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WisSports.net Final Football Coaches Poll: Division 1

12/04/2020, 2:00pm CST
By Travis Wilson

With the 2020 high school football season complete, we will be posting a last look back via a final WisSports.net Football Coaches Poll for each division. Divisional placement is based on division cutlines for the 2020 playoffs and may be different than the division a school appeared in the Coaches Poll during the season. To view Coaches Polls from the regular season, please click here.

Listed records include only games played, not any forfeits or cancelations.

Previous Final Coaches Poll Rankings:

Division 2
Division 3
Division 4
Division 5
Division 6
8-Player

WISSPORTS.NET FINAL FOOTBALL COACHES POLL: DIVISION 1

1. Muskego

Muskego entered as the two-time defending state champion in Division 1 and proceeded to somehow exceed expectations in a shortened 2020 campaign. The Wing-T offense was executed to perfection once again, but it was the defense that really was the difference-maker in 2020. After a 32-24 win over Arrowhead to open the season, the first-team unit allowed just two touchdowns in the final eight games. They shutout Waukesha West, Oconomowoc, and Arrowhead (in the second matchup). The Warriors limited Waukesha North, Mukwonago, Hudson, and Menomonee Falls to just one touchdown. Hudson's score came in the fourth quarter against third-teamers after Muskego was already up 54-0, while Menomonee Falls' lone touchdown was a kick return. In that Menomonee Falls game, the final game of the year and one of the most anticipated in the state, Muskego's defense limited the Phoenix to just 65 yards of offense. It was dominance in every facet, against a very tough schedule, and one that proved once again Muskego is the class of the state. The Warriors will carry a 37-game unbeaten streak into 2021 after going 9-0.

2. Franklin

Franklin certainly had its share of challenges in this unique season. After the three Racine schools opted for the spring season, the Southeast Conference initially limited teams to playing only other SEC squads. After beating the three Kenosha schools, Franklin had several openings on its schedule later in the year, and were able to add a game against Wauwatosa West, one the Sabers won 21-7. After dispatching Oak Creek 35-3 in the regular season finale, there was much excitement over the Sabers' pairing with Muskego, Menomonee Falls, and Arrowhead in a four-team D1 super-pod. However, before Franklin could square off with Menomonee Falls in Level 1, the school moved to virtual instruction and canceled athletic activities, ending the year for the football program, who finished 5-0.

3. Menomonee Falls

Menomonee Falls had its best season since finishing as the Division 1 runner-up in 2009. Loaded with a very experienced and talented group, head coach Dan Lutz's crew won an outright Greater Metro Conference title after sharing the crown a year ago. The Phoenix, who were ranked number one in Division 2 all season before moving up to D1 for the playoffs, were able to find a way to win several close games, finishing unbeaten in the regular season. While a much-anticipated Level 1 showdown with Franklin did not materialize, Falls capped off the year with one of the state's biggest games, a matchup against two-time defending state champion Muskego. While it didn't go as planned in a 31-7 loss, it did cap off a very impressive 7-1 season for Menomonee Falls.

4. Kaukauna

Kaukauna was a team without a home in 2020, as the Galloping Ghosts were the only team from the FVA to play in the fall, with the rest moving to the spring. The team was able to put together a very competitive schedule, though there were some cancelations along the way. In the regular season, Kaukauna beat the following teams, who all ended the year ranked in the final Coaches Poll for their division: Martin Luther, Plymouth, Wrightstown, and Germantown. To find games, the team played in the Fox Valley, central Wisconsin, and the northern Milwaukee suburbs. Unfortunately, the team was shutdown prior to the playoffs, finishing with a perfect 6-0 record in yet another "What could have been..." season in Wisconsin.

5. Arrowhead

Arrowhead had significantly raised expectations this year, with Matt Harris taking over the program as it tried to get back to its former glory. There were definitely steps in the right direction, though like everyone else the past three years, the Warhawks couldn't get past Muskego, losing to the Warriors to open the season before getting shutout 38-0 in Level 1 of the postseason. While they also dropped a mid-season game to Waukesha West, Arrowhead would finish 6-3 with victories over Mukwonago and Kenosha Bradford included in the tally.

6. Mukwonago

Mukwonago continues to move forward under head coach Mike Gnewuch, as the Indians put together a 7-2 record this season, with the only losses coming against Arrowhead and Muskego. The team topped Waukesha West in Classic Eight play, and beat Kenosha Indian Trail and Brookfield Central in the WIAA postseason. The defense allowed just 28 points in the final four games of the year.

7. Waukesha West

Waukesha West turned in another solid campaign in the Classic Eight, finishing in a three-way tie for second place with Arrowhead and Mukwonago behind league-leader Muskego. In addition to a loss to Muskego, like everyone else, the Wolverines fell to Mukwonago but won the head-to-head battle with Mukwonago. In the postseason, West scored wins over Waterford and Brookfield East.

8. Marquette

Marquette wasn't sure if they'd play at all this fall, as the initial Milwaukee Health Department guidance seemed to force them to move to spring. However, the Hilltoppers appealed and were granted the ability to go in the fall, though it was a late start and they missed Week 1. The Hilltoppers won the first three games of the season, including a 28-21 victory over Germantown, but dropped back-to-back games to the Brookfield schools to end the regular season. They'd close out 2020 with a 35-24 victory over Oak Creek in Level 2. The Hilltoppers finished 4-2 this season.

9. Germantown

Germantown was a pleasant surprise this season, navigating its way to a three-way tie for second place in the very competitive Greater Metro Conference. The Warhawks dropped games to Menomonee Falls and Marquette in league play, but did beat Brookfield East and Brookfield Central, along with a non-conference victory over Catholic Memorial. After falling to Kaukauna to close the regular season, Germantown rebounded with postseason victories over Hortonville and Cedarburg to finish 6-3.

10. Wauwatosa West

Wauwatosa West had been struggling to be competitive in the Greater Metro Conference, though a 2-7 record in its final season as a GMC member in 2019 was a bit deceiving, as they were in most games. Still, we weren't sure what to expect from the Trojans as they moved to the Parkland Conference as part of the statewide realignment this season. Picked to finish fifth in the league prior to the start of the year, Tosa West faced an extremely challenging schedule. It opened with two-time defending state champion Catholic Memorial in Week 1, and the Trojans showed they were no pushovers in a narrow 21-19 loss to the Crusaders. The team would announce it was a legit contender quickly after that, hammering New Berlin Eisenhower 48-6 before topping Pewaukee and New Berlin West as well. In a couple late-season replacement games, the Trojans hung with Division 1 heavyweight Franklin in a 21-7 loss and then beat up on Brookfield Central 35-14. While they'd have to cancel the last few weeks of the season due to COVID-related issues, Tosa West finished 4-2 against a schedule that featured all playoff teams from 2019, as head coach Andy Kolstad has things headed in the right direction.

Others Receiving Votes

Brookfield Central
Brookfield East
Hortonville
Hudson
Kenosha Bradford
Kenosha Indian Trail
Oak Creek


About the Author

Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.

For the latest and most up to date football news and recruiting information, follow Travis on Twitter @travisWSN. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Travis at travis(at)wissports.net.

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