With Wisconsin prep football halfway through its season (well actually it is five games in out of eight but you get the point), I wanted to look and see if any of last year’s state champions are in danger of not making the playoffs this year. There are seven divisions in WIAA football and I will give you each defending champion and how well they are doing this season.
DIVISION 7-Greenwood/Granton Indians (13-1 last year) The Indians (3-2) have a new coach in Jeff Trunkel and that, added with the fact that they lost some key offensive weapons from a year ago, it’s no wonder why Greenwood/Granton is stumbling out of the gates. The Indians find themselves in the middle of the standings in the Cloverwood Conference and do have three tough games remaining, but I believe they will be able to squeak into the playoffs this year.
DIVISION 6-St. Mary’s Springs Ledgers (14-0) This season looks to be a repeat of last year for the Ledgers. They are off to another 5-0 start to the season and even though they are in a first place tie with the Laconia Spartans in the Wisconsin Flyway Conference, don’t look for them to slow down anytime soon. They seem to be on a fast track back to Madison once again this year.
DIVISION 5-Colby Hornets (14-0) The Hornets are not off to the best of starts as they have a 3-2 record at this point (one of those wins coming from a forfeit after Cadott cancelled their season). The good news for the Hornets is that two of their last three games are against opponents who have a combined one win between them. They should be able to limp into the playoffs, but everyone knows anything can happen once you’re there.
DIVISION 4-Wrightstown Tigers (14-0) With a 4-1 record this point in the season, the Tigers looked poised to make the playoffs. Will they make it back to Madison again this year? I think they do and playing in the tough Olympian-Packerland-Large Conference will only help them make another run to the state championship.
DIVISION 3-West De Pere Phantoms (14-0) Another defending champion that is off to another undefeated season. The Phantoms have jumped out to another 5-0 record this season and they look to have another undefeated regular season. Head coach Bill Turnquist and his Phantoms are hungry for a three-peat this year.
DIVISION 2-Waunakee Warriors (14-0) What can I say that hasn’t been said about the Warriors already? They are riding a 41-game winning streak, have not lost a home game since 1998 and have won the past three state football championships. They are the clear favorite to win again this year and they know they have a huge target on their back. Teams will be looking to knock them off and be “the team that ended all the streaks.” It will happen one day, but not this year.
DIVISION 1-Kenosha-Bradford Red Devils (14-0) The Red Devils are another defending state champ that will be lucky to make the playoffs this year. With two of their remaining three games against teams that only have one win each this season, the Red Devils should be able to make the playoffs. The big question is will they? I think they get in by the skin of their teeth but that will be as far as they get.