A Madison high school hasn't won a state title in football since West beat Stevens Point in 1977. City school rosters are often dwarfed by their suburban opponents, both in terms of numbers and physical size of the players.
But local high school games are still a great Friday night out. Games at Mansfield (home to Memorial and West) and Lussier (East and La Follette) Stadiums are rarely sold out, making it easy to show up close to kickoff time and still find a great seat. And the close proximity of Verona, Middleton, Monona Grove and Sun Prairie makes for a nice menu of quality prep games each week.
This Friday at Lussier, located behind La Follette High, East (1-4) takes on Sun Prairie (3-2). East might be the state's most electric one-win team with quarterback Drew McAdams, whose 1,360 passing yards and 15 touchdowns lead the state. The team also features receivers Marquis Mason, a Division I prospect in both football and basketball, and Tyler Kubicek.
At Mansfield, on Memorial's campus, West (3-2) squares off against Verona (4-1); both teams like to run the ball. West's Leighton Settle, whose dad coaches the running backs at Wisconsin, has compiled 848 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, averaging over eight yards a carry. Verona's fake-laden Wing-T offense is viewed by some as a relic, but it's very effective and fun to watch.
The game of the season, however, might be at Mansfield on Oct. 9 when Memorial (4-1) hosts Middleton (4-1) in a game that could decide the conference championship in a classic city vs. suburbs match-up.