It’s full-blown playoff time for Kenosha County high school fall varsity athletes.
Teams around the county will be in true postseason mode this week, as the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs begin for football, boys soccer and boys and girls volleyball.
Additionally, a cross country sectional tripleheader is scheduled for a massive Saturday of running at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course.
Around the state, the first round of the football playoffs should pack stands everywhere this Friday night. Three county teams reached the playoffs, as Indian Trail plays at top-seeded Muskego in Division 1, second-seeded Westosha Central hosts Milwaukee Reagan in Division 2 and top-seeded St. Joseph hosts Mineral Point at Ameche Field in Division 6. All games begin at 7 p.m.
Here are Kenosha.com Associate Editor Mike Johnson’s “Top 5 Events to Watch” in the county this week, along with a weekly calendar of high school varsity sports involving county teams.
Top 5 events to watch
BRADFORD AT INDIAN TRAIL (girls volleyball, WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal)
Thursday (Oct. 20), 7 p.m., Indian Trail High School (6800 60th St., Kenosha)
A pair of Kenosha schools will open up against each other in the girls volleyball playoffs, as Indian Trail hosts Bradford in a regional semifinal matchup on Thursday. The Red Devils went 3-3 in the Southeast Conference during the regular season and received a No. 11 seed for the playoffs, while the Hawks went 4-3 in SEC play and received a No. 6 seed. In the teams’ lone regular-season meeting, Indian Trail notched a four-set win at the Bradford Fieldhouse on Sept. 27. The winner of Thursday’s rematch advances to Saturday’s regional final against the winner of Thursday’s regional semifinal between No. 3 seed Muskego and No. 14 seed Racine Park.
INDIAN TRAIL AT WESTOSHA CENTRAL (boys volleyball, WIAA regional final)
Friday (Oct. 21), 4 p.m., Westosha Central High School (24617 75th St., Salem)
In what will serve as a great prelude to Friday night’s playoff football game at Central, the Falcons host Indian Trail in a boys volleyball playoff opener at 4 p.m. Friday in a matchup of programs who have dominated the sport around the area in recent years. Central is seeking its third straight State Tournament appearance and sixth overall after finishing as the state runner-up in 2021, while Indian Trail is looking for its second consecutive State Tournament appearance and fifth in eight years as a program. The winner of Friday’s match advances to the sectional semifinals next week Tuesday at top-seeded Union Grove, with this year’s State Tournament scheduled for Nov. 3-5 at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
MILWAUKEE REAGAN AT WESTOSHA CENTRAL (football, WIAA Division 2 playoffs, first round)
Friday (Oct. 21), 7 p.m., Westosha Central High School (24617 75th St., Salem)
There should be no need to stoke up the Central home fans for what will be the Falcons’ first postseason appearance since 2010 and their first home postseason game since 2005. Central enters the playoffs this season not just as a team that snuck in, but as one that could potentially host multiple playoff games after getting a No. 2 seed in the Division 2 field. The Falcons finished the regular season at 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the Southern Lakes Conference, in third place behind Waterford and Lake Geneva Badger. Friday’s opponent, No. 7 seed Milwaukee Reagan, went 4-5 overall and 3-4 in the Milwaukee City Conference, good for fifth place in the Richardson Division. If Central wins, it will then host a second-round game next Friday (Oct. 28) against a familiar SLC opponent in either No. 3 seed Waterford or No. 6 seed Burlington. For Central, junior quarterback Brock Koeppel has accounted for 2,271 combined yards passing and receiving and 27 total touchdowns, 20 passing and seven rushing. Per WisSports.net stats, Koeppel ranks 21st in the entire state in passing yards and is tied for 20th in passing touchdowns. Central junior receiver Collin Meininger, meanwhile, has caught 58 passes, which ranks sixth in the state, for 911 yards, which ranks seventh, and 10 touchdowns.
MINERAL POINT AT ST. JOSEPH (football, WIAA Division 6 playoffs, first round)
Friday (Oct. 21), 7 p.m., Ameche Field (8701 26th Ave., Kenosha)
Friday night begins some unfinished business for the St. Joseph football team. The Lancers repeated last season’s feat of winning an undefeated Midwest Classic Conference championship, but now they’ll try to go deeper in the playoffs after being eliminated in the Division 6 quarterfinals last fall. St. Joseph is in a great position to do so as a No. 1 seed, which means the Lancers would host up to three playoff games if they keep winning, all the way to the state semifinals, which are at a neutral site. The Lancers – ranked No. 4 overall in Division 6 in the latest WisSports.net state coaches poll – went 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the Midwest Classic during the regular season and totally dominated their competition, outscoring them 390-55 with five shutouts. The Lancers’ first playoff opponent is No. 8 seed Mineral Point, which went 4-5 overall and 4-3 in the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League, good for third place, during the regular season. St. Joseph has posted many amazing numbers this season and is led offensively by junior quarterback Eric Kenesie (808 passing yards, 561 rushing yards, 22 total touchdowns), junior running back Jayden Gordon (1,377 rushing yards, 22 touchdowns) and senior tight end Luke Schuler (27 catches, 497 yards, eight touchdowns). Additionally, Kenesie has five interceptions on defense and senior Peter Stapleton has eight sacks and 13 tackles for loss. If St. Joseph wins Friday, the Lancers will host either No. 4 seed Waterloo or No. 5 seed Lancaster in the second round next Friday (Oct. 28). And while the Lancers won’t look past any games, you can mark this on your calendar and keep an eye out: The WIAA Division 6 state football championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
BONUS GAME: Indian Trail at Muskego (football, WIAA Division 1 playoffs, first round), 7 p.m., Friday (Oct. 21), Muskego High School (W185S8750 Racine Ave., Muskego)
It’s outside the county, but Indian Trail is also in playoff football action Friday night with an extremely tough first-round challenge at top-seeded Muskego. The Warriors, who won back-to-back undefeated Division 1 state titles in 2018-19, enter this year’s playoffs ranked No. 4 in Division 1 in the latest WisSports.net state coaches poll and are one of the favorites to win it all again. They finished the regular season 8-1 overall and won a share of the Classic Eight Conference title, the toughest football league in Wisconsin. Indian Trail, meanwhile, went 5-4 overall and 4-3 in the Southeast Conference, good for fourth place. If the Hawks can pull off the monumental upset Friday, they would play at either No. 4 seed Racine Horlick or No. 5 seed Franklin in the second round next Friday (Oct. 28).
WIAA SECTIONALS (cross country)
Saturday (Oct. 22), beginning at 10 a.m., Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course (Petrifying Springs Road, Kenosha)
Saturday will be quite a day for cross country at one of the best courses in America. Three divisions, all including schools from the county, will hold WIAA sectionals as runners and teams compete for berths in the State Meet next Saturday (Oct. 29) in Wisconsin Rapids. This Saturday at UW-Parkside, Bradford, Indian Trail, Tremper, Westosha Central and Wilmot will be part of a Division 1 sectional, with the girls race scheduled for 10 a.m. and the boys race scheduled for 10:45. Then, Shoreland Lutheran will be part of a Division 2 sectional, with the girls race at 12:25 p.m. and the boys race at 1:10. Finally, St. Joseph and Christian Life will be part of a Division 3 sectional, with the girls race at 2:40 p.m. and the boys race at 3:25. All the county teams are coming off their respective conference meets last weekend, as St. Joseph won the Metro Classic Conference boys team title and Shorland claimed the Metro Classic girls team title, while Indian Trail swept the boys and girls team titles in the Southeast Conference, with sophomore Remy Strichartz winning the boys individual crown and junior Kate Herrmann winning the girls individual crown.
High School Calendar
Boys soccer–Bradford at Milwaukee King/Juneau (South Stadium) in WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal, 7 p.m.; Milwaukee Pulaski/Carmen Southeast at Tremper in WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal, 7 p.m.; Indian Trail at Franklin in WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal, 7 p.m.; Reedsburg at Westosha Central in WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal, 5 p.m.; Wilmot at Oregon in WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal, 6 p.m.; Christian Life at Salam School (Cristo Rey Jesuit) in WIAA Division 4 regional quarterfinal, 7 p.m. Girls swimming–Badger/Westosha Central/Wilmot at Elkhorn, 5:30 p.m. Girls volleyball–St. Joseph at Whitefish Bay Dominican in WIAA Division 3 regional quarterfinal, 6 p.m.; Milwaukee Juneau at Shoreland Lutheran in WIAA Division 3 regional quarterfinal, 7 p.m.; Palmyra-Eagle at Christian Life in WIAA Division 3 regional quarterfinal, 7 p.m.
Boys soccer–Christian Life-Salam School winner at Cristo Rey Jesuit in WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal, 4:30 p.m.; Random Lake at Shoreland Lutheran in WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal, 7 p.m.; Carmen South at St. Joseph in WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal (Ameche Field), 7 p.m. Girls volleyball–Bradford at Indian Trail in WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal, 7 p.m.; Tremper at Waterford in WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal, 7 p.m.; Racine Case at Westosha Central in WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal, 7 p.m.; Wilmot at Franklin in WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal; Milwaukee Juneau-Shoreland Lutheran winner vs. Williams Bay-Cedar Grove-Belgium winner in WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal, 7 p.m.; St. Joseph-Whitefish Bay Dominican winner vs. Palmyra-Eagle-Christian Life winner in WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal, 7 p.m.
Football–Indian Trail at Muskego in WIAA Division 1 playoffs (first round), 7 p.m.; Milwaukee Reagan at Westosha Central in WIAA Division 2 playoffs (first round), 7 p.m.; Mineral Point at St. Joseph (Ameche Field) in WIAA Division 6 playoffs (first round), 7 p.m. Boys volleyball–Indian Trail at Westosha Central in WIAA regional final, 4 p.m.; Bradford at Burlington in WIAA regional final, 5 p.m.; Tremper at Wilmot in WIAA regional final, 6 p.m.
Cross country–Bradford, Tremper, Indian Trail, Westosha Central and Wilmot at WIAA Division 1 sectional (UW-Parkside Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course), 10 a.m. (girls), 10:45 a.m. (boys); Shoreland Lutheran at WIAA Division 2 sectional (UW-Parkside Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course), 12:25 p.m. (girls), 1:10 p.m. (boys); St. Joseph and Christian Life at WIAA Division 3 sectional (UW-Parkside Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course), 2:40 p.m. (girls), 3:25 p.m. (boys). Boys soccer–Bradford-Milwaukee King/Juneau winner vs. Milwaukee Riverside-Oak Creek winner in WIAA Division 1 regional final, TBD; Milwaukee Carmen/Pulaski Southeast-Tremper winner vs. Racine Horlick-Racine Case winner in WIAA Division 1 regional final, TBD; Indian Trail-Franklin winner vs. Milwaukee Hamilton-Milwaukee Marquette winner in WIAA Division 1 regional final, TBD; Reedsburg-Westosha Central winner vs. Burlington-Union Grove winner in WIAA Division 2 regional final, TBD; Wilmot-Oregon winner vs. DeForest-Milton winner in WIAA Division 2 regional final, TBD; Random Lake-Shoreland Lutheran winner vs. Faith Christian/Williams Bay-Whitefish Bay Dominican winner in WIAA Division 4 regional final, TBD; Carmen South-St. Joseph winner vs. Heritage Christian-Oostburg winner, TBD; Christian Life-Salam School–Cristo Rey Jesuit winner vs. Cedar Grove-Belgium-The Prairie School winner in WIAA Division 4 regional final, TBD. Girls swimming–Bradford, Tremper and Indian Trail at Racine Invite (Racine Unified Aquatic Center), 9:30 a.m. (diving), 2 p.m. (swimming). Girls volleyball–Bradford-Indian Trail winner vs. Racine Park-Muskego winner in WIAA Division 1 regional final (TBD), 7 p.m.; Tremper-Waterford winner vs. Wilmot-Franklin winner in WIAA Division 1 regional final (TBD), 7 p.m.; Racine Case-Westosha Central winner at Burlington in WIAA Division 1 regional final, 7 p.m.; Milwaukee Juneau-Shoreland Lutheran–Williams Bay-Cedar Grove-Belgium winner vs. Ozaukee-The Prairie School–Brookfield Academy-Racine Lutheran winner in WIAA Division 3 regional final, 7 p.m.; St. Joseph-Whitefish Bay Dominican–Palmyra-Eagle-Christian Life winner vs. Living Word Lutheran-Random Lake–Lake Country Lutheran winner in WIAA Division 3 regional final, 7 p.m.