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Al Toon Award Finalists for top senior wide receiver or tight end

11/03/2021, 12:00pm CDT
By Travis Wilson

Former Badger receiver Al Toon

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 25 semi-finalists, and five finalists for the award have now been selected. Winners will be announced the week of the state finals.

Colin Girdaukas, Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran/Christian

Despite being limited by injury the last few weeks, Colin Girdaukas has put together another strong season, catching 58 passes for 846 yards with a state-high 17 touchdowns. It follows a junior campaign where he caught 58 passes for 1,495 yards with 18 touchdowns in just eight games, setting a new state record for most receiving yards per game. He also set the state record for most single-game receiving yards last season when he had 339 yards on seven catches in a one-point win over New Holstein. For his career he has 188 catches (8th all-time) for 3,339 yards (third all-time) with 48 touchdowns (2nd all-time). "His ability to take any pass to the house is a threat every team had to worry about," said head coach Ryan Eigenberger. "He had the ability to take any bubble screen, hitch, slant, etc. for deep yardage. His speed on deep passes also allowed him to beat teams deep."

Owen Pawlikowski, Kimberly

Kimberly's talented offense has the Papermakers undefeated heading into Level 3, as the team has put up big numbers while getting the ball in the hands of a number of playmakers. Among them is senior wide receiver Owen Pawlikowski. The 6'3" senior has caught 40 passes for 748 yards with nine touchdowns this season, earning unanimous First Team All-Conference. "Owen is one of the very best receivers to come through our program," said head coach Steve Jones. "He has a unique blend of size, speed, physicality, and ball skills. I understand he might not lead the state in yards or receptions because we spread the ball around, but he is averaging close to 19 yards per reception."

Sam Peiffer, Cedar Grove-Belgium

Cedar Grove-Belgium senior Sam Peiffer has seen an excellent arc to his career, starting with quality time on varsity as a sophomore when he caught 19 passes for 374 yards and five touchdowns. In just five games as a junior, he caught 33 passes for 623 yards and an astounding 15 touchdowns (that's an average of three scores per game). In his senior season the 6'2" wideout leads the state thus far in receptions with 96 and receiving yards with 1,404. He's also caught 15 touchdowns this year as the Rockets shared the Big East Conference title. "I think his stats speak volumes but what many outside our conference don’t know is that he was often getting doubled and even tripled covered in most games," said head coach Dan Schreurs. "Never once did he get frustrated as he understood that this opened the door for the rest of our offensive players to take advantage."

Jackson Trudgeon, Edgewood

Edgewood senior Jackson Trudgeon is one of the top all-around athletes in the state this season, making an impact in all three phases. As a dangerous receiver he has caught 50 passes for 1,060 yards with 15 touchdowns. He's also carried the ball 31 times for 377 yards and six touchdowns. Trudgeon is also an All-Conference defensive back as the team's leading tackler and has returned a punt for a touchdown.

Casey Verhagen, Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran/Christian

Casey Verhagen has teamed with Colin Girdaukas the last couple years to give the Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran/Christian team one of the best receiving duos the state has seen in recent seasons. After totaling just over 1200 yards and 11 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons, he's become the team's top producer through the air as a senior, catching 76 passes for 1,194 yards and 15 touchdowns.That includes a record-setting 22 receptions in a Level 2 loss to Brillion, when he went for 222 yards and two scores. "Casey is a D2 basketball scholarship player and has worked just as hard in football," said head coach Ryan Eigenberger. "He really came on this past season, taking over games when we needed it most."

About the Author

Travis Wilson serves as the 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)

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