The 2013 season was not one to remember for the area's four football teams.
Greenfield, Whitnall, West Allis Central and West Allis Hale combined for just six victories this fall, with the Hustlin' Hawks recording three of those.
Greenfield was also the only team to make it to the WIAA state playoffs, qualifying because it finished 3-3 in its Woodland Conference contests.
Whitnall was in most of its games this season and held late leads in a number of them but could not finish well.
Central and Hale each had their moments but were undone by the general top-to-bottom toughness of the Greater Metro Conference, which sent five of its eight teams to the playoffs.
Head coach Scott Otto maintained that the Hawks' 3-7 record was just a bit misleading.
"Our record was 3-7, but we could easily be a 7-3 team," Otto said after Greenfield's playoff loss to Waterford. "We had a lot of very close games."
He has a point. Both of the Hawks' losses to Pius XI were competitive games, and no one will soon forget the 23-20 defeat at the hands of South Milwaukee in which the Rockets scored on a 40-yard pass in the final seconds.
Junior Jeremy Swider helped Greenfield achieve a more balanced offense this season, as he passed for 926 yards and seven touchdowns. Otto said from the beginning of the season that Swider was capable of providing a consistent passing game, and he did just that.
Junior Xavier Copeland led the rushing attack with 628 yards and eight scores, while senior Tyler Dorfner collected 545 yards and three scores and Swider was third with 467 yards and eight touchdowns.
Copeland was also the top receiver with 271 yards and two touchdowns and senior Josh Czerwinski added 243 yards and two scores.
Junior linebacker Matt Braatz paced the defense with 60 tackles, with senior linebacker Joey Molla adding 55 tackles and senior linebacker Aleksander Ljubic 49 tackles and five sacks.
The Falcons were unable to finish drives and games during their 2-7 campaign.
Junior quarterback Tyler Merritt completed 73 passes for 942 yards, but just one touchdown. Senior Josh Stark also saw some time at quarterback and passed for 125 yards.
Whitnall tried to establish more of a running game this season after being primarily an aerial show in recent years. Junior Nick Monty led the way with 479 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, while junior Max Anderer added 357 yards and five scores.
Junior Michael Grim paced the Falcons in receiving with 27 catches for 429 yards, while senior Michael Langenohl had 211 yards in catches.
Junior Michael Kremer collected 82 tackles, five for losses, one sack and three interceptions from his linebacker spot. He finished second in the Woodland East Division for defensive player of the year and made the first team for the second straight season.
"He is a great kid who just has a motor (on the field)," head coach Jeff Wallack said.
Senior linebacker Drake Ambroch added 58 tackles, including seven for losses.
West Allis Hale
Some players enjoyed strong individual seasons but could not keep the Huskies from a 1-8 campaign.
Junior quarterback Joe Jo Breznik completed 73 passes for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 120 yards per game.
His top target was senior Sam Michalski with 28 receptions for 361 yards and two scores, while junior Jeff Schubert had 19 catches for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Junior Joe Werner paced the rushing game with 663 yards and three scores, and Schubert was second there as well with 165 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Jordan Riche put together an explosive season on defense, racking up 104 tackles, six for losses, with seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception.
Senior linebacker Jake Gruichich was second on the team with 58 tackles, four for losses, and junior linebacker Tyler Millikin added two interceptions.
West Allis Central
The Bulldogs had plenty of athleticism but still struggled to a winless season.
Junior quarterback Will Konecny completed 135 passes for 1,369 yards and eight touchdowns.
Senior wide receiver Darren Walker caught 42 of those passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 58 yards in receptions per game.
"He had arguably the best hands in the conference," head coach Dax Rodriguez said.
Senior Aaron Leon-Tobar added 36 catches for 359 yards and two scores.
Senior Jason Alvarez was the top rusher with 432 yards and two scores.
Defensively, senior safety Dushon Glover totaled 61 tackles, three for losses, and a pair of interceptions.
"He was a big-time hitter with the speed to catch running backs," Rodriguez said. "He was our quarterback on the defense."
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Jayvin Redieske, Dillon Peters pitch Whitnall baseball team past Greenfield
- Greenfield baseball team falls to Whitnall, New Berlin West
- Bats blast away for Oak Creek baseball team
- Greenfield baseball team having a hard time finishing games
- Greenfield girls soccer team battles but falls short of Muskego in sectional
- Track and field: Blazei of glory: sophomore repeats as high-jump champ
- Greenfield softball team sees fabulous season end at hands of Oak Creek
- Whitnall sends Alexopolous, Bickerstaff to WIAA state track meet
- Whitnall's Stemper, Dundas reach WIAA state tennis tournament
- Greenfield's Nguyen, Kohl head to WIAA Division 1 state track meet