WIAA State Football Championship Preview

The Quest for the Gold Balls for Division's One thru Seven begins Thursday morning

Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association
Football State Championships
Thursday & Friday, Nov. 17-18, 2005
Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wis.

WIAA STATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS WEEK AT CAMP RANDALL

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 30th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Football State Championships will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 17-18, at Camp Randall Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the event are $6 for adults per game, $15 for a day pass and $25 for a two-day pass. Admission for children 6-years old and under is $1 per game.

CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE:
Thursday, Nov. 17
10 a.m. Div. 7 Gilman (11-2) vs. Pacelli (10-3)
1 p.m. Div. 6 St. Mary's Springs (8-5) vs. Stratford (13-0)
4 p.m. Div. 5 Lancaster (13-0) vs. Somerset (13-0)
7 p.m. Div. 4 Ripon (13-0) vs. West Salem (11-2)
Friday, Nov. 18
10 a.m. Div. 3 Mosinee (13-0) vs. Wisconsin Lutheran (12-1)
1 p.m. Div. 2 Ashwaubenon (11-1) vs. Waunakee (13-0)
4 p.m. Div. 1 Racine Park (12-1) vs. Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln (11-2)
ON THE AIR: All the championship games will be televised live on cable by Fox Sports Net. Learfield will broadcast all the games live on the state-wide radio network. The games can be heard on the following stations:

WXCE-AM 1260 (Amery) WCCN-AM 1370 (Neillsville)
WOGO-AM 680 (Eau Claire) WOCO-AM 1260 (Oconto)
WFAW-AM 940 (Fort Atkinson) WRDB-AM 1400 (Reedsburg)
WTSO-AM 1070 (Madison) WRCO-AM 1450 (Richland Center)
WDLB-AM 1450 (Marshfield)

LAST YEAR: Mukwonago defeated Marshfield 17-6 in the Division 1 championship game. In Division 2, Waukesha West won the title with a 24-7 win over Monona Grove, and Wisconsin Lutheran defeated Rice Lake in the Division 3 title game, 41-13. Sturgeon Bay was crowned the Division 4 champion with a 21-14 victory over St. Francis, and Brillion won its second straight Division 5 championship with a 23-14 win over Somerset. Stratford also won its second straight title in the Division 6 championship with a 32-3 win over Pecatonica/Argyle, and in the Division 7 title game, Shell Lake defeated Catholic Central, 35-0.
 
DIVISION 1 NOTES: Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln, which tied for second in the Wisconsin Valley Conference, advances to the State final for the second time and for the first time since finishing runner-up in 1980. The Red Raiders advanced to the title game by ousting Bay Port in the semifinal game, 41-21. They are averaging 37.8 points a game during the playoffs, having failed to score 40 or more points once and averaged 45 points a game over the last five games of the regular season. It is the second title game for Racine Park and the first since the Panthers were crowned champions in 1988. They are the co-champions of the Southeast Conference. Park defeated defending champion Mukwonago in Level 3 of the playoffs, 24-8. They were a touchdown better than Homestead, 20-13, in the Level 4 tilt to advance to the title game. The Panthers have only given up an average of 8.8 points per game throughout the playoffs and posted four shutouts during the regular season. Both Racine Park and Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln were seeded #3 in their brackets.
 
DIVISION 2 NOTES: Division 2 features a pair of perennial powers. Ashwaubenon is making its sixth State title game appearance and the first since winning back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001. The Jaguars also won the State title in 1996 and finished runner-up in 1993 and 1998. They finished second in the Bay Conference and earned the berth in the title game by defeating Menomonie 35-14 in a Level 4 battle. The Jaguars shutout five opponents during the regular season while averaging almost 35 points a game. Their only defeat was to league champion De Pere, 38-7. Waunakee will appear in its fourth championship final and for the first time since the Warriors won the championship in 2002. They also claimed the State title in 1999 and finished runner-up in 2001. This year, they won the the Badger North Conference championship and outscored opponents by an average of 37-9. The Warriors edged Burlington 15-13 in the semifinal to gain the berth in the championship game. Waunakee was the #1 seed in its bracket, and Ashwaubenon advanced as the #3 seeded team.
 
DIVISION 3 NOTES: Wisconsin Lutheran is making its third straight and third overall appearance in the title game, winning the title last year and finishing runner-up in 2003. The Vikings earned the chance to repeat with a convincing 38-14 win over Kewaskum in the semifinal. They are the champions of the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference. The Vikings' averaged 39 points a game during the regular season and is averaging 44 points a game during the playoffs. Prior to joining the WIAA, the Vikings won the Division 1 WISAA championship in 1998 and finished runner-up in 1993. Mosinee is making its fifth trip to the State final and its first since 1989 when they finished runner-up in Division 3. The Indians won back-to-back State championships in Division 4 in 1980 and 1981. They also finished runner-up in 1983. Mosinee finished atop the Cloverbelt-Large Conference standings this season and gained a berth in the title game by nipping last year's runner-up Rice Lake in the semifinal, 28-27. Mosinee advances to the title game as a #1 seed, and Wisconsin Lutheran advances as a #2 seed.
 
DIVISION 4 NOTES: Both teams are appearing in their second title game after their inaugural appearances not to long ago. Ripon won the State championship in its only other appearance in 2003. The Tigers won the Lakes Division of the East Central Flyway Conference. They defeated Lodi 21-14 in the semifinal to gain a shot at another State title. The Tigers have outscored their playoff opponents by a combined total of 147-27. West Salem made its only other appearance in the title game in 2002 when the Panthers finished runner-up. They defeated Weyauwega-Fremont 36-16 in the semifinal to advance to title tilt. The Panthers placed second in the Coulee Conference. Ripon advances to the final as a #1 seed and West Salem advances as a #3 seed.
 
DIVISION 5 NOTES: The Division 5 championship game features a pair of programs familiar to the State final game. Somerset finished runner-up last year and was the State champion in 2002 to account for their two other appearances in the championship game. The Spartans defeated Brillion 16-0 in the semifinal, which was a rematch of the Division 5 championship game last year. Somerset won the Middle Border Conference championship this season and outscored opponents on an average of 39-9 per game during the regular season and 32-9 during the post-season. Lancaster is back in a title game after making four straight appearances in the Division 4 title games from 1999-2002. That run resulted in three consecutive titles from 2000-02 and a runner-up finish in 1999. The Flying Arrows also won the title in 1993 to account for each of their previous five appearances. The Spartans are the champions of the Southwest Wisconsin Conference. Lancaster defeated Valders 28-0 in the semifinal to advance to the title game. In the four playoff games, the Flying Arrows have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 154-14. Both teams entered the playoffs as #1 seeds.
 
DIVISION 6 NOTES: Two-time defending champion Stratford will attempt to win its third straight title to add to the Division 5 championship it won in 1986, making this the Tigers' fourth overall appearance in a title contest. The champions of the Marawood Conference have won 41 games in a row, the longest current winning streak in the State. The Tigers pummeled Regis in the semifinal for the second straight year, 42-0. They have outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 162-21 throughout the playoffs. The Tigers averaged 52 points a game during the regular season and outscored opponents 468-41. St. Mary's Springs is making its third championship game appearance. The Ledgers made back-to-back appearances in 2002-03 which resulted in a championship and a second-place finish, respectively. This year, they finished fourth in the Rivers Division of the East Central Flyway Conference. The Ledgers defeated Fennimore 41-20 in the semifinal to advance to play at Camp Randall after entering the playoffs with a 4-5 record. Stratford advanced through the tournament as a #1 seed, and St. Mary's Springs did so as an unseeded entrant.
 
DIVISION 7 NOTES: Gilman will play in the title game for the second time and for the first time since winning the Division 6 championship in 1986 when Head Coach Robin Rosemeyer was a senior in the program. The Pirates were runner-up in the Cloverbelt-Small Conference this season. They defeated Alma 30-20 in the semifinal to advance to the title game. Pacelli will make its first-ever appearance in the State final. The Cardinals finished second in the Large Division of the Central Wisconsin Conference and earned the right to play for the title by defeating Belmont 31-7 in the semifinal. Prior to joining the WIAA, the Cardinals had a rich history in WISAA. They had seven appearances in championship finals, resulting in two titles and five runner-up finishes. Gilman advances to the title games as a #3 seed, and Pacelli entered the tournament unseeded.
 
CHAMPIONSHIP 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 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 seven Divisions and 224 teams. The championships have all been at Camp Randall Stadium since 1982. Darlington, Monroe, Osseo-Fairchild and Menomonie have appeared in the most title games with eight. D.C. Everest, Menomonie, Monroe and Osseo-Fairchild have won the most championships with five.

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