WIAA State Football Championship Preview


THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 42nd Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Football State Championship Finals will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 16-17, at Camp Randall Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE: Avoid the lines the day of the game by buying State Football Finals tickets now online at www.wiaawi.org/Tickets.aspx or find the ticket link on the home page of the WIAA website. Ticket prices for the event are $8 per game for adults, $20 for a Thursday all-day pass, $15 for a Friday all-day pass and $30 for a two-day pass. Admission for children 6-years old and under is $1 per game.


Thursday, Nov. 16

Div. 7 - Bangor (13-0) vs. Black Hawk (13-0) - 10 a.m.

Div. 6 - Iola-Scandinavia (11-2) vs. St. Mary’s Springs (13-0) - 1 p.m.

Div. 5 - Amherst (12-1) vs. Lake Country Lutheran (13-0) - 4 p.m.

Div. 4 - St. Croix Central (12-1) vs. Lodi (13-0) - 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 17

Div. 3 - Rice Lake (10-2) vs. New Berlin Eisenhower (13-0) - 10 a.m.

Div. 2 - Waunakee (13-0) vs. Brookfield Central (13-0) - 1 p.m.

Div. 1 - Kimberly (13-0) vs. Sun Prairie (13-0) - 4 p.m.

ON THE AIR:  The championship finals of all seven divisions will be televised live on Fox Sports Wisconsin. Check local cable listings for the FS Wisconsin channel in your area. In addition, the finals of all seven divisions will be streamed live on the FoxSportsGo app through your cable system’s authentication.

All state football games will be heard on 100.9 FM in Madison and on the free iHeartRadio app at thebig1070.com/fm.

CAMP RANDALL MEDIA PARKING: UW Transportation Services will have attendants selling parking for $8 at Lots 17 (just north of Camp Randall Stadium) and 20 on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday.

LAST YEAR: Kimberly defeated Franklin 29-14 in the Division 1 final to win the championship. In Division 2, Brookfield East posted a 42-36 win over Monona Grove, and Catholic Memorial was a 24-14 victor over Notre Dame in the Division 3 title tilt. St. Croix Central rolled to a 49-28 win over River Valley in the Division 4 championship game, and Amherst outscored Cedar Grove-Belgium 38-35 to win the Division 5 title. In Division 6, Regis was the champion with a 27-14 win over Darlington, and Edgar was crowned the champion in Division 7 with a 36-6 victory over Shullsburg.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS HISTORY: The WIAA began sponsoring the playoff tournament series in 1976. The first two championships featured four divisions. In 1978, the field expanded to five divisions. The playoffs were again expanded to include six divisions in 1981. In 1996, the playoff field was further expanded to 192 teams qualifying for the post-season. In 2002, the tournament expanded to its current seven-divisions format with 224 teams. The championships have all been at Camp Randall Stadium since 1982. Edgar, Lancaster and Stratford have won the most championships with seven. Arrowhead, Kimberly and St. Mary’s Springs are next on the list with six. D.C. Everest, Homestead, Menomonie, Monroe, Osseo-Fairchild and Waunakee have each won five. Arrowhead leads the membership in title game appearances with 13. Darlington is next with 12, and Edgar and Lancaster have 11. St. Mary’s Springs now has 10 appearances and Waunakee has nine. Kimberly will now appear in its eighth to tie Monroe and Menomonie.

DIVISION 1 NOTES: Four-time defending champion Kimberly returns to Camp Randall seeking its fifth straight State championship and to extend its current 69-game winning streak. They have not lost since Level 3 of the 2012 playoffs. The Papermakers are making their eighth State appearance overall. They won back-to-back Division 2 titles in 2007 and 2008 and added their third in 2013. Their championships in Division 1 have come the last three seasons. They also have one runner-up finish on the ledger, that coming in Division 2 in 2009. The Papermakers finished atop the North Division of the Valley Football Association this year. The Papermakers defeated Appleton North 31-14 at Level 4 to earn their fifth straight berth in the State final and the fourth in Division 1. Sun Prairie will appear in its third championship final. The Cardinals other experiences in the championship game resulted in a title in 1995 and a runner-up finish in 2012. They won the Big Eight championship this fall and have averaged 39 points a game. The Cardinals defeated Muskego 26-21 in the semifinal to gain the berth in the championship game.

DIVISION 2 NOTES:  Waunakee advances to the title game for the ninth time. The Warriors have captured the State championship five times, including three consecutive Division 2 championships from 2009-11. They also won Division 3 crowns in 1999 and 2002. Their three runner-up finishes came in Division 3 in 2001 and in Division 2 in 2005 and 2012. They are the 2017 champions in the North Division of the Badger Conference. The Warriors return to the title game comes virtue of their 35-14 victory over Green Bay Southwest at Level 4. They dominated the competition during the regular season, outscoring opponents by an average score of 54-5. In addition, they have outscored playoff opponents 165-40 in four games. Brookfield Central is making its fourth State title game appearance and its first since 2006 when the finshed runner-up for the third time. Their other two second-place finishes came in 1999 and 2002. They are the champions of the Greater Metro Conference, and they earned their chance at playing for the title with a 38-23 triumph over Waukesha West in a Level 4 battle. The Lancers have posted six shutouts this year and have outscored their four playoff opponents by a combined total of 176-30.

DIVISION 3 NOTES:  Rice Lake is making its sixth trip to the State final and its first since 2014. The Warriors won their lone State championship in 1979. Their four runner-up finishes occurred in 1980, 1982, 2004 and 2014. They finished third in the Big Rivers Conference this season. They advance to the title game by ousting last year’s runner-up and perennial power Notre Dame in their Level 4 clash, 28-7. They have had an impressive run in the playoffs, outscoring opponents by a cumulative score of 147-34 in four games. New Berlin Eisenhower is back in the championship final after a 21-year hiatus. The Lions won the second of back-to-back Division 3 titles in 1996. In their first two appearances in the finals, they finished runners-up in Division 2 in 1986 and 1989. The Lions are the unbeaten champions in the West Division of the Woodland Conference this season. Their challenging road to the final included a 7-0 win over 2016 champion Catholic Memorial at Level 3 and a 21-14 win over the bracket’s other #1 seed Whitefish Bay at Level 4. In conference play this season, they compiled an average margin of victory of 38 points per game, and they have yet to trail on the scoreboard this season.

DIVISION 4 NOTES: Defending champion St. Croix Central returns to the championship final for the second year in a row and for the third time overall. The Panthers first State finals experience resulted in a Division 5 State championship in 1988. This year, they doubled-up Freedom 42-21 at Level 4 to continue their quest for the program’s second straight title. The Panthers finished runner-up in the Middle Border Conference this season and have outscored their opponents by an average of 30-8 per game this year. Lodi is making its second appearance in the title game in the last three seasons after a runner-up finish in its first-ever experience in 2015. The Blue Devils return to the championship game following a 17-0 shutout over Martin Luther at Level 4. They were the champions in the North Division of the Capitol Conference this season. The Blue Devils have outscored their opponents by an average of 39-9 per game this year.

DIVISION 5 NOTES: Two-time defending champion Amherst will make its fifth appearance in the title game, having now advanced to the title game in five of the last six seasons. The Falcons also won the title in their first experience in the State final in 2012 and finished runner-up in 2014. They overwhelmed Grantsburg 35-6 in their Level 4 match-up to return to the final for an opportunity to win the gold trophy for the third straight season, a feat done only eight other times. They are the champions of the Large Division of the Central Wisconsin Conference this fall. The Falcons’ only loss was in the second week of the season to Division 5 finalist St. Mary’s Springs, 14-13. They are scoring 44 points per game this season, but an even more impressive 46.5 points per game against their four playoff opponents. Lake Country Lutheran advances to the State final for the first time. The furthest advance in the playoffs prior to this year was to Level 4 in Division 7 in 2013. The Lightning won the Midwest Classic Conference championship this fall and edged last year’s runner-up Cedar Grove/Belgium 16-14 in their Level 4 match-up to advance to the final. The Lightning dominated their conference opponents this season with an average scoring margin of 39 points per game in their six league games.

DIVISION 6 NOTES:  St. Mary’s Springs is making its seventh State final appearance in the last nine seasons and its 10th overall. The Ledgers have won six State titles. They won the Division 5 championship in 2009 and the Division 6 titles in 2002, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. In addition, they have finished runner-up in Division 6 in 2003, 2005 and 2010. This year, they are the champions of the Wisconsin Flyway Conference. The Ledgers downed Markesan 21-9 in their Level 4 match-up to earn the opportunity to gain a seventh State title. Prior to joining the WIAA, St. Mary’s Springs won WISAA crowns in 1983, 1984, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999. In addition, the Ledgers were WISAA runners-up in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1989 and 1992. Iola-Scandinavia is making its third championship game appearance. The Thunderbirds finished runner-up in Division 5 in their first appearance in 1999 and runner-up in Division 6 in their last experience in 2007. This year, they placed third in the Large Division of the Central Wisconsin Conference, which was won by Division 5 finalist Amherst. They edged Regis by the narrowest of margins, 27-26, at Level 4 to advance to play at Camp Randall.

DIVISION 7 NOTES: Black Hawk has played for a State title twice before. Those experiences resulted in a runner-up finish in Division 6 in 1998 and Division 7 championship in 2013. The Warriors are the champions of the Six Rivers Conference this season. They rolled past Fall River 56-8 in the Level 4 game to return to the championship final. They averaged 50 points a game during the regular season and yielded just nine points per contest. Their playoff resume is even more impressive. They have outscored their opponents by an average score of 55.5-7.5. Bangor advances to the State finals for the second time with both coming in the past three seasons. The Cardinals won the State championship in their first-ever experience in 2015. This season, they cruised past Abbotsford in their Level 4 showdown, 30-7. They are the undefeated champions of the Scenic Bluffs Conference this season. Bangor has dominated their opponents all season, having outscored them by an average of 50-4 per game this year heading into the title game.

FOLLOW FINALS ON SOCIAL MESSAGING: Receive updates of the State Football Finals on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaafb. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?:  All rosters and statistic leader information of qualifying teams provided by the schools are available on the restricted media area of the WIAA website.

NEED RESULTS?: Results and statistics will be available on the WIAA website approximately 35 minutes following the conclusion of each title game at: www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Football.aspx.

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