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Midwest Classic Conference Lacrosse Preview

03/14/2024, 1:15pm CDT
By Rick Dedrick & Jason McGillivray

Special to WSN from Rick Dedrick & Jason McGillivray of Wisconsinhighschoollax

Midwest Classic Conference

The newly formed Midwest Classic Conference brings in three teams from the Classic 8 White and one each from Classic 8 Red and Black. Perhaps the biggest winner in the conference shuffle is Franklin. No longer will they have to face the gauntlet of Classic 8 Red foes and can now establish some traditional rivalries with Oak Creek and Kenosha. These three will be joined by Elkhorn and University School in the new five team conference.  

Westosha/Kenosha Co-Op
Last Year: 13-6
Results: 2nd round loss to Waukesha
Head Coach: Danny Rossi

Kenosha began last season with four consecutive losses before they ran off a 12-game winning streak. That alone turned some heads in what was a breakout year for the Raptors. This will be the first season as the ‘Shoremen’, but the expectations are higher. They are returning 100% of the team scoring from last season, only graduating one player from last season. The attack line of Luciano DeBartolo, Alexander Bailey, and Hunter Cowart will be difficult for opposing defenses. DeBartolo, now a junior, ranked in the top 10 in State with 56 goals scored last season.  Jack Persson played every minute of every game in goal, he will be looked to anchor the young defense. The schedule is looking a bit different with some new teams stepping up the competition level, two games against USM and now Appleton, Edgewood and a final home game against perennial powerhouse Middleton. It should be an exciting year for the Shoremen and they will be one of the top teams in the conference.

University School
Last Year: 10-6
Results: 3rd round loss to Homestead
Head Coach: Mike Barefield

Last year’s Classic 8 Black conference champions had a remarkable season. Two games stood out and they were both against West Bend. The first meeting was a double-overtime win to clinch the conference title and the second was again an overtime win in the playoffs. This year they will have to find a replacement for Conference Player of the Year, Marcus Thundercloud, who led the team with 46 goals. Ethan Gurney and Liam Fetherston are the next highest returning goal scorers. One player that is returning is Midfielder/Face-off Specialist Charles Vielehr. He had an incredible 130 ground balls last year. Defensively Joe Berrien and Willy Art also return. Even with a large hole to fill, this should be a solid year for the Wildcats and they will be near the top of the standings at the end of the season.

Elkhorn Co-Op
Last Year: 7-9
Results: 2nd Round loss to Kettle Moraine
Head Coach: Kurth Wittkopf

Cooper Karedes and Ian McClenathan return to lead the Elks in what is looking like a building year. Gone is Luke DuPont and Jonathan Martin, who led the team offensively and defensively. And with only four seniors on this year’s team the Elks will hope to find some support from the underclassmen. Last year DuPont accounted for 46% of the scoring (goals + assists). There is some experience in goalie John Batovsky, Honorable Mention All-Conference selection. The Elk’s non-conference schedule is looking challenging with Appleton, Wausau and Sun Prairie this year.

Last Year: 2-18
Results: 1st Round loss
Head Coach: Dave Diehl

The Sabers have to be ecstatic to begin play in the Midwest Classic Conference. No longer will they be forced to play Kettle Moraine, Mukwonago, Arrowhead, Homestead, and Marquette. They did decide to keep Waukesha on the schedule, but at least it was by choice. Wade Meissner is a dynamic midfielder that leads the Sabers in just about every category. Other notable non-conference games will be against West Bend, Hamilton and WNS. The rivalry with Oak Creek should be fun to watch, now on the schedule twice.

Oak Creek
Last Year: 0-18
Results: 1st Round Loss
Head Coach: David Swenson

Score was hard to come by for the Knights last season. They do lose a big senior class from last year, but the size of the roster is impressive. The Knights expect 32 returners and with the incoming class, they should be able to rebuild the depth. They should have some competitive games against Franklin and Catholic Memorial, but who knows, the Knights might end up being one of the surprise teams this year.  

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