Three St. Croix County teams make state football semifinals

Call St. Croix County one of the football hotbeds of Wisconsin.
Three county teams (Hudson, Somerset and Glenwood City) advanced to the WIAA state football semifinals, which will be played this Friday and Saturday around the state.
Somerset will face undefeated Black River Falls at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, in the Division 4 semifinals at Eau Claire’s Carson Park. Hudson will play at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, at D.C. Everest High School, facing Arrowhead in the Division 1 semis. That will also be the site for Glenwood City’s Division 7 semifinal game. The Hilltoppers will face Hilbert at 12:30 p.m. at D.C. Everest.
The three county programs have some similarities and some drastic differences. The biggest similarity may be that all three teams rely heavily on the Triple Option offense. Hudson coach Adam Kowles and Somerset coach Bruce Larson are both products of the UW-River Falls football team, where the option offense was the staple of the Falcon program for decades. Kowles was a quarterback for the Falcons and Larson was a lineman.
Glenwood City is the new addition to the option attack. Hilltopper coach Shane Strong spent extensive time this summer learning the option offense from several coaches in the area.
The biggest difference in the programs may have been their route to the semifinals. Somerset is a veteran playoff team. This is the sixth time in 12 years the Spartans have reached the semifinals. They are trying to earn a return trip to the state championship game after losing there last season.
Hudson has become a strong Big Rivers Conference team, but the Raiders couldn’t translate that success to the playoffs until this season. The Hudson program had two playoff wins in team history until its success this season.
Glenwood City has been a success in the past, but the Toppers bottomed out last season, finishing at 1-8. The revamped offense, which pairs talented backs and linemen, has rapidly turned the Glenwood City program around.