View from the cheap seats
A weekly perspective on sports
Casey Krautkramer Reporter The Record-Review
Unfortunately, the main highlight of covering the state football championships last Thursday was eating the smorgasbord of free hot dogs, brats and chips in the press box at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
I was hoping both the Edgar and Stratford football teams would bring home gold state championship balls, but it just wasn’t meant to be for the second straight season. I guess that’s why the winners of sporting events are determined on the playing field rather than on paper.
Stratford fans told me their beloved Tigers’ football team would beat Lake Country Lutheran 40-0, because teams are generally weaker in the southeast part of the state.
Lake Country literally caught “Lightening in a Bottle” by finding out the Tigers’ kryptonite was defending the passing game. The majority of small high schools in central and northern Wisconsin depend on running the ball and they don’t attempt too many passes. Loyal and Hurley are two teams that mainly rely on running the football.
Stratford didn’t face a competent passing team until it played Amherst in Level 4 and Lake Country Lutheran in the state title game. The Lightening also had an athletic sophomore quarterback who I heard is also a great basketball player. I conducted some research on Lake Country Lutheran, and I discovered the school was first established in 1999 in Hartland, which is 26 miles away from Milwaukee. The private school rented various buildings to teach its students until it moved into a permanent learning facility in 2009.
The debate will rage on between state high school sports fans on whether a multiplier should be used on private schools’ enrollments, which would bump these teams up into higher divisions to make things more fair for public schools.
Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs Academy, for example, won its third consecutive state title after beating Eau Claire Regis, 7-0, in the Division 6 state title game last Thursday. St. Mary’s edged Stratford to win the Division 5 state championship last season, yet the Ledgers dropped back down to Divison 6 this year.
St. Mary’s holds the record for winning the most state football championships, nine, out of any school in the WIAA’s 44-year history of holding the state football finals.
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) instituted a 1.65 school enrollment multiplier when it went to four football classes in 2007. By 2011, IHSA granted waivers from the multiplier in every sport where a school hadn’t won a football playoff game or earned four points (a regional title is one point, a sectional title is two and a state trophy four) in the previous six years. It’s time for the WIAA to do something too!