Prep football: How the races for conference championships in the area and region are breaking down
With all the number-crunching frenzy surrounding which teams will make the WIAA playoffs and where they will be placed, it’s easy to lose sight of conference championship races.
Here’s a closer look at how things stand for leagues in the area and region (with conference records in parentheses):
Badger North: Waunakee (6-0) has clinched at least a tie for the title, but DeForest (5-1) could earn a tie with a win and a Waunakee loss.
Badger South: Monona Grove (6-0) has clinched at least a tie, but Watertown (5-1) could earn a tie by beating the Silver Eagles at home Friday. That would also open the door for Oregon (5-1) to make it a three-way tie with a home win over Monroe.
Big Eight: Madison Memorial and Sun Prairie both stand at 7-1, with Janesville Craig and Verona at 6-2. Craig plays host to Memorial on Friday, and a Cougars win would give Sun Prairie a chance to win the league outright with a win over Madison West at Mansfield Stadium. If Memorial and Sun Prairie both fall, Verona could make it a four-way title tie with a win over East. Sun Prairie takes on West at Breese Stevens Field.
Capitol North: Lakeside Lutheran (4-0) has clinched at least a title tie, but meets Lodi (3-1) at Waunakee on Friday, one week after Lake Mills (3-1) derailed the Blue Devils’ 21-game winning streak. If Lodi beats Lakeside, then Lake Mills could make it a three-way tie for the title with a home win over a Watertown Luther Prep team that must win to make the playoffs.
Capitol South: Cambridge (3-0) has clinched a tie for the title, but must beat New Glarus/Monticello (2-1) to win outright. If the Glarner Knights can pull off the upset, Marshall (2-1) could make it a second straight three-way tie atop the five-team league by beating Belleville at home.
Ridge and Valley: Wauzeka/Seneca (5-0) has clinched at least a tie for the championship and can win the outright title by beating host Riverdale on Friday. A Riverdale upset would open the door for the winner of Friday’s game between De Soto (4-1) and Ithaca (4-1) to tie for the championship.
Rock Valley: McFarland (8-0) has clinched at least a tie for the championship, entering its finale at Brodhead/Juda. If the Cardinals can pull off an upset, Edgerton (7-1) could earn a title tie with a win at Walworth Big Foot.
Scenic Bluffs: Bangor (4-0) has clinched at least a tie for the title, and can lock in the outright crown with a win over visiting Cashton. If Cashton can pull off the mega-upset, then the winner of Friday’s game between Brookwood (3-1) and Royall (3-1) in Elroy would earn a title share.
Six Rivers: Black Hawk (6-0) has clinched at least a title tie, and can make it an outright championship with a Friday win at Shullsburg. A loss would give a share of the crown to Pecatonica/Argyle (6-1).
South Central: Mauston (4-0), which has clinched at least a tie for the championship, must visit a Wisconsin Dells team that, at 2-2, needs to win to earn its first playoff berth since 2012. If the Chiefs win, Wautoma (3-1) would earn a tie for the crown with a win at Westfield.
Southwest Wisconsin: Prairie du Chien (4-0) has clinched at least a title tie. But a home loss against Richland Center, coupled with a home victory by River Valley (3-1) over Platteville, would leave two teams nicknamed Blackhawks tied for the title.
SWAL: Mineral Point (5-0) clinched at least a tie for the crown with last week’s 14-12 win over Fennimore (5-1). The Pointers must win at Southwestern on Friday to lock in the outright title.
Trailways Small: Johnson Creek, Oshkosh Lourdes and Fall River all stand at 5-1, after Lourdes beat Creek last week, 42-41. Creek and Lourdes will find out if they’re still in the party on Thursday, as the Bluejays play host to Beaver Dam Wayland and Oshkosh Lourdes takes on Deerfield at UW-Oshkosh. If both lose (highly unlikely), Fall River could claim the outright title with a win at Rio on Friday. Otherwise, Fall River would need to win to join a tie for the crown.
Trailways Large: Horicon/Hustisford (5-0) has clinched a tie for the championship, and can become the outright champ with a win at Dodgeland on Friday. If Dodgeland wins, then Markesan (4-1) could earn a title tie with a win at hungry Pardeeville (2-3), which must win to earn a playoff berth.