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Litigation delays release of WIAA football playoff matchups

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River Falls Journal
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Litigation delays release of WIAA football playoff matchups
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

A dispute between a suburban Milwaukee football team and the WIAA will leave the Hudson Raiders, and every other playoff team in the state, waiting until at least 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, to find out where they will open the postseason next weekend.


A hearing is scheduled for Monday in Milwaukee County Court to determine the playoff eligibility of the Milwaukee Messmer/Shorewood football team.

Messmer/Shorewood left the Woodland Conference without WIAA approval following the 2007 season to play an independent schedule. WIAA rules state that any team that voluntarily leaves a conference shall be ineligible for the postseason for a period of four years. 2011 would be the last year of that ineligibility period for Messmer/Shorewood.

Messmer/Shorewood is arguing the wording and formatting of the WIAA rule in question leaves open the possibility for different interpretations.

According to Wisconsin Sports Network, Messmer/Shorewood claims the rule no longer applies since it joined the Midwest Classic Conference as a full member in 2011. The team finished the season with a record of 4-2 in the Midwest Classic North Division to meet the WIAA's playoff criteria.

The WIAA football playoffs are scheduled to begin with first round games Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22. Pairings were to be announced today (Oct. 15), but will be delayed until at least 5 p.m. Monday due to the pending litigation.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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