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WIAC Football All-Conference and Awards Announced

11/19/2021, 12:30pm CST

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Max Meylor and Mackenzie Balanganayi were selected the Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, while UW-La Crosse’s Jake Simuncak secured Special Teams Player of the Year honors to lead the individuals selected to the 2021 All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Football Team by the league coaches. In addition, UW-Whitewater’s Kyle Koelblinger received Newcomer of the Year honors and Warhawks head coach Kevin Bullis, along with UW-River Falls’ Matt Walker shared George Chryst Coach of the Year honors. 

Meylor leads the WIAC with 29 touchdown passes, a 186.7 passing efficiency and 70.4 completion percentage. He has completed 171-of-243 passes for 2,273 yards. Meylor has thrown for a season-high 303 yards vs. UW-Eau Claire on Oct. 30. He has registered a season-best four touchdown passes in four games. 

Balanganayi received the defensive award for the second time in his career (2019). He has contributed 25 tackles on the season (7 solo, 18 assisted), 6.5 tackles for losses of 46 yards and 4.5 sacks for 40 yards. Balanganayi has been credited with nine quarterback hurries. He spearheads a defense that allows just 11.9 points per game and 71.7 rushing yards per contest. 

Simuncak is second in the conference with 11.9 yards per punt return and third with 24.8 yards per kick return. He had a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown against UW-Stevens Point on Oct. 30. Earlier in the season, he added a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against UW-Platteville on Oct. 16. It was the longest kickoff return for a touchdown in program history. 

Koelblinger finished third on the team with 39 tackles (29 solo, 10 assisted). He also had two tackles for loss, two interceptions and three pass break-ups. A Newcomer of the Year is defined as a student-athlete who used his first season of participation in football this season. Transfers are not eligible unless they didn’t participate in football at their previous institution. 

Repeat selections on the first team from 2019 include: UW-La Crosse’s Rusty Murphy; UW-Oshkosh’s Mike Olsen; UW-Whitewater’s Kyle Gannon, Mark McGrath, Alex Peete, and Ryan Wisniewski. Peete also received first team status in 2018. 

This is the third time in conference history that the coaching honor has been shared. Walker received the coaching award after leading the Falcons to an 8-2 overall record after a 2-8 campaign in 2019. The eight wins are the most since 1996 when they posted a 9-2 mark. The Falcons will be competing in the inaugural Culver’s Isthmus Bowl on Nov. 20. 

Bullis led UW-Whitewater to a 10-0 mark and the 38th WIAC championship in program history. The Warhawks will be participating in their 17th NCAA championship when they square off against Greenville College (Ill.) on Nov. 20. 

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

2021 All-WIAC Football Team

Offensive Player of the Year: Max Meylor of Whitewater
Defensive Player of the Year: Mackenzie Balanganayi of Whitewater
Special Teams Player of the Year: Jake Simuncak of La Crosse
Newcomer of the Year: Kyle Koelblinger of Whitewater
George Chryst Coach of the Year: Kevin Bullis of Whitewater & Matt Walker of River Falls
Max Sparger Scholar-Athlete: Kyle Gannon of Whitewater

First Team – Offense 

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

Ben Beise, River Falls, Senior, Tight End, Loretto, Minn. (West Lutheran) 
Mike Bertoia, La Crosse, Sophomore, Offensive Line, Lake Zurich, Ill. (Lake Zurich) 
Kyle Gannon, Whitewater, Senior, Offensive Line, Waukesha, Wis. (West) 
Douglas Kosch, Whitewater, Senior, Offensive Line, Bridgeview, Ill. (St. Laurence) 
Hunter Schultz, Oshkosh, Senior, Offensive Line, Brooklyn, Wis. (Oregon) 
Mike Olsen, Oshkosh, Grad., Center, Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead) 
Max Meylor, Whitewater, Senior, Quarterback, Mt. Horeb, Wis. (Mt. Horeb)
Alex Peete, Whitewater, Senior, Running Back, Ringwood, Ill. (Johnsburg) 
Joey Stutzman, La Crosse, Junior, Running Back, Lake Zurich, Ill. (Lake Zurich) 
Levy Hamer, Stout, Junior, Wide Receiver, Chicago, Ill. (St. Laurence) 
Jake Simuncak, La Crosse, Senior, Wide Receiver, South Milwaukee, Wis. (South Milwaukee)  
Ryan Wisniewski, Whitewater, Senior, Wide Receiver, Sparta, Wis. (Sparta) 
Arthur Cox, Stout, Sophomore, All-Purpose Back, Dixon, Ill. (Dixon) 

First Team – Defense 

Ted Androli, River Falls, Senior, Defensive Line, Kenyon, Minn. (Kenyon-Wanamingo) 
Mackenzie Balanganayi, Whitewater, Senior, Defensive Line, Palatine, Ill. (Palatine) 
Kyle Gallagher, Whitewater, Junior, Defensive Line, Niles, Ill. (Notre Dame College Prep) 
Ryan Gengler, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Line, Delavan, Wis. (Delavan-Darien) 
Tory Jandin, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Linebacker, Forestville, Wis. (Southern Door) 
Kameron Kryzanski, Stevens Point, Senior, Linebacker, Thorp, Wis. (Thorp) 
Ryan Liszka, Whitewater, Junior, Linebacker, Naperville, Ill. (Benet Academy)  
Rusty Murphy, La Crosse, Senior, Linebacker, Cudahy, Wis. (Cudahy) 
Eli Alt, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, Lone Rock, Wis. (River Valley) 
Egon Hein, Whitewater, Sophomore, Defensive Back, St. Charles, Ill. (North) 
Mark McGrath, Whitewater, Senior, Defensive Back, Lisle, Ill. (Lisle) 
Kyle Scharenbroch, Oshkosh, Junior, Defensive Back, Appleton, Wis. (East) 

First Team – Special Teams 

Brady Frantal, Eau Claire, Freshman, Placekicker, Appleton, Wis. (North)  
Sean Parker, La Crosse, Senior, Punter, Portland, Ore. (Westview) 
Jake Simuncak, La Crosse, Senior, Return Specialist, South Milwaukee, Wis. (South Milwaukee) 
Ryan Ponick, Whitewater, Junior, Special Teams Player, Stanley, Wis. (Stanley-Boyd) 

Second Team – Offense 

Justin Kasuboski, Oshkosh, Senior, Tight End, Omro, Wis. (Omro) 
Blake Bury, Platteville, Sophomore, Offensive Line, Davis, Ill. (Durand) 
Jacob Foss, Stout, Sophomore, Offensive Line, Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie) 
Alex Klecker, River Falls, Sophomore, Offensive Line, River Falls, Wis. (River Falls) 
Seth Mitchell, Eau Claire, Junior, Offensive Line, De Pere, Wis. (De Pere) 
Ian Carter, River Falls, Senior, Center, Platteville, Wis. (Platteville) 
Colin Schuetz, Platteville, Senior, Quarterback, Aviston, Ill. (Breese Mater Dei Catholic) 
Austin Belot, Eau Claire, Senior, Running Back, Neenah, Wis. (Neenah) 
Luke Fugate, River Falls, Senior, Running Back, Platteville, Wis. (Platteville) 
Arthur Cox, Stout, Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Dixon, Ill. (Dixon) 
Austin Guy, Platteville, Junior, Wide Receiver, Orangeville, Ill. (Orangeville) 
Darius Jones, Eau Claire, Senior, Wide Receiver, Ramsey, Minn. (Anoka) 
Ben Beise, River Falls, Senior, All-Purpose Back, Loretto, Minn. (West Lutheran) 

Second Team – Defense 

Tyler Bacon, Platteville, Junior, Defensive Line, Johnston, Iowa (Johnston) 
Brandon Kolgen, Oshkosh, Junior, Defensive Line, Appleton, Wis. (North) 
Trenton LaCombe, Oshkosh, Senior, Defensive Line, Seymour, Wis. (Seymour) 
Trevor Nelson, Eau Claire, Senior, Defensive Line, Hammond, Wis. (St. Croix Central) 
Ben Ertz, River Falls, Senior, Linebacker, Glen Haven, Wis. (River Ridge) 
Shane McGrail, Whitewater, Junior, Linebacker, Plainfield, Ill. (North) 
Andy Metcalf, River Falls, Senior, Linebacker, La Crosse, Wis. (Logan)  
AJ Spychala, La Crosse, Senior, Linebacker, Muskego, Wis. (Muskego) 
Max Brower, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, The Woodlands, Texas (St. Thomas) 
Michael Brown, River Falls, Freshman, Defensive Back, Victoria, Minn. (Chaska) 
Cannon Griner, Stout, Sophomore, Defensive Back, Mesa, Ariz. (Red Mountain) |Kyle Koelblinger, Whitewater, Freshman, Defensive Back, Crystal Lake, Ill. (Prairie Ridge) 

Second Team – Special Teams 

Matt Maldonado, Whitewater, Freshman, Placekicker, Montgomery, Ill. (Yorkville)
Carter Unger, Stevens Point, Junior, Punter, Waukesha, Wis. (South) 
Dain Hudson, Whitewater, Junior, Return Specialist, Waukesha, Wis. (West) 
Scott Gustafson, Stout, Junior, Special Teams Player, Victoria, Minn. (Chanhassen) 

Honorable Mention – Offense 

Will Josten, La Crosse, Sophomore, Tight End, Onalaska, Wis. (Holmen) 
Joe Swanson, Eau Claire, Senior, Tight End, Osceola, Wis. (Osceola) 
Jared Zausch, Whitewater, Senior, Tight End, Saukville, Wis. (Ozaukee) 
Nick Retterath, Stevens Point, Junior, Offensive Line, Medford, Wis. (Medford) 
Alex Bongers, La Crosse, Junior, Center, Nerstrand, Minn. (Bethlehem Academy) 
Ethan Kee, Whitewater, Senior, Center, Plano, Ill. (Plano) 
Justin Schlangen, Stout, Junior, Center, Ham Lake, Minn. (Blaine) 
Kobe Berghammer, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Quarterback, Cumberland, Wis. (Cumberland) 
Sean Borgerding, Stout, Junior, Quarterback, Spring Valley, Wis. (Spring Valley)  
Kole Hinrichsen, River Falls, Senior, Quarterback, Farmington, Minn. (Farmington) 
Peter MacCudden, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Running Back, Waukesha, Wis. (West) 
Tyler Holte, Whitewater, Junior, Wide Receiver, Elgin, Ill. (St. Edward Central Catholic) 
Brandt Stare, Platteville, Junior, Wide Receiver, Naperville, Ill. (Neuqua Valley) 
Tony Steger, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Kewaskum, Wis. (Kewaskum) 
Brad Tobin, La Crosse, Senior, All-Purpose Back, Franklin, Wis. (Franklin) 

Honorable Mention – Defense 

Berkley Corvino, Stevens Point, Senior, Defensive Line, Weston, Wis. (DC Everest) 
Reed Farrington, Whitewater, Freshman, Defensive Line, Edgerton, Wis. (Edgerton) 
Drew Hahn, River Falls, Sophomore, Defensive Line, Elburn, Ill. (Kaneland) 
Brandon Hughes, Oshkosh, Senior, Defensive Line, West Allis, Wis. (Brookfield Central) 
Jack Kelly, La Crosse, Sophomore, Defensive Line, Plover, Wis. (SPASH) 
Alex Mashak, Eau Claire, Senior, Linebacker, Lodi, Wis. (Lodi) 
Sam Smith, Platteville, Junior, Linebacker, Anoka, Minn. (Anoka) 
Dylan Brown, River Falls, Freshman, Defensive Back, Mequon, Wis. (Homestead) 
Bailey Germain, River Falls, Senior, Defensive Back, New Richmond, Wis. (New Richmond) 
Trevar Helland, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, Lindenhurst, Ill. (Stoughton) 
Carson Raddatz, Oshkosh, Freshman, Defensive Back, Fond du Lac, Wis. (Fond du Lac) 
Aidan Tyk, Platteville, Junior, Defensive Back, Manhattan, Ill. (Lincoln Way West) 

Honorable Mention – Special Teams 

Cade Henry, River Falls, Sophomore, Placekicker, Yorkville, Ill. (Yorkville)  
Jack Meyer, Stout, Freshman, Placekicker, Chippewa Falls, Wis. (Chi-Hi)   
Andrew Schweigert, Platteville, Junior, Placekicker, Sussex, Wis. (Hamilton)  
Hunter Grams, Platteville, Senior, Punter, Dane, Wis. (Lodi) 
Cole Dunbar, Eau Claire, Junior, Special Teams Player, Kirkland, Ill. (Hiawatha)  
Nate Yencer, Platteville, Senior, Special Teams Player, West Des Moines, Iowa (Valley) 

All-Sportsmanship Team 

Carmelo Rosado, Eau Claire, Senior, Defensive Back, Beaver Dam, Wis. (Beaver Dam) 
Gurtej Grewal, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Line, Milwaukee, Wis. (Riverside) 
Mike Kremer, Oshkosh, Senior, Linebacker, Eagle, Wis. (Whitnall) 
Brett Burant, Platteville, Senior, Offensive Line, Stevens Point, Wis. (Pacelli) 
Justin Parisot, River Falls, Junior, Offensive Line, Kirkland, Ill. (Hiawatha) 
Tyler Van Ess, Stevens Point, Senior, Defensive Back, Two Rivers, Wis. (Two Rivers) 
Rex Meikle, Stout, Sophomore, Defensive Line, Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (Sturgeon Bay) 
Aaron Sturtevant, Whitewater, Junior, Linebacker, Burlington, Wis. (Burlington) 

UW-Whitewater’s Kyle Gannon Named Max Sparger Football Scholar-Athlete

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Kyle Gannon has been named the recipient of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Max Sparger Football Scholar-Athlete Award. 

A senior from Waukesha, Wis. (West), Gannon sustains a 3.80 grade point average and is majoring in general management with a minor in strength and conditioning. He was selected to the NCAA Division III Academic All-America® Football Second Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, for the 2020-21 academic year. Gannon is a four-time member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll. He is a two-time recipient of UW-Whitewater’s General Merit Scholarship and landed on the Dean’s List numerous semesters. 

Gannon received All-WIAC First Team recognition this year after helping the Warhawks claim the conference title and secure a NCAA postseason bid. He was also a first team honoree in 2019, when he also claimed All-West Region Second Team accolades. Gannon was a member of UW-Whitewater’s national semifinalist team in 2018 and nation runner-up squad in 2019. In 2018, he was an All-WIAC Second Team selection on UW-Whitewater’s WIAC title team. Gannon is a two-time team captain (2020, 2021). 

He has volunteered with Fairhaven Senior Services, Whitewater Food Pantry and Special Olympics. 

Also nominated for this year’s scholar-athlete award were:  UW-Eau Claire’s Trevor Nelson (Sr., Hammond, Wis./St. Croix Central); UW-Oshkosh’s Jason Myrick (Jr., West Bend, Wis./East); UW-Platteville’s Hunter Grams (Sr., Dane, Wis./Lodi); UW-River Falls’ Ian Carter (Sr., Platteville, Wis./Platteville); and UW-Stout’s Haydon Miller (Sr., Zimmerman, Minn./Zimmerman).

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. The award is based on academic achievements, athletics accomplishments and involvement in other campus activities, organizations and community service projects.

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