Several members of the UW-La Crosse Eagles are named to the 2017 WIAC Football Team.
Three players made first team honors including Nick Holcomb for the offense while Noah Risch and Steve Law made the team for their defensive efforts during the season.
WIAC News Release (11/26/17) --
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Brett Kasper, UW-River Falls’ Nick Jacobsen and UW-Oshkosh’s Dom Todarello were named the Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year, respectively, to lead the individuals chosen to the 2017 All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Football Team by the league coaches. In addition, UW-Oshkosh head coach Pat Cerroni was selected the George Chryst Coach of the Year.
Kasper also secured the offensive award following the 2015 campaign. He leads the conference with 230.0 total offense yards per game, 226.0 passing yards per game, 21 passing touchdowns and a 187.0 pass efficiency rating, while ranking second with 2,034 passing yards. Kasper has thrown at least three touchdown passes in five games and only four interceptions in 191 attempts. He produced a season-high 339 passing yards against UW-Whitewater on Sept. 30.
Jacobsen collected first team honors for the second consecutive season. He compiled 28 tackles, including 18 solo stops, and had 8.5 tackles for losses of 45 yards and 3.5 quarterback sacks. Jacobsen registered a season-high eight tackles against Coe College (Iowa) on Sept. 2. The Falcons lead the conference in rushing defense with 79.8 yards per game and rank fourth in total defense with 316.0 yards per contest.
Todarello was a first team choice for the second straight year after leading the WIAC with 575 kick return yards. He also compiled 113 punt return yards. Todarello had a league-best 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against UW-River Falls on Oct. 28, and 61-yard punt return for a touchdown against University of Virginia Lynchburg on Sept. 9.
Repeat selections on the first team from a season ago included: UW-Oshkosh’s Dylan Hecker; and UW-Whitewater’s Marcus Hudson and Drew Patterson. Hecker and Hudson were also first team selections in 2015, along with UW-River Falls’ Kyle Narges.
Cerroni received the coaching award for the third time in his career (2012, 2015) after leading the Titans to a 9-0 regular-season mark and the 10th WIAC championship in program archives. UW-Oshkosh also secured a spot in the NCAA Division III Championship for the third consecutive season.
An All-Sportsmanship Team was chosen for individuals that displayed exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season. It included one member from each school.
2017 All-WIAC Football Team
First Team - Offense
Name, School, Year, Position, Hometown (High School)
Tony Gumina, Whitewater, Senior, Tight End, Sussex, Wis. (Hamilton)
Caleb Adams, Stout, Junior, Offensive Line, Rochester, Minn. (Mayo)
Ben McFall, Whitewater, Senior, Offensive Line, Rewey, Wis. (Iowa-Grant)
Tyler Powers, Oshkosh, Junior, Offensive Line, Greenville, Wis. (Hortonville)
Alex Wendorf, Oshkosh, Junior, Offensive Line, Watertown, Wis.
Ty Summers, Oshkosh, Senior, Center, Lake Villa, Ill. (Lakes Community)
Brett Kasper, Oshkosh, Senior, Quarterback, Two Rivers, Wis.
Dylan Hecker, Oshkosh, Senior, Running Back, Winneconne, Wis.
Drew Patterson, Whitewater, Junior, Running Back, Sussex, Wis. (Hamilton)
Marcus Hudson, Whitewater, Senior, Wide Receiver, Delavan, Wis. (Delavan-Darien)
Nick Holcomb, La Crosse, Senior, Wide Receiver, Germantown, Wis.
Sam Mentkowski, Oshkosh, Senior, Wide Receiver, Greenfield, Wis. (Whitnall)
Dom Todarello, Oshkosh, Junior, All-Purpose Back, Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)
First Team - Defense
Tanner Beaman, Stevens Point, Senior, Defensive Line, Phelps, Wis. (Northland Pines)
Isaiah Hardy, Stout, Senior, Defensive Line, Olympia Fields, Ill. (Rich Central)
Harry Henschler, Whitewater, Junior, Defensive Line, Janesville, Wis. (Craig)
Nick Jacobsen, River Falls, Senior, Defensive Line, Prescott, Wis.
Chandler Crary, Platteville, Senior, Linebacker, St. Charles, Ill. (Burlington Central)
Derrick Jennings Jr., Oshkosh, Junior, Linebacker, DeForest, Wis.
Josh Johnson, Stout, Senior, Linebacker, Little Canada, Minn. (St. Agnes)
Bryce Leszczynski, Whitewater, Junior, Linebacker, Milwaukee, Wis. (Pius XI)
Max Praschak, River Falls, Sophomore, Linebacker, Somerset, Wis.
Noah Risch, La Crosse, Senior, Linebacker, Holmen, Wis.
Famus Hasty, Whitewater, Junior, Defensive Back, Naperville, Ill. (Neuqua Valley)
Steve Law, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, Neenah, Wis.
Kyle Narges, River Falls, Senior, Defensive Back, Cumberland, Wis.
Cole Yoder, Oshkosh, Junior, Defensive Back, Oshkosh, Wis. (West)
First Team - Special Teams
Turner Geisthardt, Oshkosh, Junior, Place Kicker, Omro, Wis. (Oshkosh North)
Connor Foley, Platteville, Junior, Punter, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Xavier)
Dom Todarello, Oshkosh, Junior, Return Specialist, Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)
Derek Polkowski, Oshkosh, Senior, Special Teams Player, Rockford, Ill. (Winnebago)
Second Team - Offense
Cole Spieker, La Crosse, Sophomore, Tight End, Brainerd, Minn.
Levi Ross, River Falls, Sophomore, Offensive Line, St. Francis, Minn.
Donnie Rydzewski, Platteville, Senior, Offensive Line, Tinley Park, Ill. (Lincoln Way North)
Mitchell Schauer, Whitewater, Senior, Offensive Line, Tomahawk, Wis.
Bradley Schultz, La Crosse, Junior, Offensive Line, Altura, Minn. (Plainview-Elgin-Millville)
Isaac Bowe, River Falls, Senior, Center, Kasson, Minn. (Kasson-Mantorville)
Drew David, La Crosse, Junior, Quarterback, Sugar Grove, Ill. (Kaneland)
Michael Diggins, River Falls, Senior, Running Back, Andover, Minn. (Centennial)
Rayshawn Graham, Stout, Sophomore, Running Back, Blue Island, Ill. (Eisenhower)
Mark Johnson, Platteville, Junior, Wide Receiver, Johnston, Iowa
Kevion McDonald, Stout, Junior, Wide Receiver, Hopkins, Minn.
Trenton Monson, River Falls, Junior, Wide Receiver, Big Lake, Minn.
Kevion McDonald, Stout, Junior, All-Purpose Back, Hopkins, Minn.
Second Team - Defense
Cal Durni, Whitewater, Junior, Defensive Line, Brookfield, Wis. (East)
Sean Fassbender, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Line, Slinger, Wis.
Brady Heimer, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Defensive Line, Kimberly, Wis.
Brandon McKandes, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Line, Oconomowoc, Wis.
Jon Kallas, Oshkosh, Senior, Linebacker, Cedarburg, Wis.
Scott Skornicka, Oshkosh, Junior, Linebacker, Two Rivers, Wis.
Luke Johnson, Platteville, Sophomore, Defensive Back, Milan, Ill. (Rockridge)
AJ Plewa, Oshkosh, Junior, Defensive Back, South Milwaukee, Wis.
Luke Winnen, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, Appleton, Wis. (Kimberly)
Levi Wolf, Stout, Junior, Defensive Back, Elmwood, Wis.
Second Team - Special Teams
Drew Pearson, Stout, Junior, Place Kicker, Wausau, Wis. (West)
Turner Geisthardt, Oshkosh, Junior, Punter, Omro, Wis. (Oshkosh North)
Clark Riedel, Stout, Senior, Punter, Waukesha, Wis. (West)
Mark Johnson, Platteville, Junior, Return Specialist, Johnston, Iowa
Michael Pakos, La Crosse, Sophomore, Special Teams Player, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
Honorable Mention - Offense
Cody Moon, Oshkosh, Junior, Tight End, Eldorado, Wis. (Laconia)
Brodrick Bailey, Stevens Point, Senior, Offensive Line, Baraboo, Wis.
Jordan Mueller, Whitewater, Senior, Offensive Line, Plymouth, Wis.
Mitch Overbeck, Stevens Point, Junior, Offensive Line, Brussels, Wis. (Southern Door)
Austin Summers, Oshkosh, Junior, Offensive Line, Lake Villa, Ill. (Lakes Community)
Nate Trewyn, Whitewater, Junior, Center, Janesville, Wis. (Milton)
Tarek Yaeggi, La Crosse, Senior, Quarterback, Watertown, Wis.
Steve Herra, Stevens Point, Junior, Wide Receiver, Rockford, Ill. (Boylan)
Ryan Kruser, La Crosse, Senior, All-Purpose Back, Waunakee, Wis.
Honorable Mention - Defense
Rakeem Felder, River Falls, Junior, Defensive Line, Maple Grove, Minn. (Osseo)
Nick Kilianek, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Line, Villa Park, Ill. (Willowbrook)
Iyen Ogbomoh, Stout, Senior, Defensive Line, Olympia Fields, Ill. (Rich Central)
Jay Robinson, River Falls, Senior, Defensive Line, Bloomington, Minn.
Michael Garvey, La Crosse, Senior, Linebacker, Sun Prairie, Wis.
Victor Martinelli, Eau Claire, Freshman, Linebacker, Milton, Wis.
Nick Schulenburg, Stout, Senior, Linebacker, Fort Atkinson, Wis.
Kaeleb Stangler, Eau Claire, Senior, Linebacker, Rochester, Minn. (John Marshall)
Ryan Strick, Stevens Point, Junior, Linebacker, Naperville, Ill. (Waubonsie Valley)
Ryan Ames, Eau Claire, Senior, Defensive Back, Shakopee, Minn.
Juleyan Givens, Stevens Point, Senior, Defensive Back, Bolingbrook, Ill. (Plainfield East)
Ryan Weber, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, Holmen, Wis.
Michael Pierson, Stout, Senior, Defensive Back, Lino Lakes, Minn. (Centennial)
Taylor Ripplinger, Oshkosh, Junior, Defensive Back, Nashotah, Wis. (Hartland Arrowhead)
Enzo Rosani, Stout, Senior, Defensive Back, Gagny, France (La Hotoie)
Honorable Mention - Special Teams
Sean Parker, La Crosse, Freshman, Punter, Portland, Ore. (Westview)
Josh Ringelberg, Whitewater, Junior, Return Specialist, Greendale, Wis.
Beau Ash, Oshkosh, Senior, Special Teams Player, Waupaca, Wis.
Bo Babich, Platteville, Freshman, Special Teams Player, Appleton, Wis. (North)
Clay Dziekan, Stout, Junior, Special Teams Player, Mondovi, Wis.
Jake Coenen, Eau Claire, Senior, Center, Schofield, Wis. (D.C. Everest)
Nick Flesland, River Falls, Senior, Special Teams Player, Vadnais Heights, Minn. (White Bear Lake)
Jacob Grant, Oshkosh, Senior, Wide Receiver, Rolling Meadows, Ill.
Harry Green, Whitewater, Senior, Defensive Line, Chicago, Ill. (Shepard)
Blake Lehman, Stevens Point, Senior, Defensive Back, Edgar, Wis.
Marty McGrail, Platteville, Senior, Linebacker, Plainfield, Ill. (North)
Troy Rudesill, Stout, Senior, Defensive Line, Spring Valley, Wis.
Jacob Wudtke, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Line, Bonduel, Wis.
Offensive Player of the Year: Brett Kasper of Oshkosh
Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Jacobsen of River Falls
Special Teams Player of the Year: Dom Todarello of Oshkosh
George Chryst Coach of the Year: Pat Cerroni of Oshkosh
Max Sparger Scholar-Athlete: Michael Diggins of River Falls
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RELEASED: Thursday, November 16, 2017
UW-River Falls’ Diggins Named Max Sparger Football Scholar-Athlete
MADISON, Wis.--University of Wisconsin-River Falls’ Michael Diggins has been selected the recipient of the 2017 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Max Sparger Football Scholar-Athlete Award.
A senior from Andover, Minn. (Centennial), Diggins sustains a 3.71 grade point average and is majoring in health & physical education with a minor in adapted physical education. He was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society in 2017 and is a three-time member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll. Diggins has been recognized on UW-River Falls’ Dean’s List numerous semesters.
He secured All-WIAC second team recognition this season after earning honorable mention accolades in 2015 and 2016. Diggins amassed 1,298 rushing yards during the 2017 campaign to become the program’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2011. His 17 touchdowns and 102 points scored matched a school single-season record. Diggins was a team captain the past two years and two-time recipient of UW-River Falls’ Offensive MVP. In 2016, he received the Falcon Award as the team’s hard-working player.
Diggins is a member of the Minnesota Society of Health and Physical Educators and has volunteered at Shriner’s Hospital for Children. He has assisted with Relay for Life, Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, Bridge-On Campus, Trick-or-Treat For Canned Goods and Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. Diggins has served on the UW-River Falls Hall of Fame Committee and contributed to the UW-River Falls Educator Preparation Program and UW-River Falls Health & Human Performance Adapted Physical Education Program. He has worked with UW-River Falls Campus Recreation, as well as a youth football camp.
Also nominated for this year’s award were: UW-La Crosse’s Noah Risch (Sr., Holmen, Wis.); UW-Platteville’s Adam Schwab (Sr., Rice Lake, Wis.); UW-Stevens Point’s Blake Lehman (Sr., Edgar, Wis.); UW-Stout’s Troy Rudesill (Sr., Spring Valley, Wis.); and UW-Whitewater’s Tony Gumina (Sr., Sussex, Wis./Hamilton).
The WIAC Scholar-Athlete Award is named after Max Sparger, who served as commissioner of the Wisconsin State University Conference for 22 years from 1971-93. He oversaw the transition of the conference from NAIA to full NCAA membership. Sparger arrived at UW-Stout in 1959 and served the institution in a variety of capacities, including as an assistant football and basketball coach, head wrestling coach and head football coach. He served as UW-Stout's athletics director from 1969-71.
In order to be nominated for the scholar-athlete award, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.50 grade point average. In addition, he must be in his last year of competition, or on schedule to graduate this academic year, and have competed for a minimum of two years.