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Change hit the Greater Metro Conference with conference realignment, as Germantown and Wauwatosa West enter and West Allis Central exits.

With six first-team All-Greater Metro selections returning from a conference championship team that reached Level 3 of the playoffs, Brookfield Central enters as the league favorite as one of the top teams in Division 2. 

Defending Division 2 state champion Brookfield East and 2016 co-conference champion Marquette both have significant holes to fill in order to keep up with the Lancers.

The league should feature significant depth, as Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Sussex Hamilton and Wauwatosa West should contend for playoff berths. 

Brookfield Central

Last year: 10-2 (6-1 in conference)

Outcome: Lost in Level 3 of Division 2 playoffs to Brookfield East, 21-0

Coach: Jed Kennedy 

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES

First team: CJ Heaney (OL), Drew Leszczynski (QB), Zach Heckman (RB), Blake Fehrmann (DL), Reggie Jennings (LB), Nick Leszczynski (LB), 

First-team losses: Sam Ockwood (OL), Thomas Gibson (WR/CB/AP), Jaiden Banda (DB), Parker Jensen (K)

Outlook: The Lancers enter the season as the favorites to win a third-straight conference title. All-State running back Zach Heckman returns to lead a high-scoring offense after rushing for 1,753 yards and 24 touchdowns. Drew Leszczynski emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the area as a sophomore. Behind Northern Illinois commit Reggie Jennings, Brookfield Central should also have one of the top defenses in the league. The Lancers have the tools to compete for a state championship.

Brookfield East

Last year: 12-2 (5-2 in conference)

Outcome: Won WIAA Division 2 state championship game over Monona Grove, 42-36

Coach: Ben Farley

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES

First team: Caleb Wright (DL), Brad Dati (LB)

Second team: Everett Cartier (OL), Justin Parbs (AP)

Honorable mention: Adam Streich (OL), Ron Edwards (DL), 

First-team losses: Max Aslin (OL), Sam Santiago-Lloyd (RB), Skylar Rashid (DB)

Outlook: The defending WIAA Division 2 state champion has significant holes to fill, including the loss of AP state player of the year Sam Santiago-Lloyd, who rushed for 4,743 yards and 65 touchdowns in his career. Brookfield East also must replace quarterback Jake Graf. The strength of the Spartans, at least early, will be on the defensive side of the ball with Brad Dati and Northern Illinois recruit Caleb Wright leading the way. Whether or not young players step up offensively will determine if Brookfield East will be in the league title race. 

Marquette

Last year: 9-3 (6-1 in conference)

Outcome: Lost in Level 3 of Division 1 playoffs to Franklin, 45-23

Coach: Jeff Mazurczak

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES

Second team: Victor Martinez (K)

Honorable mention: Jon Gaines (OL), Joe Heffernan (DB), Jack Finerty (DL)

First-team losses: Patrick Donohue (OL), Freddy Poorman (QB), Dan Reardon (WR), Justin Novotny (TE), Patrick English (DB), Noah Nordness (DL), Jack Tarpey (LB), Ryan Gersonde (P)

Outlook: No Greater Metro team was hit harder by graduation than the Hilltoppers, as 17 All-Conference performers from a year ago are gone. But perennial top programs like Marquette usually reload. Expect the Hilltoppers to factor into the conference title race yet again. 

Germantown

Last year: 5-6 (4-3 in North Shore conference)

Outcome: Lost in Level 2 of Division 2 playoffs to Homestead, 31-7

Coach: Jake Davis

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES (North Shore)

First team: Colton Thomas (OLB)

Honorable mention: Colton Thomas (TE), Zach Schaeve (OL), Joshua Schikert (OL)

First-team losses: Ahmed Kharoub (OL), Joe Block (OL), Jack Brzakala (K), Dan Colvin (DL), Austin Mozdzen (ILB), Waymon McNeal (DB)

Outlook: Germantown is one of two newcomers to the conference, as the Warhawks were shifted from the North Shore to the Greater Metro with conference realignment. Germantown must replace the majority of its top skill position kids from a year ago, including quarterback Collin Sathe, leading rusher/tackler Austin Mozden and running back/defensive back Waymon McNeal. Senior newcomer Blake Kunz is already receiving college interest as a tight end. He had previously focused on baseball.

Menomonee Falls

Last year: 5-6 (4-3 in conference)

Outcome: Lost in Level 2 of Division 2 playoffs to Brookfield East, 27-3

Coach: Dan Lutz

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES

Second team: Julius Davis (RB)

First-team losses: Matt Henningsen (OL/DL), Cameron Jemison (DB)

Outlook: Menomonee Falls recovered from a 2-5 start to reach the playoffs with late-season wins over West Allis Hale and co-conference champion Brookfield Central. The Indians carried the momentum into the playoffs to upset Menasha in Level 1, making for a 1-2 punch of victories to close the season that could stack up against any other team in the state. Matt Henningsen, an All-State player on both sides of the ball, has moved on to Wisconsin. Running back Julius Davis returns after running for 397 yards as a sophomore. 

Sussex Hamilton

Last year: 5-4 (3-4 in conference)

Outcome: Did not qualify for playoffs

Coach: John Damato

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES

First team: Ryan Filo (DL)

Second team: Will Geels (DB)

Honorable mention: Jackson Kollath (RB)

First-team losses: Cal Dassow (OL), Nick Mirasola (RB)

Outlook: After eight straight playoff appearances, the Chargers have missed the postseason by one game in each of the past two seasons. It seems as if it is only a matter of time before Hamilton returns to playoff football. The Chargers must replace All-State lineman Cal Dassow and leading rusher Nick Mirasola. Jackson Kollath ran for 652 yards and eight touchdowns and led Hamilton in receiving as a sophomore. Ryan Filo returns on the defensive line after recording 7 1/2 sacks last season.

West Allis Hale

Last year: 2-7 (1-6 in conference)

Outcome: Did not qualify for playoffs

Coach: Brandon Ehret

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES (Woodland West)

Honorable mention: Thomas Hines (WR), Jonathan Rau (LB)

First-team losses: Michael Johnson (QB), Justin Kontny (LB)

Outlook: West Allis Hale has not made the playoffs since a run of three-straight berths from 2006-08. The Huskies will need to replace the void left by first-team All-Greater Metro quarterback Michael Johnson and leading tackler and first-team All-Greater Metro linebacker Justin Kontny. 

Wauwatosa West

Last year: 6-4 (3-3 in Woodland West)

Outcome: Lost in Level 1 of WIAA Division 2 playoffs to Brookfield Central, 42-7

Coach: Matt Good

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES (Woodland West)

First team: Austin Ertl (OL, DL)

Honorable mention: Jimmy Furhman (OL)

First-team losses: Cameron Rosario (OL, DL), Paris Howell (RB), Javaree Jackson (DE), Michael Rowser (OLB), Jake Cieszynski (ILB)

Outlook: Tosa West has made the playoffs four of the past five seasons, but the Trojans must now transition into the Greater Metro. Austin Ertl is one of the top linemen in the state and is drawing Division 1 interest. Tosa West will be tasked with replacing All-State running back Paris Howell and Wyoming recruit Javaree Jackson. Adjustment to a new league figures to offer some early growing pains.

Wauwatosa East

Last year: 0-9 (0-7 in conference)

Outcome: Did not qualify for playoffs

Coach: Matt Kender

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES

Honorable mention: Scott Henry (DB)

First-team losses: None

Outlook: The Red Raiders went 0-9 in Matt Kender's first season as head coach, running the program's losing streak to 23 games overall and 19 games in the Greater Metro. Tosa East was a successful two-point conversion attempt away from snapping that skid against West Allis Hale.  

 

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