Brookfield East wins first football state championship
Led by Now Newspapers All-Suburban Player of the Year Sam Santiago-Lloyd at running back and Coach of the Year Ben Farley, Brookfield East's football team used a physical run game, powerful offensive line and a stellar defense to make a run to the WIAA Division 2 state championship. The Spartans recovered from two midseason losses to win their final six games. Brookfield East opened the postseason with wins over Cedarburg and Menomonee Falls before downing rival Brookfield Central in Level 3. After a state semifinal victory over Menomonie, the Spartans set a Division 2 title game record for rushing yards in a 42-36 win over Monona Grove that locked up the first state football title in school history.
Brookfield East boys track wins state title, girls track finishes as runner-up
The strong tradition of track and field at Brookfield East continued in 2016, as Mike Steiner's boys team won its fourth state team championship by edging Middleton and Kettle Moraine, and Lisa Foss' girls team finished as the state runner-up for the second time in the past three years. The boys team also collected state titles in the 4x200-meter relay (Avery Barnes, Saxton Williams, Will Schmidt and Drew Bullen) and the 4x400 relay (Mario Carr, Williams, Barnes, Bullen). Allie Bullen won the long jump state title, as the girls team took second behind Milwaukee King.
Former Brookfield Central football players thriving in the NFL
While Joe Thomas still has yet to get to play in an NFL playoff game, the former Brookfield Central standout continued his run as one of the top offensive linemen in football. Thomas was selected to his 10th consecutive Pro Bowl, breaking a Cleveland Browns franchise record previously held by Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Lou Groza. He's made the Pro Bowl every year he's been in the league and holds the longest active streak for trips to the game. Also a Brookfield Central grad, punter Brad Nortman signed a 4-year, $8.8 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars after spending his first four seasons with the Carolina Panthers.
Brookfield Central football wins second consecutive Greater Metro title
Brookfield Central's football team earned the Greater Metro Conference crown for the second straight season, finishing in a first-place tie with Marquette at 6-1 in league play. Coach Jed Kennedy's group began the year 8-0 before falling to Menomonee Falls in the regular-season finale. The Lancers bounced back to earn playoff wins over Wauwatosa West and Hartford to reach Level 3 for the fifth time in school history and for the first time since 2011.
New athletic directors at Brookfield Central and Brookfield East
Both Brookfield schools had to find new athletic directors in 2016, as Todd Sobrilsky left Central in April to become AD at Waukesha South and Jeremy Martin resigned from East in August to take an administrative position in the Waukesha School District. The Lancers hired former Franklin AD Don Kurth to replace Sobrilsky in July. Longtime teacher and former Spartans baseball coach Ben Westphal took over as East's AD in late August.
Brookfield's Pennow wins state gymnastics title on bars
Amanda Pennow grabbed her second state championship in three years on the bars, helping the Brookfield co-op gymnastics team to a fourth-place finish at the state meet. Pennow won her first bars title as a sophomore in 2014 and posted a score of 9.467 to win again in 2016. Brookfield's Caitlin Locante took second in the all-around behind Kenosha's Molly O'Boyle.
Gustafson, Rumpit win state swimming titles
Gwen Gustafson won Brookfield Central's first state individual swimming title since 2001 by winning the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.31 seconds. She also medaled in the 100 freestyle, coming in fourth in 51.38. On the boys swimming side, Brookfield East's Connor Rumpit won a state championship in the 500 freestyle in 4 minutes, 34.26 seconds to help the Brookfield Barracudas co-op to a third-place finish at the state meet.
Brookfield East tennis teams collect hardware
It was a banner year for both of coach Linda Lied's tennis teams at Brookfield East. First, the Spartans swept the individual titles at the boys individual tournament. David Horneffer downed teammate Robert Krill for the singles title, while Patrick Krill and Doug Francken claimed the doubles crown. In the fall, the girls team earned a trip to the team state tournament with a dramatic sectional win and Emma Corwin took third place in the individual singles state tournament.
Brookfield Central boys soccer makes run to state semifinal
In his first season in charge of the Brookfield Central boys soccer program, coach Dan Makal led the Lancers to their first trip to the state tournament since 2001. Brookfield Central went 10-1-5 in the regular season before Fond du Lac, Menomonee Falls, Sheboygan North and Arrowhead to make the state semifinals. The Lancers ran into powerhouse Marquette at state, as the Hilltoppers came away with a 3-0 win en route to winning yet another state title.
Brookfield Central boys and girls golf make the state tournament
Brookfield Central's boys and girls golf teams each won sectional championships to earn trips to state in 2016. The Lancers boys cruised to a sectional title over Kettle Moraine, while the girls won with drama, downing Franklin in a playoff hole. The girls team tied for sixth place at state, while the boys came in 12th place.
Other top stories
Brookfield Central boys tennis makes team state ... Brookfield Central's Komatsu/Mirsberger take third at state tennis ... Brookfield Central girls soccer has unbeaten season ... Brookfield Central girls cross-country wins GMC, sectional titles ... Brookfield East boys cross-country makes state meet ... Brookfield East girls volleyball wins first ever GMC title ... Brookfield Central tennis coach Dave Steinbach earns 500th win at state team tournament ... Brookfield Academy girls field hockey wins state championship ... Brookfield Academy's Natalie Marsan takes fifth in Division 2 50 freestyle ... Brookfield Academy boys tennis sends singles player, two doubles teams to state quarterfinals ... Ryan Clarey and Joe Lemon finish their decorated boys basketball careers at Brookfield Academy as the second and third all-time scorers in program history (1,658 and 1,306 points)