, 7-0 in Southeast). The 33-21 win for Franklin in the regular season between these two days was a huge day for quarterback Max Alba, who threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Sabers. Franklin benefitted from three turnovers in the game, including two forced fumbles from Alek Riestra (who also had 13 tackles). Oak Creek already defeated another squad that beat it during the regular season (Kenosha Bradford) in the playoffs, and the Knights appear to be hitting their stride.

Division 2

(7) Watertown (6-4 overall, 5-2 in Wisconsin Little Ten) at (3) Waukesha West (7-3, 5-2 in Classic 8). Watertown, with the high-powered quarterback-receiver combo of Dylan Fagerland and Ryan Hayden putting up numbers at the very top of the state leaderboard, pulled an upset over second-seeded Wilmot in Level 1, and now they must face the run-heavy attack of Waukesha West, which will once again be looking to make a stealthy deep run into the playoffs.

(4) Germantown (5-5, 4-3 in North Shore) at (1) Homestead (9-1, 7-0 in North Shore). With realignment sending Germantown to the Greater Metro next year, the final chapter of this great rivalry appeared to be written in the regular season. But Germantown found a way into the playoffs, then got bumped down to Division 2, and now here we are one last time. Can former Homestead player Jake Davis coach Germantown to an upset of his mentor?

(3) Greenfield (7-3, 5-2 in Woodland West) at (2) Whitefish Bay (7-3, 5-2 in North Shore). This is a genuinely intriguing clash between two teams that scuffled late in the season, though both won big as expected in Level 1 of the playoffs. Greenfield is led by the dynamic 1-2 punch of Rayvon Bartlett, Jr. and Ezekiel Banks, and Bay is led by the ground game of Van Bassindale and the air attack of quarterback Cade Garcia and receiver Alex Anthony. This could be a high-scoring battle.

(7) Menomonee Falls (5-5, 4-3 in Greater Metro) at (3) Brookfield East (8-2, 5-2 in Greater Metro). Menomonee Falls pulled one of the biggest upsets of Level 1 in stunning state-title contender Menasha, the second straight week Falls has defeated an unbeaten foe to keep its season alive. The upstart can’t be taken lightly anymore, though East should remain favored given its recent play. Sam Santiago-Lloyd has been seemingly healthy and delivering some eye-popping numbers again for the Spartans.

(4) Hartford (7-3, 5-2 in Wisconsin Little Ten) at (1) Brookfield Central (9-1, 6-1 in Greater Metro). Central’s loss to Menomonee Falls at the end of the year was a distant memory when the Lancers powered their way past Tosa West in Level 1 – and a win by Falls over undefeated Menasha elsewhere in the draw further strengthens Central’s already considerable resume. Hartford won a zany game over Oshkosh North in Level 1, 45-42, on a field goal in the final seconds. The Orioles have an interesting profile, with a win over Wisconsin Lutheran and close loss to Oconomowoc on the ledger, but Brookfield Central won big over the Orioles in the nonconference season.

Division 3

(7) Delavan-Darien (6-4, 4-3 in Southern Lakes) at (3) Pewaukee (9-1, 6-1 in Woodland West). The Pirates, who handled Jefferson in Level 1, were afforded a second home game when Delavan-Darien surprised Mount Horeb/Barneveld in an overtime battle in the first round. The Comets are led by big-time playmaker Jake Benzing, the leading passer (2,195 yards) and rusher (614), so it will be a considerable test for the Pirates’ talented defense.

(5) Wisconsin Lutheran (7-3, 6-1 in Wisconsin Little Ten) at (1) Catholic Memorial (10-0, 7-0 in Classic 8). It wouldn’t be the first time these two have met in a playoff classic if it comes down to the wire, as both have been staples of the Division 3 postseason for some time. Wisco is coming off a nail-biting win over Eisenhower, while Memorial looks like a state-title favorite.

Division 4

(3) University School (8-2, 5-2 in Midwest Classic) at (2) Two Rivers (8-2, 5-2 in Eastern Wisconsin). Two Rivers barely survived seventh-seeded Ripon in the first round, and USM also had to hold off Martin Luther with a late touchdown in its own opener. The Wildcats have only once before been to Level 2, and despite a small roster, the squad is having a huge 2016.

Division 6

(4) Lake Country Lutheran (10-0, 7-0 in Midwest Classic) at (1) St. Mary’s Springs (10-0, 6-0 in Flyway). The Lightning travel to Fond du Lac to face off with one of the gold-standard program sin all of Wisconsin, and a win would represent an upset that would reverberate throughout the state. But don’t count out the undefeated Lightning, who have one of their best teams.

Eliminated in Level 1

Arrowhead (5-5, 4-3 in Classic 8). It’s jarring for sure to see Arrowhead finishing at .500, but the Warhawks were far better than that, with a 4-point loss to undefeated Catholic Memorial, a 3-point loss to a strong Hudson team and a couple close calls to bookend the conference season against a hungry Waukesha North and Muskego team. Still, it’s the first time Arrowhead didn’t get out of the first round since 2004 and it snaps a streak of four straight state-title game appearances.

Brookfield Academy (7-3, 5-2 in Midwest Classic). The Blue Knights fell to Racine St. Catherine’s in the opening round of the playoffs, marking the end of a remarkable career from quarterback Ian Francis.

Cedarburg (4-6, 4-3 in North Shore). The Bulldogs had an adventurous North Shore season but scored a big win over Germantown that helped them land in the playoffs yet again. With Bulldogs top playmaker Clayton Van Tassel sidelined, Brookfield East defeated the Bulldogs handily in the playoffs.

Dominican (5-5, 4-3 in Metro Classic). The Knights were beaten by a talented Columbus team in Level 1, but what a season for Dominican to earn its first WIAA playoff berth and put the football program back on the map.

Greendale (7-3, 4-2 in Woodland West). After a fantastic 45-40 win over Menomonie in the season opener, the Panthers never got on track offensively, even though the record is still reflective of a strong season. Senior receiver Zach Harrison, in his only year of a football, had a breakout year. The Panthers fell to Plymouth in the opening round of the playoffs.

Martin Luther (6-4, 4-3 in Metro Classic). The Spartans returned to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, but Martin Luther struggled with injuries and sputtered down the stretch, including in a playoff loss to University School in Level 1. But the team seems to have found its future with sophomore running back Darios Garrett and junior quarterback Nik Mueller.

Messmer/Shorewood (5-5, 4-3 in Woodland East). The Greyhounds took a step forward in 2016, playing for a Woodland East title in a late-season game with Greenfield and making the playoffs for the first time since returning to the Woodland Conference three years ago. They still don’t have the horses to match up with a team like Germantown in the Division 2 playoffs, but they continue to make strides.

New Berlin Eisenhower (7-3, 6-1 in Woodland West). This is a what-could-have-been season for Eisenhower, which fell to Pewaukee by two points in a de facto Woodland West title game and narrowly fell to Plymouth in the season opener before a close loss to Wisconsin Lutheran in the playoffs. Those were the only setbacks for an Ike team that also battled injuries and had some excellent personnel.

New Berlin West (5-5, 3-3 in Woodland West). With running back Max Meleski leading the way, West had a pretty impressive showing in a talent-rich Woodland West, and it held its own at times against mighty Catholic Memorial in Level 1, to boot.

Oconomowoc (8-2, 6-1 in Wisconsin Little Ten). One of the area’s most prolific offenses shared the league title for its third crown in four years as the Little Ten played its final season before widescale realignment. Quarterback Ben Nienhuis and receiver Zach Clayton played at an All-State level, and the much-maligned defense stepped up in the playoffs despite a 20-13 loss to Middleton.

Port Washington (5-5, 4-3 in North Shore). The Pirates literally alternated wins and losses all year, and that continued in Level 1 with a setback against Kewaskum. It was still a step forward for a Port Washington program that had not been to the playoffs since 2008, though it was now say goodbye to offensive lineman Tyler Beach as he heads to the University of Wisconsin and running back Matt Ruppel.

Saint Francis (6-4, 5-2 in Midwest Classic). The Mariners flirted with the Midwest Classic title picture but weren’t able to make as strong a case as they have in years past despite a thrilling win over Brookfield Academy. Kiel got the best of St. Francis in the first round.

South Milwaukee (3-7, 3-3 in Woodland East). Thanks to some key wins in conference and some monster numbers by dual-threat quarterback Jake Simuncak, the Rockets were able to make the playoffs despite the 3-7 record, but with Simuncak sidelined by injury, they weren’t able to hang with Whitefish Bay in the playoffs.

Wauwatosa West (6-4, 3-3 in Woodland West). It was a crazy year for Tosa West, which went from intriguing preseason prospect to looking out of the playoffs to a monster win over undefeated Pewaukee and a three-game winning streak to close the year. A mistake-filled first quarter against a powerful Brookfield Central team in the playoffs, however, marked the end.

Did not qualify

Brown Deer (0-9, 0-7 in Woodland East). Brown Deer has had success in recent seasons but didn’t have the firepower to stay competitive this season.

Cudahy (2-7, 1-6 in Woodland East). Rusty Murphy was an effective quarterback, but the Packers weren’t able to keep pace with other teams in the Woodland.

Grafton (1-8, 1-6 in North Shore). Grafton nearly upset Whitefish Bay in the final game of the season, and it wasn’t the only time the Black Hawks gave teams a scare.

Kettle Moraine (3-5, 2-4 in Classic 8). Kettle Moraine really needed to spring an upset on Arrowhead to keep its tenuous playoff hopes strong. A loss to Waukesha West in Week 8 was the last straw.

Mukwonago (4-5, 3-4 in Classic 8): A loss to Kettle Moraine in the final week of the regular season kept the Indians from the postseason for a second straight year. Only three Classic 8 teams made the cut, meaning some impressive teams were staying home.

Muskego (5-4, 3-4 in Classic 8). How different this season would be if Muskego hadn’t fallen at the buzzer to Waukesha West in controversial finish in Week 3. Muskego closed the season with wins over Waukesha North and Arrowhead to finish within one win of the playoffs.

Nicolet (1-8, 0-7 in North shore). For the first time in nearly four full years, Nicolet won a football game in a narrow win over Waukesha South. The Knights did not win thereafter but will look to build on this season under first-year coach Al Moroder.

St. John's Northwestern (2-7, 2-5 in Midwest Classic). SJNMA has not been to the playoffs since 2012.

St. Thomas More (1-8, 1-6 in Metro Classic). The Cavaliers picked up their first win of the season in Week 8 over Catholic Central.

Sussex Hamilton (5-4, 3-4 in Greater Metro): Hamilton needed to turn an upset against Brookfield East in the final game of the regular season, and it just didn’t happen. Ultimately, a loss to Menomonee Falls midway through the season was the difference between getting in and staying home.

Waukesha North (5-4, 3-4 in Classic 8). The Northstars opened the league season with a bang, upsetting Arrowhead, but the Northstars couldn’t keep that momentum throughout the season and wound up falling just short of the playoffs. A loss to Muskego in Week 8 was perhaps the biggest blow.

Waukesha South (0-9, 0-7 in Classic 8).  South had the misfortune of rebuilding at a time when the seven other programs in the league appeared to have something cooking. First-year coach AJ Raebel will look to build from here.

Wauwatosa East (0-9, 0-7 in Greater Metro). East was frequently on the wrong end of some lopsided outcomes, but it will get a chance to move forward under first-year coach Matt Kender.

West Allis Central (4-5, 3-4 in Greater Metro): win over Menomonee Falls gave  the Bulldogs a very tangible playoff outlook midway through the year, but a loss to Sussex Hamilton in Week 8 is the end of the dream. This will be an intriguing team to watch next year in the third year of coach Keith Ringelberg’s system.

West Allis Hale (2-7, 1-6 in Greater Metro): Hale has slipped a bit in recent years and hasn’t been to the postseason since 2008.

Whitnall (3-5, 2-5 in Woodland East). Whitnall found itself in a de facto playoff game in Week 9 against New Berlin West, but the Vikings won in lopsided fashion and made sure the Falcons would stay home in the first year under coach John Quinlan.

Coach's confidential 

Asking area football coaches their anonymous thoughts on the greater issues of coaching at the prep level (Updated Oct. 13)

What advice would you give an elite-level kid who's committed to a big college, specifically as it relates to the social media backlash that has become commonplace, particularly involving an opposing school's fan base?

Coach 1: I tell kids the more you put on social media, the greater the response will be, both good and bad. Understand that not everyone loves you or is happy for you, your accomplishments or your ideas.

Coach 2: Do what's right for you. Don't worry about people you don't know.

Coach 3: Ha - stay off it, no need to put your future in jeopardy so you can retweet something goofy.  You have more important things to do than see how many followers you have.

Coach 4: Treat every single social media post like it could be posted on the front page of tomorrow morning’s newspaper. The reality is this, college coaches will not recruit you based solely on things they may see or hear on your social media postings. As a student-athlete, you have to be careful and smart.

Archived responses

Standings (league, overall)

Classic 8

Catholic Memorial70100
Waukesha West5273
Waukesha North3454
Kettle Moraine3445
Waukesha South0718

Greater Metro

Brookfield Central6191
Brookfield East5282
Menomonee Falls4355
Sussex Hamilton3454
West Allis Central2435
West Allis Hale2536
Wauwatosa East0709

North Shore

Whitefish Bay5273
Port Washington4355
Milwaukee Lutheran3436


Racine Horlick5282
Oak Creek4373
Kenosha Indian Trail4355
Kenosha Bradford4346
Kenosha Tremper2527
Racine Case2527
Racine Park0709

Woodland - West

New Berlin Eisenhower5173
Wauwatosa West3364
New Berlin West3355
Milwaukee Pius1527

Woodland - East

South Milwaukee3337
Brown Deer0609

Wisconsin Little Ten

Wisconsin Lutheran6173
Beaver Dam2536
West Bend East2527
West Bend West0709

Midwest Classic

Lake Country Lutheran70100
University School5282
Brookfield Academy5273
St. Francis5264
Living Word Lutheran3445
HOPE Christian1618
Kenosha Christian Life0709

Metro Classic

Racine St. Catherine's6182
Kenosha St. Joseph5273
Racine Lutheran5264
Martin Luther4364
Shoreland Lutheran2536
Catholic Central1618
St. Thomas More1618

Full schedule/scoreboard

Stat leaders (Through Level 1)

Rushing yards

  1. Jake Simuncak, South Milwaukee, 1,669
  2. Peter MacCudden, Waukesha West, 1,565
  3. Zach Heckman, Brookfield central, 1,463
  4. Paris Howell, Wauwatosa West, 1,274
  5. Max Meleski, New Berlin West, 1,206
  6. Matt Ruppel, Port Washington, 1,197
  7. Sam Santiago-Lloyd, Brookfield East, 1,189
  8. Spencer Papandrea, Arrowhead, 1,106
  9. Will Kennedy, University School, 1,082
  10. Austin Mozdzen, Germantown, 1,012
  11. Zach Genrich, Mukwonago, 993
  12. Bradley Woldt, Homestead, 976
  13. Elijah Robinson, Oak Creek, 953
  14. Seth Bickett, Pewaukee, 941
  15. Nick Mirasola, Sussex Hamilton, 906

Rushing TDs

  1. Jake Simuncak, South Milwaukee, 23
  2. Paris Howell, Wauwatosa West, 21
  3. Zach Heckman, Brookfield Central, 20
  4. Will Kennedy, University School, 18
  5. Peter MacCudden, Waukesha West, 18
  6. Matt Ruppel, Port Washington, 18
  7. Max Meleski, New Berlin West, 18
  8. Sam Santiago-Lloyd, Brookfield East, 15
  9. Bradley Woldt, Homestead, 15
  10. Ezekiel Banks, Greenfield, 15

Passing yards

  1. Ben Nienhuis, Oconomowoc, 2,902
  2. Max Duchow, Kettle Moraine, 2,122
  3. Cade Garcia, Whitefish Bay, 2,116
  4. Brennan Demark, Waukesha North, 2,079
  5. Rayvon Bartlett, Jr., Greenfield, 1,914
  6. Bryce Miller, New Berlin Eisenhower, 1,768
  7. Bo Bennett, Dominican, 1,677
  8. Ian Francis, Brookfield Academy, 1,601
  9. Griffin Johnson, West allis Central, 1,452
  10. Michael Johnson, West Allis Hale, 1,441
  11. Max Alba, Franklin, 1,393
  12. Ben Nimz, Catholic Memorial, 1,387
  13. Jakup Sinani, Oak Creek, 1,297
  14. Drew Leszczynski, Brookfield Central, 1,271
  15. Nik Mueller, Martin Luther, 1,234

Passing TDs

  1. Ben Nienhuis, Oconomowoc, 29
  2. Brennan Demark, Waukesha North, 24
  3. Rayvon Bartlett, Jr., Greenfield 22
  4. Bryce Miller, New Berlin Eisenhower, 22
  5. Cade Garcia, Whitefish Bay, 21
  6. Ian Francis, Brookfield Academy, 20
  7. Bo Bennett, Dominican, 18
  8. Max Alba, Franklin, 18
  9. Max Duchow, Kettle Moraine, 17
  10. Ethan Wilkins, Lake Country Lutheran, 17

Receiving yards

  1. Zach Clayton, Oconomowoc, 1,524
  2. Alex Anthony, Whitefish Bay, 1,035
  3. Zach Harrison, Greendale, 956
  4. Sam DeLany, Kettle Moraine, 939
  5. Thomas Gibson, Brookfield Central, 821
  6. Ethan Wittenburg, Franklin, 752
  7. Ryan Harvey-Tuner, Oak Creek, 708
  8. Tripp Grebe, University School, 706
  9. Kendall Gould, Waukesha North, 692
  10. Ben Psicihulis, Kettle Moraine, 660
  11. Stephen Halusan, New Berlin Eisenhower, 643
  12. Max Cooper, Catholic Memorial, 613
  13. Kyle Lewis, Franklin, 612
  14. Michael Kirkendoll, Whitefish Bay, 582
  15. Christian Gurule, Oconomowoc, 517

Receiving TDs

  1. Zach Clayton, Oconomowoc, 16
  2. Max Cooper, Catholic Memorial, 12
  3. Alex Anthony, Whitefish Bay, 11
  4. Thomas Gibson, Brookfield Central, 10
  5. Zach Harrison, Greendale, 10
  6. Kendall Gould, Waukesha North, 9
  7. Drew Dlugopolski, Dominican, 9
  8. Ryan Harvey-Turner, Oak Creek, 9
  9. Dan Alexopoulos, Whitnall, 8
  10. Sam DeLany, Kettle Moraine, 7
  11. Ben Psicihulis, Kettle Moraine, 7
  12. Taylor Anderson, Waukesha North, 7
  13. Kyle Lewis, Franklin, 7
  14. Tripp Grebe, University School, 7
  15. Adam Mielke, Lake Country Lutheran, 7
  16. Michael Walters, Pewaukee, 7

  • All statistics based JSOnline database powered by Coaches can report inaccurate statistics to for inclusion.

By the numbers

WIAA state titles

  • 6 Arrowhead (2013, 2012, 2007, 1996, 1994, 1993)
  • 5 Homestead (2015, 2012, 2008, 2006, 1999)
  • 2 Waukesha West (2010, 2004), Germantown (2003, 1998), New Berlin Eisenhower (1996, 1995)
  • 1 Catholic Memorial (2012), Franklin (2006), Mukwonago (2004), Cudahy (1994), Kettle Moraine (1988), Grafton (1982), Menomonee Falls (1976, as Falls East)

Runner-up finishes

  • 7 Arrowhead (2015, 2014, 2008, 2006, 2003, 2002, 2000)
  • 3 Catholic Memorial (2015, 2010, 2001), Brookfield Central (2006, 2002, 1999)
  • 2 Waukesha West (2015, 2014) , Greendale (2013, 2006), Menomonee Falls (2009, 1985), Oak Creek (1998, 1997), Germantown (1997, 1979), New Berlin Eisenhower (1989, 1986), Port Washington (1990, 1974), Grafton (1984, 1977)
  • 1 Franklin (2013), Cedarburg (2010), Homestead (2007), St. Francis (2004), Sussex Hamilton (2000), Muskego (1994), Waukesha South (1989), New Berlin West (1988), Oconomowoc (1987),  Waukesha North (1983), Wauwatosa West (1982), Cudahy (1982)

Current streak of playoff berths (through 2016)

  • 21 Arrowhead
  • 18 Homestead
  • 16 Franklin
  • 12 Cedarburg, Greendale, Pewaukee
  • 10 Catholic Memorial, Waukesha West, Whitefish Bay
  • Lake Country Lutheran
  • Brookfield Central, Brookfield East, Germantown
  • 6 Oak Creek
  • Greenfield, University School
  • Brookfield Academy, St. Francis
  • New Berlin Eisenhower, Oconomowoc, Wauwatosa West
  • Dominican, Martin Luther, Menomonee Falls, Messmer/Shorewood, New Berlin West, Port Washington, South Milwaukee 
  • 0 Cudahy (last: 2015); Muskego (last: 2015); Whitnall (last: 2015); Brown Deer (last: 2014); Mukwonago (2014); Sussex Hamilton (2014); St. Thomas More (2013), St. John's Northwestern (2012), Kettle Moraine (2008), West Allis Hale (2008), Wauwatosa East (2007), Waukesha North (2006), West Allis Central (2004), Waukesha South (1999), Grafton (1997), Nicolet (1989)

Past All-Area teams

2015: All-Suburban Team | LCP offense | LCP defense

2014: All-Suburban Team | LCP offense | LCP defense

2013: All-Suburban Team | LCP offense | LCP defense

2012:All-Suburban Team | LCP offense | LCP defense

2011:All-Suburban Team | LCP offense | LCP defense

2010: All-Suburban Team | LCP offense | LCP defense

2009:All-Suburban Team | LCP offense | LCP defense

2008:All-Suburban Defense | All-Suburban Offense | LCP offense | LCP defense

2007: All-Suburban Defense | All-Suburban Offense

2006: All-Suburban Defense | All-Suburban Offense