The Dave Krieg Award
is given annually to the state's top senior quarterback as part of the WSN Senior Football Awards presented by Taco Bell. The award is named after former D.C. Everest and Milton College athlete Dave Krieg, who went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL and still ranks in the Top 15 all-time in most passing categories.
The pre-season watch list was trimmed down to 25 semi-finalists, and five finalists for the award have now been selected. Winners are announced the week of the state finals.
Dave Krieg Award Finalists:
Ben Diedrick, Kimberly
– Diedrick followed up an outstanding junior season with an even better senior campaign, despite being the only returning starter on offense for the Papermakers. Through nine games, Diedrick has completed 99 of 136 passes (72.8%) for 1259 yards and 25 touchdowns for a 131.7 passer rating. He is second on the team with 6 rushing touchdowns as well to go with 322 yards on the ground. Kimberly is 8-1 heading into Level 2, and Diedrick was recently named the VFA-North Offensive Player of the Year. “He did all of this while leading an offense that has a “run-first” mentality and most times he only played in the first half of our games,” said Papermakers coach Steve Jones. “He did a tremendous job leading our very young and inexperienced offensive unit.”
Brett Kasper, Two Rivers
– After earning All-Conference honors at tight end last year, Kasper made the switch to the quarterback this season, and what a season it's been. He has re-written the school record books, completing 224 of 326 passes (68.7%) for 2435 yards to go with 28 touchdowns and a 108.9 passer rating. His yards and touchdowns are second in the state through 9 games. He also led the team with 575 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. The Raiders finished second in the EWC this year and beat a very good Menasha team in Level 1 of the playoffs for the program's first postseason victory in 22 years. “I have been able to see first hand the dedication and desire that Brett Kasper has put forth since playing in our youth program,” said head coach Brent Luebke. “He has dedicated his time in helping our staff turn around our football program.”
Brady Kelliher, Arrowhead
– Kelliher entered his first season as the starting quarterback after backing up Honorable Mention All-State pick Ryan Saeger last year. All he did was lead the Warhawks to a #1 ranking all season and a perfect 9-0 record heading into Level 2 of the Division 1 playoffs. Along the way he has posted eye-popping numbers despite limited action in a number of blowout games. He's completed 102 of 148 passes (68.9%) for 1597 yards and 15 touchdowns for a passer rating of 129.8. He's also a running threat in the team's spread offense, adding 6 touchdowns on the ground. “His leadership, intelligence, and legitimate D1 size and arm strength make him exactly the quarterback we all want representing the best of Wisconsin,” said Arrowhead head coach Greg Malling.
Tarek Yaeggi, Watertown
– Yaeggi has been among the state's most productive players the past two years. After throwing for 2241 yards and 22 touchdowns in 8 games as a junior, he has upped the ante even more, leading the state with 2482 passing yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior. Yaeggi has completed 172 of 269 passes (63.9%) with a passer rating of 122.9. The Goslings finished second in the tough Wisconsin Little Ten Conference and are in Level 2 of the playoffs this weekend. “I feel that in my 9 years of coaching I have not seen another quarterback in the state of Wisconsin execute the spread offense pass game as well as Tarek has done this season,” added Watertown head coach Benji Kamrath.
Chris Zblewski, Amherst
– There are some outstanding dual-threat quarterbacks in the state of Wisconsin, but it is hard to argue anyone has done it better than Zblewski the past two years. As a junior he eclipsed the 1000-yard mark in both passing and rushing with 28 total touchdowns. He's made it two years in a row with the 1000-1000 double; through 9 games he has passed for 1364 yards with 22 touchdowns, completing 88 of 137 passes (64.2%), while rushing for 1027 yards and 15 more scores. He is also the team's punt and kick returner, with a kickoff return for a touchdown on the year. He's done all this despite playing a full game only twice this year. “I feel Chris is worthy of being a finalist for the Dave Kreig Award,” Amherst head coach Mark Lusic said. “He is our team captain and leader on offense.” The Falcons won the CWC-8 title and are unbeaten through Level 1.