With the 2016-17 year in high-school athletics all but complete, take a look back at some of the highlights and plaudits from the year.
Team of the Year
Hamilton girls track and field
After three Greater Metro Conference championship races, the top finish Hamilton attained was third. At the Watertown regional, the Chargers looked strong with a second-place showing and took third the next week at the Germantown sectional.
But at the state meet, Hamilton beat all challengers but one in Milwaukee King, which also won the Germantown sectional. Hamilton's 34 team points tied for second place with Waukesha West at state.
Morgan Price, Megan Jansett, Rachel Passow and Bianca Stubler won the school's second 4x400 relay title in three seasons. Stubler, who came in second in the 400 for the third consecutive season and was third in the 200, also won a state title on the relay team as a sophomore.
Rachel Seraphine had a tremendous showing in the pole vault with a height of 12 feet, 6 inches, which placed the junior second.
Hamilton's 4x800 and 4x200 relays also qualified for state.
Coach of the Year
Menomonee Falls wrestling
Falls had one of its most successful seasons ever with a record-tying seven individual state qualifiers. Two wrestlers placed in the top four in their weight class at state. Not only did Falls have success on the individual side of things, but the team also turned heads at the state meet.
After qualifying for team state, Falls upset Oak Creek in the quarterfinals, 33-25. Seniors Matt Anderson (120 pounds), Austin Lasanske (126) and Eric Wunsch (132) won critical matches in the dual meet to help Falls advance to the semifinals, where it lost to Stoughton.
Athlete of the Year (single sport)
Germantown girls basketball
The Miami (Ohio) University recruit earned Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association first-team All State honors after leading the Warhawks to a 23-3 season, a sectional final appearance and was named the co-North Shore Conference Player of the Year.
Schmitz, who also qualified for the state track meet in the 400 meters, had team highs in points (20.6 points per game), rebounds (9.5), assists (4.0) and steals (3.2).
Athlete of the Year (multi-sport)
Henningsen had a dominant football season and was named the Greater Metro Conference Offensive and Defensive Lineman of the Year. The Wisconsin recruit was also first-team All State on both sides of the ball.
Henningsen went on to earn second-team All GMC honors in basketball and was second on the team with 12.3 ppg. In the spring, Henningsen qualified for the Germantown sectional in the shot put.
Game of the Year
Menomonee Falls football gets hot
Menomonee Falls actually had two games that fall into this category. Against Brookfield Central in the regular season finale, Falls pulled off a major upset to qualify for the playoffs. Arick Gleissner connected with Cameron Jemison on a 58-yard touchdown pass with 9:38 left in the fourth quarter for the game winner. Julius Davis also racked up 146 yards on 30 carries and a touchdown in the 21-17 victory.
The next week, Falls, seeded seventh, traveled to No. 2 Menasha and pulled off another upset when it won, 21-14. Menasha, like Brookfield Central, was undefeated coming into the game.
Three More Stories to Know
Zak Showalter, a 2012 Germantown graduate, was a fifth-year senior on the Wisconsin basketball team and was named to the 2017 Big Ten All Defensive team. One of Showalter's biggest moments in his collegiate career came against Florida in a NCAA regional semifinal game when he sunk a 3-pointer with just 2.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game. Unfortunately for Wisconsin, Florida hit a similar last-second shot in overtime to advance, but Showalter cemented his status as a UW folk hero with his incredible play.
Menomonee Falls made several runs at state tournaments throughout the 2016-17 school year. In the fall, the girls volleyball team qualified for state for the first time since 2013 and beat Greendale in three sets in the quarterfinals. The Menomonee Falls/Hamilton girls swim team advanced to the state meet in seven events and were led by freshman Cassie Stegner, who competed in four events at state. In the spring, the Falls softball team made state but bowed out in the quarterfinals after a 6-1 loss to Oak Creek. The girls cross-country advanced to state for the first time in 20-plus years and finished 13th out of 20 teams in Division 1. Falls was led by sophomore Kylee Wunschel, who placed 23rd overall out of 189 runners.
The Hamilton-Falls rivalry in basketball was a fun one to watch this past winter. Hamilton's girls squad won the outright GMC title and beat Falls once in the regular season before suffering a lopsided 58-29 defeat to the Indians on Feb. 17 in the regular season finale. A week later, Hamilton got its revenge in a regional semifinal when it defeated Falls, 54-37. The Falls boys cruised past Hamilton in its first meeting in early January, 82-37. A little more than a month later, Hamilton improved greatly and was able to beat Falls, 75-71.