Dunkleberger run

Lake Mills senior Ben Dunkleberger runs past Lodi senior Bo Zander (74) during the first half of Friday night's Capitol North Conference opener at Lake Mills Middle School.

How it works

Teams that finish the regular season with a conference record higher than .500 are guaranteed a locked-in playoff berth.

Teams that finish at exactly .500 in conference play are considered “playoff eligible.” Though they technically are not guaranteed a berth, and in recent years, most (if not all) teams with .500 conference records have qualified.

If the WIAA field is not filled after all the locked-in and playoff-eligible teams are included, teams with losing records will be selected to complete the field. Traditionally, teams from 10-team conferences (such as the Big Eight and Rock Valley) have received priority under the selection guidelines.

Already locked in

Badger North: Waunakee (6-0 in conference); Mount Horeb/Barneveld (5-1), Beaver Dam (4-2), DeForest (4-2).

Badger South: Monona Grove (6-0), Stoughton (5-1), Oregon (4-2).

Big Eight: Sun Prairie (8-0), Middleton (7-1), Madison West (6-2), Verona (5-3).

Capitol North: Lodi (4-0), Lake Mills (3-1).

Capitol South: Cambridge (3-0).

Ridge and Valley: Seneca/Wauzeka-Steuben (5-0), De Soto (4-1), Ithaca (4-1).

Rock Valley: Clinton (7-0), Jefferson (7-1), Beloit Turner (6-2), Evansville/Albany (5-3).

Scenic Bluffs: Bangor (4-0), Brookwood (4-0).

Six Rivers: Black Hawk (6-0); Potosi/Cassville (6-1); Pecatonica/Argyle (5-2).

South Central: Mauston (4-0), Wautoma (4-0).

Southwest Wisconsin: Lancaster (4-0), Platteville (3-1), Prairie du Chien (3-1).

SWAL: Cuba City (5-0), Mineral Point (4-1), Fennimore (4-2).

Trailways Large: Markesan (5-0), Pardeeville (4-1), Dodgeland (4-1).

Trailways Small: Fall River (6-0), Oshkosh Lourdes (5-1), Johnson Creek (4-2).

Already playoff eligible, and locked in with one more conference win

Capitol South: Belleville (2-1 in conference); New Glarus/Monticello (2-1).

Scenic Bluffs: Royall (3-2).

Trailways Large: Horicon/Hustisford (3-1).

Not yet playoff eligible, but locked in with one more conference win

Note: Teams in this group that lose Friday would not automatically be "locked in" or "playoff eligible," due to a losing conference record. However, each would finish one game below .500, and there have been instances in the past in which the WIAA has needed to invite a few sub-.500 teams to fill the playoff field.

Badger South: Monroe (3-3 in conference), Watertown (3-3).

Big Eight: Janesville Craig (4-4), Madison La Follette (4-4).

Capitol North: Lakeside Lutheran (2-2), Watertown Luther Prep (2-2).

Rock Valley: East Troy (4-4).

Six Rivers: River Ridge (3-3).

South Central: Nekoosa (2-2).

Southwest Wisconsin: River Valley (2-2).

Trailways Small: Cambria-Friesland (3-3), Deerfield (3-3).


Playoff eligible with one more conference win

Capitol South: Waterloo (1-2 in conference).

Ridge and Valley: North Crawford (2-3).

Scenic Bluffs: Cashton (2-3), New Lisbon (2-3), Hillsboro (2-3).

SWAL: Darlington (2-3), Iowa-Grant (2-3).


Additional teams that would finish one game below .500 in conference play with a win Friday, but are not automatically locked in or playoff eligible.

Note: Teams are ranked by size (number of members).

Big Eight: Madison Memorial (3-5 in conference).

Rock Valley: Walworth Big Foot (3-5).

Badger North: Reedsburg (2-4), Portage (2-4).

Badger South: Fort Atkinson (2-4).

Capitol North: Columbus (1-3).

Six Rivers: Highland (2-4), Benton/Scales Mound, Ill. (2-4).

Trailways Small: Rio (2-4).


Wisconsin State Journal prep sports editor Art Kabelowsky has traversed the state to cover sports while working for daily papers in Fort Atkinson, Racine, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Baraboo.