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EARLY UPDATES ON THIS SEASON SO FAR

Yes, I know the season is already underway but here are a few updates on coaches, teams and players.


COACHES:

I don’t know where Kevin Askeland finds all the time to update records on a national basis. At the start of the season several Wisconsin coaches were on the list presented by MaxPreps.com, written by Kevin, for several career categories…300 career wins and coaches with highest winning percentage. The stories appear at: High school football: Coaches with the highest winning percentages (maxpreps.com)

The list for most career wins is dated September 22, 2022, but don’t let the date throw you off. This is the date of the original list, but it has been updated since the end of 2022.

Looking at the MaxPreps list there is, of course, Bob Hyland of Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs near the top of the list with 503 career wins. He was ranked #4 All-Time, only two wins behind Mike Smith of Hampton VA who has retired after winning 505 games in his 51-year stint (1971-2021). After opening wins against Lake Country Lutheran and Madison Edgewood, the Ledgers blew past Omro to push Hylands record to 506-115-2. There are eight other coaches on the list from Wisconsin, as they started the season with 300+ wins. Besides Coach Hyland, Jerry Sinz of Edgar, Bill Young of Waukesha Catholic Memorial and Pat Rice of Waunakee are still active.


As of the end of week five Hyland is at 508 career wins, Sinz has 461, Young has 395 and Rice stands at 334 victories.


PLAYERS


There are several players that are moving up the records charts with a lot of the season left. One is senior Ryan McCormack of Mukwonago a very good kicker who last year converted on 71 of 79 extra points and nine of 11 field goals for 98 points and good for second best all-time in a single season (Sorry. When I posted the most recent records, I somehow swapped numbers and had him at 89 points on the season. It will be corrected online with the next posting in January.) As Mukwonago rolls through the year, he has a serious chance to make the all-time career kicking lists since he will only have kicked for two years.


Well, he did it again. Kevin Askeland (Hope you aren’t getting tired of hearing his name but don’t get tired of his info) posted a story on the high school players who had 600+ yards in a single game…MaxPreps National High School Football Record Book: Kaydon Custard, Jarrett Nielsen join list of players with over 600 yards total offense in a single game. Well, I looked at my record book and found that I didn’t have a category for Single Game Total Offense so I created one and you will see the list when it is updated at the coach’s web site in January. I found that so far, the top 10:

You will note that I’ve been unable to come up with rushing totals for Jeff Skemp and Steve Sterr so, based on just their passing yards they make the list anyway and that’s how it is for several other players on the complete list. This is the same as some rushing totals are unknown for the MaxPreps list.


Next, keep an eye on is Brayln Albritton of Milwaukee Academy of Science, a private school that plays an independent schedule. First, he already set several records after the numbers he put up last year (154-267-22-2,447-27+ 9 2-pt. passes) as a FRESHMAN. In his first game in 2022 against Cudahy he was 18-22-0-360-6. His 22 completions in 41 attempts against Monticello (IL) are individual game highs. The team did lose that one 38-6 and then 29-6 to Wisconsin Lutheran where he tossed six interceptions (Sadly, a record for a freshman). He’s off to a good start this year but it is doubtful that he will get to 2,000 yards because of at least one cancelled game. If he could reach that 2,000-yard mark, he would have a chance to be the only Wisconsin high school player to ever toss for 2,000+ yards in four consecutive seasons. Other career records could fall as well if he keeps on his current pace and the team can find opponents.


One player who jumped ahead of 10 others on the list for Most 2-Point Conversions in a Game (They all had four such conversions) is Ezra Hinz of Milwaukee Ronald Reagan. On August 31 Ezra, a 5’8, 180-pound junior running back ran 18 times for 93 yards, three touchdowns and the new state record of five conversion runs.


But he didn’t hold the top spot for long…for only a day as Demetrius Bergmann of Pepin/Alma ran for five as well the next afternoon, September 1. In a 54-14 win over Eleva-Strum Demetrius ran for 184 yards on only 11 carries and three touchdowns. At this time, he is one of the states leading rushers as well as a scoring leader. At the end of week five he had only carried the ball 59 times but had picked up 791 yards, a gaudy 13.4 rushing average plus he has scored 15 touchdowns and eight 2-point conversions. This season seems to be the year of rushing for 2-point conversions as so far, I’ve added seven more players to the list of four or more. Matthew Moll of Marshall has done it twice, followed by Ian Smith of Northwestern, Dawson Luther of Pittsville, Owen Seffrood of Black Hawk/Warren (IL), Jacob Kile of Randolph and finally, a teammate of Ezra Hinz’s at Reagan, Brennan Litchfield.


8-Player football started a week later than 11-player and some single game records have been set. First, in week three (9/8 and 9) Gillett’s Lavonzell Smith set the 8-player single game record for most tackles by hauling down 33 Suring players in a 36-28 win. That same night, Braden Sitte of Gibraltar was told by coach Mile Peck to do something VERY unusual. Tied 50-50 in overtime against Algoma, Sitte lined up for a field goal. First, field goals in 8-player football is rare but even more rare in an overtime game. He lined up and kicked a record 42-yard field goal. Not unusual for 11-player but a record for 8-player.


Last week, Sitte, a senior, set another record when he caught 12 passes for 399 yards and his six touchdowns tied him for the most in a single game in his team’s 53-22 victory over Wausaukee. His teammate/quarterback Braden Kita was 14-19-1-461-7 on the night. His 461-yards is ranked fifth all-time in a single game. Both Sitte and Kita are moving up the 8-player records chart. If you click on Sitte’s career receiving he has 106 receptions for 2,043 yards and 31 touchdowns. Check out Kita’s career completion percentage. It's at 70.6 after playing seven games last year and posting a 75.5% in 2022.


Read Travis Wilson’s WisSports.net recap of the 8-player recap for more details…8-Player Football Weekly Spotlight: September 20 (wissports.net)

Finally, all eyes are on Colton Brunell as he keeps picking up rushing yards in great numbers. Already with over 5,500 career yards with four regular season games to go Colton is the guy opponents key on. He has a good chance to tie Hilbert great, Mike Firkus, with three consecutive 2,000+ seasons and he could pass up Racine Lutheran’s Tyler Tenner as the All-time state rusher. Brunell could also climb the all-time scoring list as he currently has over 500 points.


There are others to watch but I focused on these players.


TEAMS


Again, Kevin Askeland of MaxPreps recently had an article dealing with schools that had a list of the top 200 winningest national football programs…Top 200 winningest programs in high school football history (maxpreps.com). Included on the list were Milwaukee Marquette University High School and Platteville. I pointed out to Kevin that he left off Darlington from his list and he recognized that he had failed to add them to his posting.


There was another mistake. I had recently reached out to Patrick Foran at Marquette who has been doing a lot of research on the school’s program before Askeland wrote his story. Like Travis Winkers of Darlington who in 2022 sent me season by season records for that program, Patrick had a complete listing of season-by-season records. Kevin Askeland listed Marquette with a 748-291-34 record but the official record is 749-288-36. They ranked #78 on the all-time list.

Askeland had Platteville at #152 with 705-295-17 overall record. Darlington would be listed just below at #153 and a 704-305-30. Check out my blog from last August, DARLINGTON: THEN AND NOW (wihifootball.com). I still feel that some of Platteville’s record is in doubt due to a math error but I will contact the person who sent me their records again and try and set up a meeting to resolve things. All three schools have a long and storied history. Read Kevin’s story on the Winningest Programs and you will see some interesting info on out of state schools.


Also, check out the Marquette High School Athletics Records and Hall of Fame pages. Thanks to Patrick Foran for sending me the links…Marquette University High School (touchpros.com) and Marquette University High School (touchpros.com). These take you to not just football pages but the school’s complete history in all sports. This may be the best single school web site that I’ve ever seen.


Finally, check out Kevin Askeland’s 1954 national High school Football Rankings…Archive - High School Sports History (substack.com). Again, Wisconsin school makes the list, all be it in the #50 spot in the rankings. That’s the mystical state champion, Green Bay West (8-0-0) squad. Don’t just skip down to the bottom of the listing as there is a lot of insightful information throughout his blog.


That’s it for now. Have a great weekend and enjoy a high school game in person.





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