Area prep basketball programs won’t be shifted into different WIAA enrollment divisions for next year’s tournament series.
However, some of the teams they go up against could be different.
The WIAA released its tournament divisional assignments late last week, and a breakdown of the listings show that none of the 54 schools covered in the Wisconsin State Journal’s core region will change divisions.
Because the WIAA membership last month voted down the proposed “success factor” plan, purportedly designed to improve competitive balance between state public and private schools, the announced changes were strictly based on shifting enrollments that changed the cutoff lines for divisional breakdowns.
Every team in the Big Eight Conference will remain in Division 1; 13 of the 14 teams in the Badger Conference (plus McFarland of the Rock Valley North) will stay in Division 2; and the core coverage region again will have 13 teams in Division 3 (including Madison Edgewood of the Badger), eight in Division 4 and eight more in Division 5.
Watertown and Beaver Dam will join the Badger Conference for the 2017-2018 school year. Watertown will play basketball in Division 1 next season, with Beaver Dam in Division 2.
There were several immediate changes, though — some of major note to state prep basketball fans.
The most notable shift happened in Whitefish Bay, where Dominican took the second blow of a one-two punch. Last month, coach Derek Berger stepped down after a four-year run that saw the Knights boys team win four consecutive WIAA Division 4 state titles — giving the program a WIAA-record five straight championships.
If that run is going to continue, though, it’ll take place in Division 3. Enrollment shifts have pushed the Knights up one division for next year — along with another private-school Division 4 power, Racine St. Catherine’s.
The only changes in Division 1 involve the addition of Waukesha West, bumped up from Division 2; and the split of the Milwaukee Pulaski/Milwaukee Arts co-op, as the two schools now have separate programs that will drop to Division 2.
Occasional boys basketball power Brown Deer has moved up from Division 3 to Division 2, as has Milwaukee St. Anthony.
Rock Valley South member Palmyra-Eagle has been moved up one notch to Division 3, joining Dominican, St. Catherine’s and four other schools that were in Division 4 for the 2016 state tournament.
Beaver Dam Wayland of the Trailways Conference moved up from Division 5 to Division 4, joining 12 other schools that will move either up or down into Division 4. Four public schools — Alma Center Lincoln, Hurley, Rosholt and Webster — dropped one division to Division 5.
The week’s big events
This afternoon, the city’s five largest schools — East, West, Memorial, La Follette and Edgewood — will send their track and field teams to Memorial’s Mansfield Stadium for the annual City Outdoor meet. Field events will start at 4:30 p.m. and running finals at 6 p.m.
• A dozen area prep boys golf teams will take over University Ridge Golf Course on Wednesday and Thursday to compete in the 25th annual Morgan Stanley Shootout tournament.
Five varsity players from each team will compete in the 36-hole tournament, with each team’s best four scores counting toward team totals. Tee times on Holes No. 1 and 10 will run from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday and from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Thursday.