Trent Kehrmeyer

Mayville's Trent Kehrmeyer (right) tries to bring in a pass from teammate Wes Weiglein near the end of the first half of the Cardinals' season-defining 21-12 win over Winnebago Lutheran Academy in Week 6. Also pictured is WLA's Brenan Kulibert. That victory for the Cards' qualified them for the postseason for the first time since 2009. 

This past year brought in champions galore.

Beaver Dam High School was the home of the Division 2 state champs in girls hoops and Little Ten Conference champs in both boys and girls hoops. Dodgeland had a team of some of the best long-distance runners in the state of Wisconsin win the D3 title in girls cross country. Then there’s Columbus’ Josh Seltzner, who won the D2 shot put title in track and field before he left for Madison as a preferred walk-on for the University of Wisconsin football team.

But while there were champions across the board, there were also ‘Oh so close’ moments that communities will always remember.

Mayville almost bursts Lodi’s bubble

The Mayville prep football team ended a postseason drought dating back to 2009, but that wasn’t all.

A bunch of athletes who believed in themselves and what head coach Tom Noennig preached every day at practice nearly took it one step farther.

The Cardinals led Lodi 31-24 in the fourth quarter before eventually suffering a 38-31 loss to the eventual D4 state champion Blue Devils.

Had the Cardinals pulled off the upset, it would’ve been one of the biggest in recent memory considering the Blue Devils were the favorites the entire season.

Oh so close.

Waupun’s season ends at the buzzer

Everyone knows Ripon has been giving the Waupun boys basketball team fits the last few years. Even when the Warriors won a D3 state championship in 2016 they had to go through Ripon in order to do it — and the Tigers were the Warriors’ only loss that year.

This past year brought more of the same, only this time, Ripon got the upper hand — barely. The Tigers were undefeated heading into their match-up in the D3 sectional semifinals at West Bend High School, where it was a back-and-forth affair up until the last second.

People in the stands figured the team with the ball last was going to win, and don’t you know it but that’s exactly how it turned out as Ripon’s Melvin Lee drained a 3-pointer in front of the Warrior student section as time expired, ending Waupun’s bid at a second-straight trip to state.

Waupun head coach Dan Domask knew it would be tough and said after the game his team would be back.

And maybe they will. The Warriors are ranked fourth in D3 by the Coaches Poll in the early going this year, after all.

Oh so close.

Fall River almost makes another trip to GB

The Pirates were supposed to be rebuilding in 2016-17.

Apparently the girls on the team didn’t get the memo of what fans and media thought because once the playoffs started it was like they didn’t even need Kelly Tramburg or Alyssa Klecker and the rest of the 2016 senior class.

The now-young Pirates — as a No. 4 seed — made another memorable postseason run, which started with a 65-38 drubbing of 13th seed Cambria-Friesland then a 69-51 victory over No. 5 Oakfield before an upset of top seeded Black Hawk 67-62 in the D5 regional final.

That win over Black Hawk must have given the Pirates some momentum as they then went on to beat second seeded Barneveld — a team they lost to by the score of 66-34 in the state semifinals in 2015 — 56-52.

But it was all for not as Milwaukee Academy of Science beat the Pirates by two points, 76-74, in the sectional final at Watertown.

Oh so close.

Nearly a no-no

Ok, third baseman Drew Behling is arguably one of the best players in recent memory for the Waupun prep baseball program. That’s what coaches and players — past and present — will tell you.

But with two outs in the bottom of the seventh of a D2 state semifinal against Mosinee, he lost a high-bouncing groundball in one of the lights at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton.

It resulted in Behling miscalculating his leap to try and snag it for what would have been a web gem of play, and as a result, Mosinee’s Austin Freiboth reached on a single to left.

If it was any other play, his teammates would just tell him get the next one and be done. But it wasn’t just any ole play, it was one that would have preserved a no-hitter for Brenden Bille.

Such talks were over, but Bille made quick work of the next batter and helped the Warriors move on to a state championship game later that day against West Salem.

Oh so close.

Time’s up, make a decision

In June, the WIAA voted in favor of implementing a 35-second shot clock.

But the new rule was met with backlash from athletic directors — and some coaches — across the state because of the cost of equipment, cost of training people to operate it, and even more poor play from certain teams.

It led to the WIAA Board of Control voting 7-3 to rescind the new shot clock early in December.

Oh so close.

Follow Mark on Twitter @mmcmull2.

Mark McMullen is currently a sports reporter for the Daily Citizen. He can be reached by email at or by phone at 920-356-6754. Can also follow him on Twitter at @mmcmull2.