Your home for Milwaukee-area prep football as teams make a push for the 2016 postseason.
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
It's not our preference to choose the same player twice for this award, but we'll make an exception for state-title weekend. Sam Santiago-Lloyd ran for a state title-game record five touchdowns, and Brookfield East recorded its first state title with a 42-36 win over Monona Grove. Santiago-Lloyd carried the ball 37 times for 197 yards. His monster run on 4th and 1 for 44 yard and a score provided the winning points.
Past Players of Week
- Sam Santiago-Lloyd, Brookfield East
- Max Alba, Franklin
- Bradley Woldt, Homestead
- Zach Heckman, Brookfield Central
- 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
Brookfield East had never been to Level 4 before in program history, but now the Spartans are state champions. They did it with a first-year coach (Ben Farley), a star running back nursing injuries (Sam Santiago-Lloyd), a heck of an effort from quarterback Jake Graf and a remarkable postseason run that included wins over two No. 1 seeds.
- Franklin routs Badger in dream season
- Brookfield East shuts out Central
- CMH wins on 51-yard FG
- Falls shocked undefeated Menasha
- 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
Division 1: Kimberly 29, Franklin 14. The Sabers took a 14-0 lead at halftime against Kimberly, shutting out the Papermakers in the first half for the first time since 2010. But the three-time reigning state champ bounced back in the second half and sent the Sabers to a tough loss in the Division 1 title game. Franklin (12-2) nonetheless enjoyed a great run with a litany of underclassmen and could be back in the same spot next year. Kimberly will carry a nation-best winning streak of 56 games into 2017.
Division 2: Brookfield East 42, Monona Grove 36. The first state championship in Brookfield East (11-3) required some late anxious moments as the Silver Eagles’ offense kept firing away, but the Spartans prevailed behind a state-record five touchdown runs by Sam Santiago-Lloyd. Quarterback Jake Graf also posted a big day with 184 rushing yards and a 22-yard touchdown pass just before half that tied the game at 21-21.
Division 3: Catholic Memorial 24, Notre Dame 14. Avenging a loss against the same team from a year ago, Catholic Memorial (14-0) capped perhaps its best season ever with a winning performance at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. The Crusaders overcame three turnovers by forcing three of their own, including an interception return for touchdown by Eric Fridl in the third quarter. Jaylen Campbell and Max Cooper also converted long touchdowns in the victory.
Eliminated in Level 4
Pewaukee (11-2, 6-1 in Woodland West). This was a huge season for the Pirates, who won the Woodland Conference title for the first time in the current format and reached Level 4 for the first time in school history. Pewaukee ran into a powerhouse Catholic Memorial team once it got there, but it was a memorable showing all the same.
Homestead (11-2, 7-0 in North Shore). It would be intriguing to know how the Highlanders’ ultimate plight would have changed if quarterback Eric Zoeller hadn’t been injured in a narrow Level 3 win over Whitefish Bay. As it stood, Homestead fell in lopsided fashion to Monona Grove in Level 4, but HHS continued its 16-year streak of North Shore Conference football titles and again proved to be one of the state’s best.
Eliminated in Level 3
Whitefish Bay (8-4, 5-2 in North Shore). It wasn’t much of a rebuilding year for Whitefish Bay as it was supposed to be, with the Blue Dukes putting up huge offensive numbers for most of the year behind the quarterback-receiver tandem of Cade Garcia and Alex Anthony. Perhaps the most memorable games will be the losses, including an overtime loss to Brookfield Central to start the year and a gut-wrenching close call against Homestead in the playoffs that ended with a late Highlanders score.
Brookfield Central (10-2, 6-1 in Greater Metro). Central was a bona fide contender to reach Camp Randall, but for the second year in a row, Brookfield East stood in the way in the playoffs, this time with a 21-0 win in Level 3 that left the Greater Metro Conference co-champ home. The Lancers have key playmakers returning next season and should again be a threat to work deep into the postseason.
Waukesha West (8-4, 5-2 in Classic 8). The Wolverines season ended on a dramatic goal-line play against Monona Grove when the Silver Eagles went for 2 in overtime, which mirrored the way West’s Classic 8 season began – with a walk-off touchdown score to beat Muskego. In the meantime, junior Peter MacCudden proved to be one of the state’s best players, and the Wolverines remained a powerful program even in the midst of several powerful programs within the conference.
Eliminated in Level 2
Germantown (5-6, 4-3 in North Shore). It was perhaps a disappointing campaign by Germantown standards, but the Warhawks clawed their way into the playoffs and even got the chance to rematch with Homestead one last time before departure to the Greater Metro Conference. Austin Mozdzen was one of the area’s top two-way players in 2016.
Greenfield (7-4, 5-2 in Woodland West). Greenfield won a playoff game for the first time since 2002, then racked up some points on Whitefish Bay before falling in Level 2 of the playoffs. The 1-2 monster of Rayvon Bartlett, Jr. and Ezekiel Banks represented one of the more challenging puzzles for defenses to solve this season, and the Hustlin’ Hawks won the Woodland East title.
Lake Country Lutheran (10-1, 7-0 in Midwest Classic). The Lightning ran into the best the state has to offer in St. Mary’s Springs in Level 2, though LCL showed well in a loss to the two-time reigning state champion. The Lightning should be well equipped to move deep into the playoffs yet again as the program moves to Division 5 (or higher?) next year.
Menomonee Falls (5-6, 4-3 in Greater Metro). Falls became one of the top stories of the 2016 postseason with a win over undefeated Brookfield Central in Week 9 just to qualify and a win over undefeated Menasha in Level 1, knocking a potential state champion out of the fray right away. The crazy run ended at the hands of Brookfield East in Level 2.
Oak Creek (7-4, 4-3 in Southeast). The Knights’ late-season push to even get into the playoffs was more representative of the team we expected coming into the season. It was a surprise that Oak Creek nearly missed the playoffs, but not a surprise that they gave Franklin everything it could handle in Level 2 and nearly advanced.
University School (8-3, 5-2 in Midwest Classic). An excellent season for the Wildcats ended in Level 2 at the hands of Two Rivers. Despite a bare-bones roster, USM competed for the Midwest Classic title and hosted its first playoff game ever on campus. Defensive lineman Michael Balisteri is one of the best players in the state you haven’t heard of yet.
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): A 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.
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.
Standings (league, overall)
|West Allis Central||2||4||3||5|
|West Allis Hale||2||5||3||6|
|Kenosha Indian Trail||4||3||5||5|
Woodland - West
|New Berlin Eisenhower||5||1||7||3|
|New Berlin West||3||3||5||5|
Woodland - East
Wisconsin Little Ten
|West Bend East||2||5||2||7|
|West Bend West||0||7||0||9|
|Lake Country Lutheran||7||0||10||1|
|Living Word Lutheran||3||4||4||5|
|Kenosha Christian Life||0||7||0||9|
|Racine St. Catherine's||6||1||8||3|
|Kenosha St. Joseph||5||2||7||4|
|St. Thomas More||1||6||1||8|
Stat leaders (Final)
- Peter MacCudden, Waukesha West, 2,040
- Sam Santiago-Lloyd, Brookfield East, 1,851
- Zach Heckman, Brookfield central, 1,752
- Jake Simuncak, South Milwaukee, 1,669
- Jaylen Campbell, Catholic Memorial, 1,332
- Bradley Woldt, Homestead, 1,329
- Paris Howell, Wauwatosa West, 1,274
- Max Meleski, New Berlin West, 1,206
- Matt Ruppel, Port Washington, 1,197
- Spencer Papandrea, Arrowhead, 1,106
- Seth Bickett, Pewaukee, 1,104
- Austin Mozdzen, Germantown, 1,086
- Will Kennedy, University School, 1,082
- Jake Graf, Brookfield East, 1,060
- Elijah Robinson, Oak Creek, 1,006
- Sam Santiago-Lloyd, Brookfield East, 27
- Zach Heckman, Brookfield Central, 24
- Peter MacCudden, Waukesha West, 23
- Jake Simuncak, South Milwaukee, 23
- Paris Howell, Wauwatosa West, 21
- Bradley Woldt, Homestead, 21
- Will Kennedy, University School, 18
- Matt Ruppel, Port Washington, 18
- Max Meleski, New Berlin West, 18
- Ezekiel Banks, Greenfield, 16
- Jaylen Campbell, Catholic Memorial, 16
- Ben Nienhuis, Oconomowoc, 2,902
- Cade Garcia, Whitefish Bay, 2,558
- Max Alba, Franklin, 2,544
- Max Duchow, Kettle Moraine, 2,122
- Rayvon Bartlett, Jr., Greenfield, 2,113
- Brennan Demark, Waukesha North, 2,079
- Ben Nimz, Catholic Memorial, 2,032
- Bryce Miller, New Berlin Eisenhower, 1,768
- Bo Bennett, Dominican, 1,677
- Ian Francis, Brookfield Academy, 1,590
- Jakup Sinani, Oak Creek, 1,522
- Griffin Johnson, West Allis Central, 1,452
- Michael Johnson, West Allis Hale, 1,441
- Drew Leszczynski, Brookfield Central, 1,406
- Jack Meyer, Cedarburg, 1,324
- Ben Nienhuis, Oconomowoc, 29
- Max Alba, Franklin, 29
- Cade Garcia, Whitefish Bay, 26
- Brennan Demark, Waukesha North, 24
- Rayvon Bartlett, Jr., Greenfield 24
- Bryce Miller, New Berlin Eisenhower, 22
- Ian Francis, Brookfield Academy, 20
- Ethan Wilkins, Lake Country Lutheran, 19
- Bo Bennett, Dominican, 18
- Ben Nimz, Catholic Memorial, 18
- Max Duchow, Kettle Moraine, 17
- Zach Clayton, Oconomowoc, 1,524
- Alex Anthony, Whitefish Bay, 1,145
- Ethan Wittenburg, Franklin, 1,107
- Kyle Lewis, Franklin, 1,082
- Max Cooper, Catholic Memorial, 1,024
- Zach Harrison, Greendale, 965
- Sam DeLany, Kettle Moraine, 939
- Ryan Harvey-Tuner, Oak Creek, 866
- Thomas Gibson, Brookfield Central, 836
- Tripp Grebe, University School, 706
- Kendall Gould, Waukesha North, 692
- Michael Kirkendoll, Whitefish Bay, 687
- Ben Psicihulis, Kettle Moraine, 660
- Stephen Halusan, New Berlin Eisenhower, 643
- Jonathan Jensen, Brookfield Academy, 614
- Max Cooper, Catholic Memorial, 17
- Zach Clayton, Oconomowoc, 16
- Alex Anthony, Whitefish Bay, 12
- Kyle Lewis, Franklin, 12
- Thomas Gibson, Brookfield Central, 10
- Zach Harrison, Greendale, 10
- Ryan Harvey-Turner, Oak Creek, 10
- Ethan Wittenburg, Franklin, 10
- Kendall Gould, Waukesha North, 9
- Drew Dlugopolski, Dominican, 9
- All statistics based JSOnline database powered by wissports.net. Coaches can report inaccurate statistics to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion.
By the numbers
WIAA state titles
- 6 Arrowhead (2013, 2012, 2007, 1996, 1994, 1993)
- 5 Homestead (2015, 2012, 2008, 2006, 1999)
- 2 Catholic Memorial (2016, 2012), Waukesha West (2010, 2004), Germantown (2003, 1998), New Berlin Eisenhower (1996, 1995)
- 1 Brookfield East (2016), Franklin (2006), Mukwonago (2004), Cudahy (1994), Kettle Moraine (1988), Grafton (1982), Menomonee Falls (1976, as Falls East)
- 7 Arrowhead (2015, 2014, 2008, 2006, 2003, 2002, 2000)
- 3 Catholic Memorial (2015, 2010, 2001), Brookfield Central (2006, 2002, 1999)
- 2 Franklin (2016, 2013), 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 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
- 9 Lake Country Lutheran
- 7 Brookfield Central, Brookfield East, Germantown
- 6 Oak Creek
- 4 Greenfield, University School
- 3 Brookfield Academy, St. Francis
- 2 New Berlin Eisenhower, Oconomowoc, Wauwatosa West
- 1 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)