The road to the 100th boys state basketball tournament begins Tuesday, March 3, across the Stateline area. The regional semifinals and finals will be Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7, respectively.
Williams Bay and Rock Valley rivals Beloit Turner and East Troy earned top seeds, with the latter two in position for a potential sectional semifinal meeting.
However, no area teams are rated and face tough odds of reaching the capital city.
Top seeds Janesville Craig and Whitewater hope to carry their regular-season magic throughout the upcoming madness, which begins Tuesday, Feb. 24, with regional openers across the Stateline area.
The Cougars, Whippets and most top teams begin their postseason marches toward potential spots in the WIAA state tourney in Green Bay on Friday, Feb. 27.
Here is a look at the seedings and opening-round pairings:
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Forrest Larson is back in charge of the Badger High School boys basketball program this season after a five-year hiatus.
The 2011 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee has the Badgers in the thick of the Southern Lakes Conference championship chase.
And he has one of the league’s most improved players at his disposal to go with senior Lincoln Wieseman, who earned second team recognition last year after earning honorable mention status as a sophomore.
Patience. If anybody pursuing a career in Hollywood doesn’t have it, they might as well pack their bags for home.
Beloit native Ryan Churchill, a 1994 Memorial High School graduate, moved to Los Angeles in 2004 with hopes of making it big in the film industry. Slowly, but surely, he has made in-roads, including a part in a recent episode of the CBS show “The Mentalist,” which airs its two-hour series finale on Wednesday, Feb. 18, after a seven-year run.
So, why would somebody leave the glitz and glamour of the West Coast for Titletown? That’s because Churchill, 39, became a Green Bay Packers fan from being around his late grandfather, John McCue, while growing up.
The WIAA postseason for winter sports kicks off this weekend with competitions in wrestling and boys swimming.
Grapplers will participate in regional events Saturday, Feb. 14, with the team champions advancing to team sectional duals Tuesday, Feb. 17. The individual sectionals will be held Saturday, Feb. 21.
In the pool, sectionals begin with diving competitions Friday, Feb. 13, following by all of the swimming events Saturday, Feb. 14.
Then regional action for boys and girls hockey starts Tuesday, Feb. 17.
Here is a breakdown of where Stateline area teams and athletes begin their runs for potential state tournament appearances:
The Stoughton Regional features one of the toughest events in the state because the third-ranked and host and third-ranked Vikings, who won the Badger South tourney title last weekend, entertain a field that features sixth-ranked Elkhorn. Verona and Sun Prairie, which finished second and fourth, respectively, in the Big Eight meet, also will participate.
The Elks, who finished two points behind Burlington at the Southern Lakes meet, are led by league champions Benji Peak, Konnor Mohr, Keaton Verhoeven and Jordan Barr.
The Wilmot Regional includes second-rated Milton, which knocked off Stoughton to win the Badger South dual race and earn a 22nd straight piece of the conference championship, and honorable mention Badger, not to mention Janesville Craig, which captured third place at the Big Eight meet.
The Red Hawks feature loop winners Nolan Shea, Bowen Wileman and John McCarthy, the Badgers are led by SLC champ Robby Mutimer and the Cougars roll out unbeaten Airk Furseth.
The field at Wilmot also includes Janesville Parker, led by Big Eight winner Dylan Siener, Beloit Memorial and Delavan-Darien.
Meanwhile, ninth-rated Burlington participates in the Racine Case Regional before hosting the sectional event. The favored Demons, who crowned five SLC titlists, could run into honorable mention Oak Creek in the team sectional next week.
Second-ranked Evansville/Albany hosts one of four regionals in the Lodi sectional. The Blue Devils will be joined by Rock Valley foes Brodhead/Juda, Clinton, Edgerton and Beloit Turner.
The Blue Devils’ lineup includes league winners Chase Katzenmeyer and Lucius Rinehart, while fifth-rated Jordan Meyer missed the RVC meet because of illness.
Clinton features 113-pound conference winner Seth Wisowaty, while the Cardinals earned league titles from Brady Colden, Gavin Baade and unbeaten heavyweight Logan Maurer.
No. 9 Sparta and honorable mention teams Lodi and River Valley also are in the Richland Center Sectional.
D-2 honorable mention East Troy finished second in the Rock Valley event and hosts a regional, which will include sixth-ranked Wisconsin Lutheran, Whitewater and Big Foot/Williams Bay.
The Trojans’ chances feature league champions Cody Vogel, Gabe Braam and Andy Strey.
Parkview will compete in the Deerfield Regional, while Palmyra-Eagle and Catholic Central are in the Kenosha Christian Life Regional.
Beloit Memorial, Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker have the usual and unenviable task of competing against Big Eight Conference foes again, this time in the Middleton Sectional.
That’s where powerhouse Madison Memorial reigns. The Spartans have won four WIAA Division 1 state titles and geared up for the postseason by winning every event at last weekend’s league meet.
Kenosha Bradford hosts another sectional, which includes the alphabet soup of schools that includes swimmers from the co-op programs of Badger/Big Foot/Westosha Central/Williams Bay/Wilmot and Burlington/Catholic Central/East Troy/Union Grove/Waterford.
Milton heads to the Baraboo Sectional after its second-place finish at the Badger South meet. The Red Hawks were a distant second to Monona Grove, which also heads the sectional field.
Milton’s lineup features Tommy Wecker, Aaron Talabac and Caleb Schell.
Delavan-Darien, Elkhorn and Whitewater will participate in the Whitefish Bay Sectional.
The Elks and Whippets finished behind the powerful Badger contingent, which included two wins from Andrew Shane at the SLC meet.
Jon Zimdars won two events and joined two victorious relay teams for Whitewater at the league competitions.
Janesville Craig/Parker earned a No. 3 seed and received a first-round bye, meaning the Bluebirds will host sixth-seeded Beloit co-op or No. 11 seed Monroe co-op at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.
Tenth-seeded Milton visits seventh-seeded Greendale co-op Tuesday.
The Rock County Fury received the No. 6 seed, so they will play third-seeded Middleton at the Madison Ice Arena at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 19. The winner meets Sun Prairie, the second seed, or seventh-seeded Black River Falls.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Stephanie Roble is as competitive as anybody, and her aspirations are to be the best. However, the East Troy native and Burlington Catholic Central graduate never imaged she would win such an award -- at least not yet.
Roble, 25, recently was named the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year for 2014.
A first-time nominee and one of seven finalists, the selection committee recognized Roble for her versatility, accomplishments as a skipper and a crew and her success in a variety of platforms while sailing against men and women.
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Edgerton senior Sonny Schieldt hopes to write a different ending to his postseason script this February.
He finished sixth in the 120-pound bracket in the WIAA Division 2 state individual wrestling tournament in Madison last year.
Schieldt had compiled a 133-23 overall career record and carried an outstanding 27-4 mark for this season into this weekend’s Rock Valley Conference tourney at East Troy.
STATELINE NEWS — Tyler DeMoss knows all about the Hononegah High School wrestling program’s tradition; he’s continued to set the bar the past three years.
DeMoss is the Indians’ team leader, having finished second at 170 pounds at the Illinois High School Association state tournament in Champaign last year. He will try to make it four consecutive years after qualifying at 145 as a freshman and 160 as a sophomore, which would make him the fifth grappler in school history to accomplish the feat.
Competing in the 182-pound bracket this winter, he entered this weekend’s regional competition at Rockford East with a 29-0 record.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Even the most talented and decorated prep athletes need time to adjust and learn what performing at the collegiate level is all about.
That goes for Whitewater High School graduate and current University of Wisconsin-Whitewater freshman basketball player Brooke Trewyn.
The 5-foot-10 guard was a two-time Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-State selection, which included leading Judy Harms’ Whippets to the WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinals and a 21-4 finish last season.
There may be places with equal measures of tradition, history and sense of family. However, none of them has more than St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Janesville.
And when it comes to athletics, the institution provides a longstanding example. It has employed three athletic directors since 1935: Len Gersmehl, Tim Ebeling and Mark Fenrick.
Ebeling joined the school in 1970, coaching basketball for 26 years, serving as AD for 29 and teaching there for 41. One of the first, and best, decisions he made in his final season on the bench in 1995-’96 was to bring Scott Gestrich aboard as his assistant.