Monday, November 16, 2015

State Football Finals Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS: The 40th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Football State Championship Finals will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 19-20, 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 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. 19
10 a.m. Div. 7 Pepin/Alma (13-0) vs. Bangor (13-0)
1 p.m. Div. 6 St. Mary’s Springs (11-2) vs. Darlington (13-0) 
4 p.m. Div. 5 Amherst (13-0) vs. Spencer/Columbus Catholic (13-0)
7 p.m. Div. 4 Osceola (12-1) vs. Lodi (13-0) 

Friday, Nov. 20
10 a.m. Div. 3 Notre Dame (11-2) vs. Catholic Memorial (11-2) 
1 p.m. Div. 2 Homestead (11-2) vs. Waukesha West (11-2)
4 p.m. Div. 1 Kimberly (13-0) vs. Arrowhead (12-1)

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

LAST YEAR:   Kimberly defeated Arrowhead 31-6 in the Division 1 championship game. In Division 2, Menasha notched a 35-17 win over Waukesha West, and Wisconsin Lutheran rolled to the Division 3 title with a 42-18 win over Rice Lake. Somerset was crowned the Division 4 champion with a 28-16 victory over Little Chute, and Lancaster topped Amherst to win the Division 5 championship 41-21. In Division 6, St. Mary’s Springs won the title with a 37-28 win over Darlington, and Owen-Withee was crowned the champion in Division 7 with a 17-12 victory over Pepin-Alma.

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 seven Divisions and 224 teams. The championships have all been at Camp Randall Stadium since 1982. Lancaster and Stratford have won the most championships with seven. Arrowhead and Edgar are next on the list with six. D.C. Everest, Menomonie, Monroe, Osseo-Fairchild, St. Mary’s Springs and Waunakee have each won five. Including this year, Arrowhead leads the membership in title game appearances with 13. Darlington and Lancaster are next with 11, and Edgar has 10. St. Mary’s Springs has nine appearances, and Monroe, Menomonie and Waunakee each have eight. 

DIVISION 1 NOTES:  This year’s match-up is a rematch of last season’s championship game. Defending champion Kimberly returns seeking its third straight championship and its fifth State championship in six State appearances. The Papermakers won back-to-back Division 2 titles in 2007 and 2008 and added their third in 2013 with a Division 1 title coming last season. They also have one runner-up finish on the ledger, that coming in Division 2 in 2009. The Papermakers finished atop the Northern Division of the Valley Football Association this year. For the second straight season, they defeated Marquette at Level 4 to earn their berth in the State final. The Papermakers rolled to a 49-29 win over the Hilltoppers. Last year’s runner-up Arrowhead returns to the championship final for the fourth straight year in pursuit of its seventh State championship. Their six titles ranks third most of any school. They won State titles in their first three State final appearances in 1993, 1994 and 1996. Their other three titles came in 2007, 2012 and 2013. In addition, the Warhawks have finished runner-up in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008 and again last year. They advance to the State final game this season and for the membership-leading 13th time overall by hanging on to beat Franklin in a dramatic finish at Level 4, 20-17. The Warhawks are the co-champions of the Classic Eight Conference this fall with Muskego. 

DIVISION 2 NOTES:  Last year’s runner-up Waukesha West will appear in the State final for the fourth time, and for the third time in Division 2. The Wolverines’ won the Division 1 championship in 2010 and the Division 2 crown in 2004 to account for their two State titles. They finished in a third-place tie in the Classic Eight Conference this fall with Division 3 finalist Catholic Memorial behind Muskego and Division 1 finalist Arrowhead. A 28-14 victory over Badger at Level 4 advanced the Wolverines into the final. Homestead is playing in its sixth title game and its first since 2012 when the Highlanders won their fourth championship with a victory in the Division 2 championship game. The four other trips to the finals came in Division 1. The Highlanders made three straight title game appearances from 2006-08, which resulted in titles in 2006 and 2008, and a runner-up finish in 2007. The Highlanders were also crowned State champions in 1999. They are the co-champions of the North Shore Conference this season with Whitefish Bay, and they defeated Chippewa Falls 27-23 at Level 4 to advance to the final.

DIVISION 3 NOTES:  Catholic Memorial is making its fourth appearance in the State final. The Crusaders won the Division 3 State title in their most recent appearance in 2012 after finishing runner-up in Division 2 in 2001 and in Division 3 in 2010. Before joining the WIAA, the Crusaders won WISAA titles in 1979, 1989, 1993 and 1996. They were also runners-up six times. They tied Division 2 finals qualifier Waukesha West for second place in the Classic 8 Conference this season behind Division 1 finals qualifier Arrowhead and Muskego. They advance to the championship game following a 42-6 win over Reedsburg at Level 4. Notre Dame is making its third appearance in the State final and its first since 2003 when the Tritons won the title. Their first experience in the title game resulted in a runner-up finish in 2000. They tied Bay Port for second place in the Fox River Classic Conference behind De Pere this season and advance to the title game with a late field goal to defeat New Richmond 27-24 at Level 4. Prior to joining the WIAA, the Tritons played in four Division 1 title games of the now defunct WISAA organization. They won a title in 1992 and finished runner-up in 1995, 1997 and 1998. 

DIVISION 4 NOTES:  Osceola returns to the championship final for the second time and for the first time since 1984. The Chieftains won the Division 5 State championship that season. This year, they defeated Freedom 28-21 at Level 4 to continue their quest for a State title. The Chieftains are the champions of the Middle Border Conference this season. Lodi is making its first-ever appearance in the title game. The Blue Devils earned their opportunity to play for the championship with a 23-0 shutout over Omro at Level 4. They were the undisputed champion of the Capitol Conference this season. 

DIVISION 5 NOTES: Last year’s runner-up Amherst will make its third appearance in the title game,  having now advanced to the title game in three of the last four seasons. The Falcons won the title their first experience in the State final in 2012. The Falcons used a strong second half to double-up on Arcadia 42-21 in their Level 4 match-up and return to the final for another attempt at winning the gold trophy. They are the champions of the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference this fall. The Spencer/Columbus Catholic co-op program is making its first State finals appearance. Prior to the two schools joining forces, Spencer advanced to the Division 5 final and placed runner-up in 1982. The Rockets rolled past Shoreland Lutheran 50-7 in the semifinal to advance to the title game. They are the champions of the Cloverbelt Conference this fall.

DIVISION 6 NOTES:  Defending champion St. Mary’s Springs is making its sixth State final appearance in the last seven seasons and its ninth overall. The Ledgers have won five State titles. They won the Division 5 championship in 2009 and Division 6 titles in 2002, 2011, 2012 and again last year. In addition, they have finished runner-up in Division 6 in 2003, 2005 and 2010. This year, they finished runner-up behind Omro in the Wisconsin Flyway Conference standings. The Ledgers bested Grantsburg 34-7 in their Level 4 match-up to earn the opportunity defend their title and gain a sixth 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. Darlington, the runner-up the last two seasons, returns to the title game for the 11th time. The Redbirds have won four State championships, earning Division 5 titles in 1987, 1990, 1991 and 1995. In addition, they have placed runner-up six times, once in Division 4 (1997), three times in Division 5 (1993, 1994, 1996) and twice in Division 6 (2013 and 2014). The Redbirds played in eight State finals during an 11-year span from 1987-97. Their return to the finals came virtue of a 42-12 win over Melrose-Mindoro at Level 4. They are the champions of the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League this season. 
DIVISION 7 NOTES:  Last year’s runner-up Pepin/Alma advances to the championship final for the second straight season after playing in the State final for the first time last year. The Eagles’ return to Camp Randall became reality after a 35-7 victory over Coleman at Level 4. They are the champions in the South Division of the Lakeland Conference this season. Bangor has advanced to the State finals for the first time. The Cardinals cruised past Catholic Central in their Level 4 showdown, 48-6. They finished atop the Scenic Bluffs Conference standings this season.

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 follow daily recaps on Facebook.

NEED RESULTS?:  Results and statistics will be available on the WIAA website approximately 35 minutes following the conclusion of each title game at:

WILSON IS THE OFFICIAL BALL:  Wilson is the official game ball of the WIAA State Football Finals. Wilson footballs are also the official ball at Levels 3 and 4 of the playoffs. The agreement with Wilson is effective through 2018.

#  WIAA  #

Release by WIAA Communications


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