St. Joseph Catholic Academy sophomore Co'ji Campbell finished 32-0 and won a WIAA state title as a freshman for the Lancers.
PHOTOS: SUBMITTED PHOTOS High School Sports Calendar: Bring on January!

Winter sports season heats up after a holiday layoff

By Mike JohnsonKENOSHA.COM

Johnson began covering sports in Kenosha in 2004 as a staff writer for the Kenosha News and eventually became a news and sports editor there, serving in that role and covering the community until May 2022. Johnson grew up in Kenosha, graduating from Bradford High School in 2000 and then the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. He still happily resides in town with his wife, Bridget, and son, Brady.

The holidays have passed and the calendar has switched to a new year, which means it’s time for Kenosha County high school student-athletes competing in winter sports to really get down to business.

Following the holiday layoff — with some tournaments and non-conference action sprinkled into the festivities — the January high school sports calendar features a solid month of mostly conference play and major meets, invites and competitions, as student-athletes really begin the drive toward Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association winter postseason competition in February and March.

This week features a pair of intra-county doubleheaders on the basketball court Friday night, as Indian Trail hosts Bradford in a Southeast Conference doubleheader (girls at 4:30 p.m., boys at 6 p.m.) and St. Joseph hosts Shoreland Lutheran in a Metro Classic Conference twinbill (girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.).

Additionally, county boys and girls wrestling, boys swimming, boys hockey and gymnastics programs are all in action this week around the area.

Here are 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.



Wednesday (Jan. 4), 7 p.m., St. Joseph’s Madrigrano Gymnasium (2401 69th St., Kenosha)

When the Lancers and Pacers hit the mat, there are always a number of talented wrestlers involved, and Wednesday night will be no exception when the county rivals square off in a Metro Classic dual match. Leading the way is St. Joseph sophomore Co’ji Campbell, who’s trying to follow up a history-making freshman season in which he captured an undefeated WIAA Division 3 state title at 113 pounds. Competing at 120 pounds this season, Campbell is still undefeated for his high school career at 15-0 (through Dec. 21) and was ranked No. 1 in Division 3 at 120 in the latest Wisconsin Grappler state rankings.

Senior guard John Kinzler will lead the Westosha Central boys basketball team into a big non-conference home matchup against Racine St. Catherine’s on Wednesday night at Central.


Wednesday (Jan. 4), 7 p.m., Westosha Central High School (24617 75th St., Salem)

This will be the fifth straight season that the Central and St. Catherine’s boys teams have played each other in non-conference action, and that’s certainly been to the benefit of local hoops fans. The Falcons have been one of the top programs in the area in recent years, becoming the dominant team in the Southern Lakes Conference while reaching the WIAA Division 2 State Tournament in 2018 and 2022. The Angels, meanwhile, are a longtime state small-school powerhouse, with seven WIAA State Tournament appearances, including a Division 2 state championship in 2005 and Division 3 state titles in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2021. This season, Central is working through some growing pains after graduating almost all of its scoring from last season’s State Tournament qualifier, but the Falcons still enter 2023 with a 6-2 overall record. The Falcons are led by a dynamic sophomore point guard in Elijah Griffin (14.3 points per game, 5.0 assists per game, 2.0 steals per game), while senior guard John Kinzler averages 11.3 points per game and senior guard Alex Sippy averages 10.1 points per contest. St. Catherine’s, meanwhile, enters Wednesday’s game at Central with a perfect 8-0 record and is ranked No. 5 in Division 3 in this week’s state coaches poll.

Bradford senior Nevaeh Thomas

BRADFORD AT INDIAN TRAIL (girls basketball)

Friday (Jan. 6), 4:30 p.m., Indian Trail High School and Academy (6800 60th St., Kenosha)

The Red Devils and Hawks kick off their big SEC basketball doubleheader on Friday with a girls matchup that features some of the top talent in southeastern Wisconsin. Bradford has a pair of college-bound players in senior forwards Nevaeh Thomas and Syderah Farmer. Thomas, who’s committed to play next season at NCAA Division I Evansville (Ind.), leads the SEC in scoring at 24.9 points per game and is second in rebounding at 12.5 per contest. Farmer, who just committed last week to NAIA program Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., ranks fourth in the SEC at 18.2 points per game and fourth with 8.1 rebounds per contest. Indian Trail, meanwhile, possesses a dynamic junior guard in Adrianna Gonzalez, who’s second in the SEC behind Thomas at 23.1 points per game. Bradford re-enters SEC play this week at 7-4 overall and tied for third place in the conference at 2-1 in SEC play, while Indian Trail is 3-5 overall and 0-3 in the SEC. Both teams had SEC games scheduled for Tuesday night before they face each other Friday, with the Red Devils hosting Racine Park and the Hawks playing at Racine Horlick.

Indian Trail junior Manasseh Stackhouse (21) was recently named the High School Athlete of the Week.

BRADFORD AT INDIAN TRAIL (boys basketball)

Friday (Jan. 6), 6 p.m., Indian Trail High School and Academy (6800 60th St., Kenosha)

The back end of Friday’s SEC basketball doubleheader at Indian Trail pits the Hawks and the Red Devils in a boys matchup. After winning two close games last week in the Doctors of Physical Therapy Holiday Classic at Carthage College, Indian Trail enters 2023 with a 6-2 overall record. The Hawks also entered Tuesday night’s conference matchup at home against Racine Horlick tied for first place in the SEC with Franklin at 3-0 in conference play. Indian Trail junior forward Manasseh Stackhouse, named last week’s High School Athlete of the Week, leads the SEC in scoring at 23.4 points per game as the 2023 portion of the schedule begins. Bradford, meanwhile, is working to find its footing with an inexperienced roster, as the Red Devils entered Tuesday night’s home game against Racine Park at 1-10 overall and 0-3 in the SEC. Sophomore wing Andy Sauer (12.6 points per game) and senior wing DeAndre Jennings (11.9 points per game) are scoring in double figures for the Red Devils. Bradford and Indian Trail will play another girls-boys basketball doubleheader on Feb. 7 at the Bradford Fieldhouse.


Friday (Jan. 6), 7 p.m., St. Joseph’s Madrigrano Gymnasium (2401 69th St., Kenosha)

After graduating virtually all of its scoring from last year’s team that won a WIAA Division 4 regional title, the St. Joseph boys were thought to maybe have a down season in 2022-23. Well, that hasn’t been the case at all. The Lancers will enter Friday’s Metro Classic game against the county rival Pacers at 7-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play, alone in third place in what’s arguably the best small-school conference in the state. St. Joseph even briefly broke into the state rankings a couple weeks ago, tying for No. 10 in Division 4 in the state coaches poll at that time before dropping out. A big reason the Lancers have been so successful so far is the fantastic performance of junior guard Eric Kenesie, who’s averaging 24.0 points and 7.0 assists per game, totals that rank second in both categories in a Metro Classic that’s just loaded with individual talent. Shoreland will enter Friday’s game at 0-3 in Metro Classic play, but the Pacers are 5-3 overall and are coming off back-to-back non-conference wins. Senior forward Kamare Evans (14.7 points per game) and junior wing Brayden Van de Water (14.2 points per game) have both been big scoring threats for the Pacers. Also, not to be forgotten, the St. Joseph and Shoreland girls teams square off in their own Metro Classic matchup at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Madrigrano Gymnasium preceding the boys game between the schools.



Boys basketball–Racine Park at Bradford, 7 p.m.; Racine Case at Tremper, 7 p.m.; Indian Trail at Racine Horlick, 7 p.m.; Christian Life at Brookfield Academy, 7:15 p.m. Girls basketball–Bradford at Racine Park, 7 p.m.; Tremper at Racine Case, 7 p.m.; Racine Horlick at Indian Trail, 7 p.m.; The Prairie School at Wilmot, 7 p.m.; Waterford at Shoreland Lutheran, 7 p.m.; Westosha Central at Watertown, 7:15 p.m. Gymnastics–Union Grove/Wilmot/Williams Bay, Badger/Burlington and Waterford at Wilmot Invite, 6 p.m. Boys swimming–Badger/Westosha Central/Wilmot at Edgerton/Evansville, 5:30 p.m.


Boys basketball–Racine St. Catherine’s at Westosha Central, 7 p.m. Wrestling–Shoreland Lutheran at St. Joseph, 7 p.m.


Gymnastics–Kenosha Co-op at Hartland Arrowhead Invite, 6:30 p.m. Wrestling–Kingdom Prep Lutheran at Bradford, 7 p.m.


Boys basketball–Bradford at Indian Trail, 6 p.m.; Tremper at Racine Park, 7 p.m.; Delavan-Darien at Westosha Central, 7 p.m.; Wilmot at Elkhorn, 7 p.m.; Shoreland Lutheran at St. Joseph, 7 p.m.; Reuther at Rock County Christian, 7:30 p.m. Girls basketball–Bradford at Indian Trail, 4:30 p.m.; Shoreland Lutheran at St. Joseph, 5:30 p.m.; Racine Park at Tremper, 7 p.m.; Brookfield Academy at Christian Life, 7:15 p.m. Boys swimming–Indian Trail at South Milwaukee Invite (South Milwaukee Middle School), 6 p.m.

Boys basketball–Indian Trail at Richland Center, 4 p.m. Gymnastics–Kenosha Co-op and Union Grove/Wilmot/Williams Bay at Waterford Invite, 10 a.m. Hockey–Kenosha at Oshkosh North (YMCA Oshkosh), 3 p.m. Boys swimming–Bradford, Indian Trail and Badger/Westosha Central/Wilmot at Brown Deer Invite (Schroeder YMCA Aquatic Center), 10 a.m. Wrestling–Christian Life at West Allis Hale Invite, 8:30 a.m.; Tremper, Indian Trail and Westosha Central at Brookfield Central Invite (boys and girls), 9 a.m.; Bradford, Shoreland Lutheran, Westosha Central and Wilmot at Bradford Invite (boys and girls), 9:30 a.m.; Wilmot and St. Joseph at Elkhorn Invite, 9:30 a.m.