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Wisconsin's best high school football teams, preseason players of the year and games to watch.
Wisconsin Preseason Top 10
1. Arrowhead Warhawks (Hartland)
The defending Division 1 state champs won the title with a junior-heavy roster last season. Tackle George Panos (Wisconsin), defensive tackle Billy Hirschfeld (Wisconsin) and linebacker Sam Seonbuchner (Iowa State) have already committed to FBS programs, and more will follow.
2. Sun Prairie Cardinals
The reigning Big Eight Conference champs have defensive tackle Craig Evans anchoring the defense and Ryan Curran, a three-year starter at quarterback, running the offense.
3. Kimberly Papermakers
Fourteen starters return to a team that reached the Division 1 state quarterfinals last year. One of those players, All-State receiver Scott Schreiber, will get a look at quarterback.
4. Homestead Highlanders (Mequon)
The offensive line will be tough, and the return of tackle Brandon Hines and linebacker Bryce Juedes gives the defense potential.
5. Appleton North Lightning
Few programs can match North’s 41 victories and four conference titles over the past four seasons.
6. Waunakee Warriors
There are just two returning starters on either side of the ball, but until proven otherwise, the Warriors are among the state’s elite.
7. Oak Creek Knights
Among the Southeast Conference champs’ 12 returning starters are the quarterback, a running back and three offensive linemen.
8. Mukwonago Indians
The offensive line is well stocked, and quarterback Aaron Nixon is back for his second year as a starter.
9. Hamilton Chargers (Sussex)
The return of running back Drew Patterson and the program’s overall depth could make this a special season.
10. Badger Badgers (Lake Geneva)
The Badgers have a lot of pieces back from a team that nearly beat Sun Prairie in the state semifinals last year.
Three Can't Miss Matchups
8.30 – Arrowhead at Homestead
Two of the biggest winners in southeast Wisconsin face each other in a non-conference showdown.
9.6 – Waunakee at Mount Horeb/Barneveld
Can Waunakee reload again? This game will give us an idea of where the Warriors stand.
9.27 – Appleton North at Kimberly
North’s string of four straight conference titles could hinge on how it fares against the Papermakers.
2013 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Drew Patterson, RB, Hamilton (Sussex)
Senior, 6-0, 205
Patterson’s seek-and-destroy running style makes him fun to watch, but his sprinter’s speed makes him a game-breaker. He’s pretty productive, too. He ran for 1,969 yards on 222 carries and scored 26 touchdowns in 2012. Patterson has offers from Army and Air Force.
2013 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Craig Evans, DT, Sun Prairie
Senior, 6-3, 315
Good luck getting some movement up the middle against this 6'3", 315-pound defensive tackle. He finished with 84 tackles, including 18 for a loss, and even scored six touchdowns in his role as part-time fullback. The 4-star prospect committed to Wisconsin in March.
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