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UPDATE: Division 1 and 2 tentative football brackets released

Following a three-day delay, the WIAA released its Division 1 and Division 2 football playoff brackets early Tuesday afternoon after a judge ruled that a suburban Milwaukee team has the right to play in the postseason.

According to the tentative brackets, the Hudson Raiders will travel to Wisconsin Rapids Friday at 7 p.m. for a Division 1 playoff game.

The release of the brackets had been delayed since Saturday afternoon pending legal action taken by the Messmer/Shorewood coop team seeking WIAA playoff eligibility.

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.

But 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 claimed 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.

A Milwaukee County judge agreed with the team's argument and ruled early Tuesday afternoon that Messmer/Shorewood should be allowed into the playoffs.

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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