The Al Toon Award is given annually to the state's top senior wide receiver or tight end as part of the WSN Senior Football Awards. The award is named after former University of Wisconsin athlete Al Toon, who went on to play in the NFL for several very successful seasons before multiple concussions ended his career early. Toon is an active member of the community in the Madison area both in the business world and in various charitable endeavors.
The pre-season watch list was trimmed down to 20 semi-finalists, and eight finalists for the award have now been selected. Winners are announced the week of the state finals.
Al Toon Award Finalists:
Alex Anthony, Whitefish Bay - The Blue Dukes shared the North Shore Conference title, defeating nemesis Homestead along the way. A balanced offensive attack helped lead the way, as Anthony was the top target for Dave Krieg Award finalist Cade Garcia. He had 70 catches for 1,141 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Blue Dukes. "Alex is the most complete receiver I have ever coached," said head coach Jake Wolter. "His route-running and hands are the best in the state."
Donovan Blevins, Platteville - Blevins was a bit under the radar coming into the season, but has had a breakout senior campaign for the Hillmen and their prolific passing attack. Through ten games, he has caught 65 passes for 1,317 yards and 21 touchdowns. "He is by far the most dynamic player I have had the opportunity to coach," said Platteville head man Ryler Bailey. "Every time he touches the ball there is a potential for something big to happen."
Sam Ferris, Xavier - The younger brother of 2013 Dave Krieg Award winner Matt Ferris, Sam has carved his own path as an outstanding two-way player on the outside for the Hawks. He's really come into his own in 2017 after twice breaking his collarbone last year, catching 85 passes for 1,044 yards and 13 touchdowns for Xavier. "Sam is a game-changing athlete," said head coach Dave Hinkens. "He warrants double coverage and is a dynamic athlete that requires defenses to adjust to his alignment."
Hayden Iverson, Lake Mills - Iverson set a new single-season touchdown receptions record in Level 1 of the playoffs, when his four scoring catches put him at 26 for the season. After a junior season that saw him haul in 82 passes for 1,067 yards and 11 touchdowns, he is up to 77 catches for 1,573 yards and a new state record 27 touchdowns as a senior, averaging 20.4 yards per reception.
Isaiah Owens, Milwaukee Lutheran - Owens seemingly came out of nowhere in 2017 to post big-play numbers for the Red Knights. As a senior, he caught 40 passes for 995 yards and 19 touchdowns, averaging 24.9 yards per catch. He caught 5 passes for 126 yards and 4 touchdowns in the team's playoff loss to Whitefish Bay.
Nathan Stoffel, Marathon - Stoffel is one of the few tight ends to be selected as a finalist for the Al Toon Award, but he is certainly deserving. A true tight end, he is dominant as a blocker, but athletic enough to put up big numbers through the air for the Red Raiders. He caught 55 passes for 1,018 yards and 12 touchdowns, including six catches for 194 yards and 3 scores in an opening playoff win over Northern Elite. By season's end he will have school records for receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Committed to South Dakota, he is also a top player at defensive end.
Isaiah Westfall, Wisconsin Rapids - Westfall is a returning Honorable Mention All-State pick and the top-ranked received in WSN's Player Rankings, and he did not disappoint. He overcame an off-season cancer diagnosis to play in every game for the Raiders, catching 39 passes for 792 yards and 14 touchdowns. "He blocks extremely well," added head coach Tony Biolo. "He is aggressive, and we had a lot of rushing yards on the perimeter due to his blocks."
Marquon Williams, Kenosha Bradford - Williams had some huge games against very good competition this season, including a 10-catch, 216-yard, three touchdown performance as the Red Devils nearly knocked off Franklin. In a playoff loss to Badger, he caught 9 passes for 165 yards and a score. For the season, Williams finished with 50 catches for 819 yards and 9 touchdowns, averaging 16.4 yards per catch despite being limited in a couple games due to a hamstring issue. "He's absolutely the most well-rounded receiver I have coached at the high school level," said head coach Matt Rizzo.
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