skip navigation

WIAC Football All-Conference and Awards Announced

11/21/2019, 4:15pm CST

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Cole Spieker was named the Offensive Player of the Year, while UW-Whitewater’s Mackenzie Balanganayi was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year and UW-Oshkosh’s Jaydon Haag selected the Special Teams Player of the Year to lead the individuals selected to the 2019 All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Football Team by the league coaches. In addition, UW-Oshkosh’s Kobe Berghammer received Newcomer of the Year recognition and Titans head coach Pat Cerroni collected George Chryst Coach of the Year honors.

Spieker secured first team recognition for the second straight year and is the first player in program history to receive the offensive award. He leads the conference with 83 receptions, 1,216 receiving yards, 12 receiving touchdowns and 78 points, while ranking second with 1,287 all-purpose yards. His 1,216 receiving yards are second on the school’s single-season list. Spieker had four contests of at least two touchdowns and five games of at least 141 yards, including a season-best 209 against UW-River Falls on Oct. 19. Against UW-Eau Claire on Nov. 9, he caught a school-record 17 passes, which rank fourth in WIAC history.

Balanganayi’s selection marks the third time a Warhawk has claimed the defensive honor, joining Brandon Tamsett (2016) and Harry Henschler (2018). Balanganayi is second in the league with nine quarterback sacks and fifth with 12 tackles for loss. His totals include a season-best eight tackles against UW-Stout on Nov. 9.

Haag becomes the third Titan to collect the special teams plaque, joining Nate Ray (2014) and Dom Todarello (2017). Haag has converted all 11 of his field goal attempts, including a season-long 49-yard kick against UW-Whitewater on Nov. 16. The 49-yarder is the longest in the conference in 2019. Haag has made 23-of-26 extra-point attempts.

Berghammer is sixth in the WIAC with 592 rushing yards, 1,521 passing yards and 2,113 total offense yards. Against Huntingdon College (Ala.) on Sept. 21, he completed 20-of-22 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 34 rushing yards with one touchdown. A Newcomer of the Year is defined as a student-athlete who used his first season of participation in football this season.

UW-Eau Claire’s Sam Romanski and UW-Whitewater’s Quinn Meinerz were repeat selections on the first team from 2018.

Cerroni secured the coaching honor for the fourth time in his career (2012, 2015, 2017) after directing the Titans to a share of the program’s 11th conference championship. UW-Oshkosh also earned a spot in the NCAA Division III Championship for the fifth time in program archives. The Coach of the Year Award is named after George Chryst, who was the head coach at UW-Platteville from 1979-92. He also served as the school’s athletics director from 1981-92.

An All-Sportsmanship Team was chosen for individuals that displayed exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season. It included one member from each school.

2019 All-WIAC Football Team

Offensive Player of the Year:  Cole Spieker of La Crosse
Defensive Player of the Year:  Mackenzie Balanganayi of Whitewater
Special Teams Player of the Year:  Jaydon Haag of Oshkosh
Newcomer of the Year:  Kobe Berghammer of Oshkosh
George Chryst Coach of the Year:  Pat Cerroni of Oshkosh
Max Sparger Scholar-Athlete:  Drew Rakers of Platteville

First Team – Offense

Name, School, Year, Position, Hometown (High School)

Justin Kasuboski, Oshkosh, Junior, Tight End, Omro, Wis.

Kyle Gannon, Whitewater, Junior, Offensive Line, Waukesha, Wis. (West)

Hank Westemeyer, Platteville, Senior, Offensive Line, Johnston, Iowa

Alex Wipperfurth, Oshkosh, Senior, Offensive Line, Sauk City, Wis. (Sauk Prairie)

Quinn Meinerz, Whitewater, Junior, Offensive Line, Hartford, Wis.

Mike Olsen, Oshkosh, Junior, Center, Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)

Evan Lewandowksi, La Crosse, Sophomore, Quarterback, Lake Zurich, Ill.

Colin Schuetz, Platteville, Junior, Quarterback, Aviston, Ill. (Breese Mater Dei Catholic)

Alex Peete, Whitewater, Junior, Running Back, Ringwood, Ill. (Johnsburg)

Wyatt Thompson, Platteville, Senior, Running Back, Mount Horeb, Wis.

Alex Herink, River Falls, Senior, Wide Receiver, Hudson, Wis.

Cole Spieker, La Crosse, Senior, Wide Receiver, Brainerd, Minn.

Ryan Wisniewski, Whitewater, Junior, Wide Receiver, Sparta, Wis.

Kevion McDonald, Stout, Senior, All-Purpose Back, Hopkins, Minn.

First Team – Defense

Mackenzie Balanganayi, Whitewater, Junior, Defensive Line, Palatine, Ill.

Jordan Brand, Whitewater, Senior, Defensive Line, Chicago, Ill. (St. Rita)

Brady Heimer, Oshkosh, Senior, Defensive Line, Kimberly, Wis.

Sam Romanski, Eau Claire, Senior, Defensive Line, Wausau, Wis. (East)
Kaleb Kaminski, Whitewater, Junior, Linebacker, Tomahawk, Wis.

Victor Martinelli, Eau Claire, Junior, Linebacker, Milton, Wis.

Rusty Murphy, La Crosse, Junior, Linebacker, Cudahy, Wis.

Nick Noethe, Oshkosh, Junior, Linebacker, Blue Mounds, Wis. (Mount Horeb)
Peter Kissling, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, Oregon, Wis.

Donovan Lucas, Stevens Point, Junior, Defensive Back, Milwaukee, Wis. (Brown Deer)

Mark McGrath, Whitewater, Junior, Defensive Back, Lisle, Ill.

Tyler Reinhardt, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Back, Slinger, Wis.

Jed Schlegel, Stout, Senior, Defensive Back, Baldwin, Wis. (Spring Valley)

First Team – Special Teams

Jaydon Haag, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Placekicker, Sparta, Wis.

Alec Benzinger, Stout, Junior, Punter, Waukesha, Wis. (Mukwonago)

Donovan Lucas, Stevens Point, Junior, Return Specialist, Milwaukee, Wis. (Brown Deer)

Mitchell Berghs, Oshkosh, Senior, Special Teams Player, Pewaukee, Wis. (Hartland Arrowhead)

Second Team – Offense

Jonte Webb, Stevens Point, Senior, Tight End, Marinette, Wis.

Jalen Burks, Stevens Point, Senior, Offensive Line, Milwaukee, Wis. (Riverside)

Jared Hunter, River Falls, Junior, Offensive Line, Luck, Wis.

Levi Ross, River Falls, Senior, Offensive Line, St. Francis, Minn.

Drew Shrader, Eau Claire, Junior, Offensive Line, Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)

Carter Brehm, Platteville, Sophomore, Center, Dysart, Iowa (Union)

Bailey Roux, Stout, Junior, Center, Rice Lake, Wis.

Austin Belot, Eau Claire, Junior, Running Back, Neenah, Wis.

Joey Stutzman, La Crosse, Sophomore, Running Back, Lake Zurich, Ill.

Donald Allender, Platteville, Junior, Wide Receiver, Youngstown, N.Y. (Lewiston-Porter)

Levy Hamer, Stout, Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Chicago, Ill. (St. Laurence)

Tyler Knigge, Platteville, Senior, Wide Receiver, Waukesha, Wis. (South)

Jake Simuncak, La Crosse, Junior, All-Purpose Back, South Milwaukee, Wis.

Second Team – Defense

Ryan Flathers, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Line, Lewiston, Minn. (Lewiston-Altura)

Brandon Kolgen, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Defensive Line, Appleton, Wis. (North)

Trenton LaCombe, Oshkosh, Junior, Defensive Line, Seymour, Wis.

Mason Olson, Stout, Senior, Defensive Line, Clear Lake, Minn. (Becker)

Jacob Erbs, Whitewater, Senior, Linebacker, Reedsburg, Wis.

Kameron Kryzanski, Stevens Point, Junior, Linebacker, Thorp, Wis.

Max Praschak, River Falls, Senior, Linebacker, Somerset, Wis.

Luke Wilz, Stout, Senior, Linebacker, Manawa, Wis. (Little Wolf)

Kollyn Beyer, Oshkosh, Junior, Defensive Back, Mount Horeb, Wis.

Felix King, Stevens Point, Sophomore, Defensive Back, Chicago, Ill. (John Adams)

Walter Ollie, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Back, Pearl City, Ill.

Nate Tranel, Whitewater, Senior, Defensive Back, Lancaster, Wis.

Second Team – Special Teams

Andrew Schweigert, Platteville, Freshman, Placekicker, Sussex, Wis. (Hamilton)

Hunter Grams, Platteville, Sophomore, Punter, Dane, Wis. (Lodi)

Jake Simuncak, La Crosse, Junior, Return Specialist, South Milwaukee, Wis.

Drew Rakers, Platteville, Senior, Special Teams Player, Elm Grove, Wis. (Brookfield East)

Honorable Mention – Offense

Jared Zausch, Whitewater, Junior, Tight End, Saukville, Wis. (Ozaukee)

Ben Peterson, Eau Claire, Senior, Offensive Line, New Richmond, Wis.

Alex Richardson, La Crosse, Junior, Offensive Line, New River, Ariz. (Boulder Creek)

Alex Bongers, La Crosse, Sophomore, Center, Nerstrand, Minn. (Bethlehem Academy)

Ben Beckman, River Falls, Senior, Quarterback, Blaine, Minn.

Sean Borgerding, Stout, Sophomore, Quarterback, Spring Valley, Wis.

Riley Kallas, Oshkosh, Senior, Wide Receiver, Winneconne, Wis.

Derek Kumerow, Whitewater, Junior, Wide Receiver, Bartlett, Ill. (South Elgin)

JT Parish, Whitewater, Junior, Wide Receiver, Cambridge, Wis.

Cameron Sorenson, La Crosse, Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Oshkosh, Wis. (North)

Alex Traxler, River Falls, Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Platteville, Wis.

Ryan Wisniewski, Whitewater, Junior, All-Purpose Back, Sparta, Wis.

Honorable Mention - Defense

Bryce Arneson, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Line, Barneveld, Wis.

Berkley Corvino, Stevens Point, Sophomore, Defensive Line, Weston, Wis. (D.C. Everest)

Justin Hansen, Whitewater, Senior, Defensive Line, Beloit, Wis. (Turner)

Brandon Hughes, Oshkosh, Junior, Defensive Line, West Allis, Wis. (Brookfield Central)

Jackson McMahan, Platteville, Junior, Defensive Line, Belleville, Wis.

Charlie Sanders, River Falls, Senior, Defensive Line, Hampshire, Ill. (Burlington Central)

Aaron Wisecup, Stout, Senior, Defensive Line, Monticello, Minn.

Zachary Zillmer, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Line, Black River Falls, Wis.

Matt Anderson, Whitewater, Senior, Linebacker, Rockford, Ill. (Lutheran)

Logan Heise, Oshkosh, Junior, Linebacker, Wausau, Wis. (West)

Tory Jandrin, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Linebacker, Forestville, Wis. (Southern Door)

Antonio-Jose Ramos, Platteville, Senior, Linebacker, Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)

Nevada Laabs, Stevens Point, Sophomore, Linebacker, Merrill, Wis.

Andy Metcalf, River Falls, Junior, Linebacker, La Crosse, Wis. (Logan)

Jordan Zilbar, Platteville, Senior, Linebacker, Dover, Fla. (Strawberry Crest)

Jared Churak, Eau Claire, Junior, Defensive Back, Huntley, Ill. (Marian Central)

Calvin Shilling, Oshkosh, Senior, Defensive Back, South Milwaukee, Wis.

Honorable Mention – Special Teams

Sean Parker, La Crosse, Junior, Punter, Portland, Ore. (Westview)

Walter Ollie, Platteville, Senior, Return Specialist, Pearl City, Ill.

Connor Wears, La Crosse, Senior, Special Teams Player, Amery, Wis.

Donovan Lucas, Stevens Point, Junior, Special Teams Player, Milwaukee, Wis. (Brown Deer)

Justin Prostinak, Whitewater, Senior, Special Teams Player, Milwaukee, Wis. (Lake Country Lutheran)

All-Sportsmanship Team

Brett Burant, Platteville, Junior, Offensive Line, Stevens Point, Wis. (Pacelli)

Nathan Clark, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, Wales, Wis. (Kettle Moraine)

Mike Kremer, Oshkosh, Junior, Linebacker, Eagle, Wis. (Whitnall)

Ben Laube, Eau Claire, Senior, Defensive Line, Eau Claire, Wis. (Memorial)

Dylan Peterson, Stout, Senior, Defensive Line, Stratford, Wis.

Matthew Saager, Whitewater, Senior, Offensive Line, Lodi, Wis.

Sam Shafer, Stevens Point, Senior, Defensive Back, Prescott, Wis. (River Falls)

Mike Williams, River Falls, Senior, Offensive Line, St. Paul, Minn. (White Bear Lake)

UW-Platteville’s Rakers Named Max Sparger Football Scholar-Athlete

University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Drew Rakers has been selected the recipient of the 2019 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Max Sparger Football Scholar-Athlete Award.

A senior from Elm Grove, Wis. (Brookfield East), Rakers boasts a 3.92 grade point average and is majoring in environmental engineering. He was named to the 2019 NCAA Division III Academic All-District® Six Football Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, and is a three-time member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll. Rakers has earned a spot on UW-Platteville’s Dean’s List numerous semesters and received Chancellor’s List distinction.

A two-year team captain, Rakers secured All-WIAC second team honors this year for the second straight season. Entering the 2019 campaign, he earned a spot on the Free Agent Football Division III Pre-Season All-America First Team and the Special Teams U All-American Watchlist. Rakers was selected UW-Platteville’s Special Teams MVP in 2018.

He is a member of Chi Epsilon and Tau Betta Pi Honor Societies, Eagle Scouts and the Platteville Society of Environmental Engineers. In addition, he works as an Engineering and Mathematics Tutor for the SSS-TRIO program at UW-Platteville.

Also nominated for this year’s award were: UW-La Crosse’s Trenten Smith (Sr., Roberts, Wis./St. Croix Central); UW-River Falls’ Alexander Hohenstein (Sr., South Haven, Minn./Annandale); UW-Stevens Point’s Kaleb Bolder (Sr., Milladore, Wis./Auburndale); UW-Stout’s Brandon Vecchio (Sr., Tomahawk, Wis.); and UW-Whitewater’s Matt Anderson (Sr., Rockford, Ill./Lutheran).

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.

Tag(s): News Archive  News  Travis Wilson  Alumni