Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are happy to announce Xavier's Mac Strand as the 2020 recipient of the John Anderson Award as the most outstanding senior linebacker in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.
Xavier's Mac Strand had 110 tackles...as a freshman. Since that time, he's moved from defensive end to linebacker and blossomed into the top-ranked player in the state at his position in the WSN Player Rankings.
In eight games this season, he recorded 63 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and seven sacks. For his illustrious career he has 360 tackles, 48 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles. In a dominating playoff victory over high-flying Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran/Christian, Strand had 13 tackles, six tackles for loss, and three sacks.
Strand was also a key part of the team's offense this season, finishing second with 610 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He has more than 1200 yards on the ground in his career. As a senior, Strand was named the Outstanding Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Linebacker of the Year in the Bay Conference.
"Mac is the most physical player I have coached in my 20 years at Xavier High School," head coach Dave Hinkens said. "Teams have to account for Mac on every snap and that changes games with relentless physical force to the ball."
Finalists for the award were Strand, Owen Arnett of Arrowhead, Orion Boe of D.C. Everest, Austin Dahlke of Edgar, Colin Heckman of Menomonee Falls, Caden Mulhollan of Wilmot, Will Ockler of Menomonie, Will Straka of Mineral Point, and Anthony Tomczak of Muskego.
Past winners include Arrowhead's Derek Landisch (2010), Wisconsin Rapids' Vince Biegel (2011), Green Bay Southwest's Nathan Paup (2012), Mukwonago's Dominic Cizauskas (2013), Wausau West's Jake Whalen (2014), Menomonie's Mason Stokke (2015), Bay Port's Matt Lorbeck (2016), Catholic Memorial's C.J. Goetz (2017), Grantsburg's Leo Chenal (2018), and Marquette's Riley Nowakowski (2019).
The award is named after John Anderson, a former Waukesha South standout who received All-Conference and All-State recognition on both offense and defense for the Blackshirts. He would go on to star for the University of Michigan for four seasons where he twice earned All-Big Ten honors. Anderson would be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft and go on to a successful 12-year career. Upon his retirement he was the Packers all-time leader in tackles with 1,020 (the Packer only have stats compiled since 1975) and still holds that record today. He was named to the NFL's All-Decade team for the 1980's and the Packers Hall of Fame in 1996.
The voting panel for the WSN Senior Football Awards consisted of: Travis Wilson, WSN General Manager and Head Football Writer; Norbert Durst, WSN Content Manager; Dennis Semrau, ESPN Madison; B.J. DeGroot, WSCO The Score 95.3 in Appleton; Curt Hogg, NOW Newspapers; Dan Barwick, WSN Contributor; Colton Wilson, WSN Content Producer; Fan Vote
Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.
For the latest and most up to date football news and recruiting information, follow Travis on Twitter @travisWSN. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Travis at travis(at)wissports.net.