Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Prep grid playoffs begin tonightWisconsin Sports
-- One-hundred-12 Wisconsin high schools will begin their quest toward a state football championship tonight. The WIAA playoffs get underway in seven divisions. Half of the 224 teams play their Level-One games this evening – and the other half hit the fields tomorrow.
One-hundred-12 Wisconsin high schools will begin their quest toward a state football championship tonight. The WIAA playoffs get underway in seven divisions. Half of the 224 teams play their Level-One games this evening – and the other half hit the fields tomorrow.
It’s been a busy week for school officials. They had to wait for a legal case to get settled to find out who they’d play and when – and then, the race was on to get everything scheduled. A combined team from Milwaukee Messmer-and-Shorewood challenged the WIAA’s decision to leave them out of the post-season – and the team prevailed in court. On the plus side, schools had at least a week to recover from their regular season finales. In the past, they played five days after their final regular season contests – and then they faced three rounds of playoffs in 10 days. This year, all playoff games will be on Fridays and Saturdays. And there will be at least one new champion. Gilman, which won the Division-Seven crown a year ago, failed to make the post-season. Schools that didn’t make the playoffs can have one more game.
The two leaders in the WIAC football race will square off tomorrow. UW-Whitewater and UW-Oshkosh are both 3-0 in conference play, as they head into a showdown at Oshkosh. Whitewater is the nation’s top-ranked Division-Three team, and Oshkosh is ranked 20th. The Warhawks are 6-0 overall, while the Titans are 5-1. Eau Claire is in third place at 2-1. The Blugolds will host Stevens Point tomorrow. Elsewhere, La Crosse is at Stout. And River Falls hosts Platteville.
In the Midwest Conference, Beloit College will try to hand first-place Monmouth its first defeat. Monmouth is 6-0 in league play, and Illinois College is second at 5-1. Ripon, Carroll, Saint Norbert, and Grinnell are all 4-2 in a tie for third. Ripon hosts Illinois College tomorrow. Saint Norbert plays at Grinnell. Carroll hosts Knox College. And Lawrence entertains Lake Forest in Appleton.
In the Northern Athletics Conference, Lakeland will try to take sole possession of first place tomorrow. Lakeland and Benedictine are tied for the lead at 3-0. Lakeland is at home in Sheboygan against Concordia-Chicago, while Benedictine plays in Watertown against Maranatha Baptist. Concordia-Mequon hosts Aurora, and Wisconsin Lutheran plays at Rockford.
In the CCIW, Carthage will try to even its 1-2 league record when it hosts Wheaton.
The state girls’ high school team tennis tournament begins tonight at UW-Madison's Nielsen Tennis Stadium, with the quarter-finals in Division-One. Mequon Homestead is going for its fourth straight title, and they’re the only undefeated team in the Division-One field. Homestead faces Green Bay Southwest this evening. Eau Claire Memorial goes against Madison East. Middleton takes on Glendale Nicolet. And Oshkosh West plays Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels. Tonight’s winners will advance to the semi-finals tomorrow morning. Also, the Division-Two tournament will begin tomorrow with the semis. Eau Claire Regis takes on three-time defending champion Green Bay Notre Dame. And Madison Edgewood plays the Milwaukee University School. Title matches in both divisions will be played tomorrow afternoon.
The only person who’s been the head soccer coach at Edgewood College will be inducted into the state soccer coaches’ Hall-of-Fame. Tim Alexander is one of four people to be enshrined at a banquet next March 24th in Madison. Alexander has a combined overall record of 465-285-53 for a winning percentage of .612. And he’s one of just five NCAA soccer coaches to win both 200 men’s games and 200 women’s contests. The Edgewood women have won nine conference titles on Alexander’s watch – and they’ve reached the Division-Three tournament four times, most recently in 2008. Also to be inducted into the soccer coaches’ Hall-of-Fame are Sheila Miech of UW-Stevens Point, Craig Peltonen of Marian, and Youth Soccer Association founder Aleks Nikolic.
Two men’s basketball players from Wisconsin have been named to the national pre-season All-American teams by D3hoops.com. Aris Wurtz, a senior forward from Ripon College, made the Division-Three third team. And Shane Manor, a senior guard at UW-River Falls, was an honorable mention. The Web site singled out 25 players in all.
The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team has recruited a player from Canada. Coach Bobbie Kelsey has received a verbal commitment from point guard Dakota Whyte of the Toronto suburb of Ajax Ontario. The 5-8 Whyte helped her Under-17 team to national championship during the summer, averaging 14 points with five rebounds and four steals per game. Whyte plans on signing a national letter of intent next month to join the Badgers in 2012. She chose the Badgers over Michigan and Marquette.
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team will try to redeem itself, when it hosts North Dakota tonight and tomorrow night. The Badgers lost their previous national ranking this week, when they dropped a pair of overtime games at Michigan Tech last weekend. Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves has a pair of freshmen working the net. Landon Peterson had 36 saves last Friday night in a 2-1 overtime loss at Houghton. And Joel Rumpel had 25 saves the next night in a 3-2 Badger loss in OT. Wisconsin is 1-3 overall in the young season. Fifth-ranked North Dakota is playing its WCHA openers, and is 2-1-1 overall.
Meanwhile, the Badger women’s hockey team goes on the road for the first time this season. They’ll play fifth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth tonight and tomorrow night. The Badgers kept their top national ranking despite losing to Minnesota 3-2 last weekend. Fifth-ranked Duluth is 4-2 overall, while the Badgers are 5-1.
UW-Whitewater will play for its fifth straight WIAC women’s tennis championship this weekend. The conference meet will take place tomorrow afternoon and Sunday at UW-Madison. Both individual and team competition will take place at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.