Note: The sports editors of swnews4u.com gathered two weeks ago in Lancaster to select our inaugural all-area teams for the 2011 prep fall sports season.
As a group we decided to pick our all-area teams a little different than other publications. Instead of simply naming worthy athletes to the team regardless of position with no limit on the number of athletes chosen, we elected to build our all-area teams like they were a fantasy team or an all-star team that would actually practice and play together in competition. Therefore, we limited roster sizes and picked the best possible combination of athletes from our six-conference, 27-school coverage area giving us, the so-called general managers, the best chance to win.
Here is our 2011 All-Area Football Team.
QB – Logan Emendorfer, Platteville, 6-1, 188, sr. – The quarterback position on our all-area team was the impetus of a spirited debate, but in the end Emendorfer’s exceptional passing abilities, all-around athleticism, leadership and experience won out over first-year Lancaster starter Justin Hore, who had a remarkable season in his own right. Emendorfer, a three-year starter, two-time all-SWC selection and honorable mention all-state quarterback, completed 96-of-156 passes (61.5 percent) for 1,599 yards and 24 TDs with just 6 interceptions in only 10 games. He also rushed for 402 yards and six more TDs. He finished his year 275-of-506 (54.4) for 3,991 yards and 48 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,204 yards and 22 TDs in 30 games.
RB - John Alanis, Seneca, 5-10, 200, sr. – the all-everything senior carrier the load for the WIAA Division 7 runner-up in more ways than won. Besides leading the Indians in tackles (166), Alanis also carried the ball a state-high 476 yards for a state-best 2,972 yards (the second highest total in state history) and 34 TDs. He also caught seven passes for 117 more yards while leading Seneca to an 11-3 record.
RB - Trae Mezera, Lancaster, 5-10, 170, jr. – was the leading rusher and scorer for the SWC champion and WIAA D5 state runner-up Flying Arrows (13-1). Mezera ran for 1,646 yards and 27 TDs on 187 carriers. He also caught three passes for 77 yards and another score, and returned 19 kickoffs for 503 yards (26.5 average) and three TDs. He scored a team-high 188 points and was the first option in Lancaster’s multi-faceted triple-option attack.
RB - Nate Carrier, Shullsburg, 5-10, 182, sr. – speaking of all-everything seniors, Carrier earns a spot in our starting lineup when we go with a three-back backfield because of what he meant to his 2-7 Shullsburg team. Despite running behind an offensive line that didn’t earn a single first or second-team all-conference honor in 2011, Carrier rushed for 1,580 yards and 15 TDs on 236 carries. He also caught 20 passes for 215 yards and 4 TDs. Carrier was also the talk of the state when he rushed for 388 yards and five touchdowns, had 96 yards on four kick returns and returned an interception 76 yards in a 54-41 victory over Pec/Arglye in Week 3.
WR - Hayden Schliem, Black Hawk, 6-0, 155, sr. – missed a portion of two games due to injury this year, but still managed to catch 31 passes for 724 yards and 10 TDs. Schleim was named first-team all-Six Rivers for a second consecutive year and led Black Hawk (8-3) to eight wins.
WR - David Bast, Platteville, 6-3, 191, sr. – finished his career as one of Platteville’s all-time leading receivers. Bast, an honorable mention all-state pick this fall and a two-time first-team, all-SWC choice, caught 36 passes for 534 yards and 7 touchdowns this fall. He finished his career with a school-record 126 catches for 1,606 yards and 24 TDs.
TE - Mitch Langkamp, Potosi, 6-0, 180, jr. – hauled in a team-high 26 catches for 432 yards and a team-best seven touchdowns. He was named first-team all-Six Rivers and helped Potosi finish 8-2 overall and win a share of a fourth straight conference title.
OT - Trenton Pink, Lancaster, 6-0, 215, sr. – started at left tackle for the SWC champion and Division 5 state runner-up Arrows. Pink was a first-team all-SWC selection this year and a second-team all-league pick a year ago. He helped the Arrows go 13-1.
OG - Matt Huebner, Lancaster, 6-1, 260, sr. – earned honorable mention all-state honors, as well as the SWC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year award as the league’s best blocker. Huebner, a two-time, all-SWC first-team selection, combined with Pink to pave the way for a record-setting Lancaster offensive that averaged school records for points (47.6), rushing yards (355.4) and total yards (452.6) per game.
C - Jesse Richardson, Belmont, 5-10, 255, sr. – earned the staring spot at center on our all-area team after paving the way for 900-yard rushers Brandon Wedig (1,337-17 TDs) and brotherJeremy Richardson (945-6). Jesse Richardson was a three-year starter for the Braves and a two-time, first-team all-league choice.
OG - Billy Marshall, Kickapoo/La Farge, 5-10, 195, jr. – the junior standout was named the Ridge and Valley Lineman of the Year and first-team all-league. Marshall helped Kickapoo/La Farge to a 6-5 record.
OT - Trent Denlinger, Cuba City, 6-6, 270, sr. – was named first-team all-SWAL for a second straight season while leading the Cubans to a 9-2 record. Denlinger, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound tower of a man, was also named the SWAL Lineman of the Year.
QB - Justin Hore, Lancaster, 6-5, 175, sr. – was the toughest omission from our starting lineup. The lanky senior put together an amazing final year rushing for 1,205 yards and 13 TDs on 192 carries, while completed 54-of-94 passes for 990 yards and 14 TDs with just 3 interceptions. He led the Arrows to a 13-1 record, the SWC championship and a berth in the WIAA Divison 5 state championship game.
RB - Zach Thorton, Prairie du Chien, 5-9, 200, sr. – rushed for 1,693 yards and 19 TDs and was named first-team all-SWC. Thorton was a shinning star on a sub-par Prairie du Chien (4-5, 1-4 SWC) team.
RB - Mitch Ricco, Ithaca, 5-9, 180. jr. – rushed for 1,472 yards and 20 TDs on 219 carriers for the Bulldogs (5-5).
WR - Brandon Pierick, Iowa-Grant, 6-0, 170, sr. – hauled in 35 catches for 525 yards and 7 TDs and earned first-team all-SWAL honors.
WR - Brady Wilkerson, Southwestern, 6-0, 170, sr. – caught 26 passes for 691 yards are 8 TDs and led the league with a 26.6 yards per catch average.
OT - Brock Hertrampf, Fennimore, 6-0, 250, jr. – The 6-foot, 250-pound Hertrampf was a bruising run blocker on a sub-par Fennimore team. He earned first-team all-SWAL honors.
OT - Josh DeYoung, Platteville, 6-3, 238, sr. – emerged as Platteville’s top offensive lineman in his senior year to win first-team all-SWC and WFCA all-region honors.
OG - Eli Humphrey, Darlington, 6-0, 200, sr. – was a first-team all-SWAL selection on both sides of the ball. He helped pave the way for SWAL Offensive Player of the Year Seth Rowe, who rushed for 925 yards and 20 TDs.
DE - Logan Schmidt, Richland Center, 6-6, 255, sr. –finished the year with 148 total tackles (103 solos), 22 tackles for loss and 13 quarterback sacks in just nine games. No one in the area compares to Schmidt on the defensive side of the ball. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound freak of nature was named the SWC Defensive Player of the Year and honorable mention all-state despite playing on a sub-par Richland Center (3-6, 2-3 SWC) team.
DT - Ben McFall, Iowa-Grant, 6-5, 285, jr. – had an outstanding junior season, recording 58 total tackles, two fumble recoveries and two sacks for the Panthers (7-3).
DT - Jared Grimsled, Seneca, 6-3, 220, jr. – made 69 total tackles and one sack as Seneca’s top interior lineman. Helped the Indians record five shutouts and reach the Division 7 state championship.
DE - Trent Denlinger, Cuba City, 6-6, 270, sr. – was a standout in terms of size and talent. Denlinger was named the SWAL lineman of the year and also earned honorable mention all-state honors on defense from the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. He finished the season with 57 total tackles, including 39 solos stops, seven sacks and 15 quarterback hurries.
OLB - Tom Keene, Potosi, 6-1, 170, sr. – led the co-Six Rivers champion Chieftains with 145 total tackles, including 46 solo stops. Keene also intercepted five passes and recovered three fumbles. Keene was named first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state.
MLB - Logan Bollant, Iowa-Grant, 5-10, 185, sr. – was named the SWAL Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-league at the conclusion of the year. He led the Panthers (7-3, 5-2 SWAL) with 76 total tackles. He also had one sack and one interception.
OLB - Mitch Fure, Platteville, 6-0, 209, jr. – a junior linebacker was named first-team all-SWC and first-team all-southwest region after leading the Hillmen in tackles. He was also named all-state honorable mention as a tight end with 19 receptions for 271 yards 4 TDs and could serve as our team’s backup in tight end in a pinch.
CB - Kile Jerrett, Lancaster, 6-0, 160, jr. – made a number of athletic defensive plays as Lancaster’s top cover corner, including a pair of leaping interceptions in the Arrows’ 49-21 SWC title-clinching victory over Platteville on the final night of the regular season. Jerrett finished the season with 57 tackles and three interceptions.
CB - Brandon Slaats, Cuba City, 5-9, 160, jr. – made 26 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries to earn first-team all-SWAL honors.
S - Logan Emendorfer, Platteville, 6-0, 188, sr. – was a dominant force on both sides of the ball was just as imposing defensively. Aside from Richland Center’s Schmidt, Emendorfer was probably the best defensive player in the SWC. He intercepted four passes and was among the team leaders in tackles for the 8-2 Hillmen.
S - A.J. Day, Lancaster, 5-8, 150, jr. – was a do-it all safety that had a nose for the ball. Despite being named second-team all-SWC Day makes our starting line-up for his big play capability. He finished second on the D5 state runner-up Arrows defense with 97 total tackles and finished second with seven pass break-ups and four interceptions.
DE - Ethan Grimsled, Seneca, 6-6, 260, sr. – The senior defensive end made 50 tackles and led the team with four sacks. He was also named first-team all-conference and helped the Indians (11-3) reach the WIAA Division 7 state championship game.
DE - David Stoney, Belmont, 6-1, 255, sr. – finished third on the Braves with 67 tackles from his end position and also led the team with four quarterback sacks. Stoney was named first-team all-league.
DT - Curtis Olson, Lancaster, 5-10, 240, sr. - the first-team all-team all-SWC defensive tackle recorded 44 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss and a team-high 5 ½ sacks for the Division 5 state runner-up Arrows.
LB - Seth Rowe, Darlington, 5-9, 215, sr. – registered 66 totals tackles, 22 solos, with four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in eight games for the SWAL champion Redbirds.
LB - Chad Lange, Cuba City, 6-2, 190, sr. – registered 97 total tackles, including 63 solo stops, two sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery. He was also named first-team all-SWAL.
LB - Seth Liegel, River Valley, 5-11, 165, jr. - the two-time, first-team all-SWC linebacker lead the Blackhawks in tackles again this year.
LB - Tyler Kleist, Highland, 5-10, 180, sr. – Kleist led the Cardinals in tackles, helped Highland win a share of the Six Rivers Conference title and earned first-team all-SRC honors for the second straight season.
CB - Dylan Tranel, Platteville, 6-2, 174, sr. – the speedy, 6-2 Tranel was Platteville’s top cover man in 2011 intercepting four passes to help the Hillmen go 8-2.
CB - Evan Ewing, Richland Center, 6-0, 175, sr. – led the Hornets with four interceptions and returned one for a touchdown. The first-team all-SWC defensive back also recovered one fumble.
S - Brandon Hardyman ,Darlington, 6-0, 165, sr. – recorded 54 total tackles, including 28 solo stops, and also led the Redbirds (7-3) with five interceptions.
K - Greg Ganter, Cuba City, 6-0, 200, jr. – the first-team all-SWAL kicker converted 39-of-41 extra points and 5-of-7 field goal attempts this year for the Cubans (9-2).
P - Cameron McGee, Ithaca, 6-4, 170, jr. – the three-time first-team all-Ridge and Valley punter once again led the league in punting average.
RS - Troy Baker, Lancaster, 5-10, 165, jr. – the junior speedster was a threat to take every kickoff all the way. Baker averaged 26.1 yards on 23 kick returns and returned three of them for touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,209 yards and 15 TDs, and caught 13 passes for 343 yards and five more scores.
HEAD COACH (Coach of the Year)
Shaun Reuter, Highland – In his first year a Highland’s Head Coach Reuter led the fast-improving Cardinals to an 8-3 overall record, a share of the Six River Conference title and to the third round of the WIAA Division 7 playoffs. Highland was bounced from the postseason by eventual state runner-up Seneca. Just two years ago these same Cardinals finished 0-9.
OFFENSIVE CAPTAIN (Offensive Player of the Year)
John Alanis, Seneca, sr. – battled ankle injuries late in the season, but Alanis was an offensive juggernaut throughout the entire 2011 season. The senior tailback rushed for a state-best 2,972 yards (the second highest total in state history) and 34 TDs on 476 carries. He also caught seven passes for 117 more yards and led the Seneca defense with 166 total tackles.
DEFENSIVE CAPTAIN (Defensive Player of the Year)
Logan Schmidt, Richland Center, sr. – Schmidt was an unbloackable beast. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound defensive end disrupted offenses so much he was named the Southwest Wisconsin Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a two-time, first-team all-SWC selection, and a second-team all-league pick as a sophomore. Schmidt finished the year with 148 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 13 quarterback sacks.