Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are happy to announce Monroe's Isaac Bunker as the 2022 recipient of the Joe Thomas Award as the most outstanding senior offensive lineman in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.
Monroe has been dominant in the running game again this year, with two players over 1300 yards on the ground and an average of 397 rushing yards per game heading into the Division 3 championship. Isaac Bunker is the best lineman for the Cheesemakers, coming off a WFCA Honorable Mention All-State junior season with First Team honors as a senior.
He’s devastating as a trap blocker and equally impressive when pulling out in front on sweeps. Bunker has a good frame and still has room to get bigger, and gave a commitment to the Naval Academy.
"He is a devastating blocker that loves contact," said head coach Toby Golembiewski.
Finalists for the award were Bunker, Ben Buxa of Lakeside Lutheran, Dante Draghicchio of Bay Port, Zack Mlsna of Cashton, Brandt Rice of Wausau West, Jackson Stortz of Hartford, and Ben Youngworth of Kimberly.
Past winners include Waunakee's Jake Irwin (2009), Wisconsin Rapids' Frank Vruwink (2010), Waukesha West's Connor Stefanski (2011), Wisconsin Rapids' Hayden Biegel (2012), Monona Grove's Jaden Gault (2013), Seymour's Jon Dietzen (2014), Arrowhead's Ben Bredeson (2015), Middleton's Kayden Lyles (2016), Waukesha West's Bryce Teixeira (2017), and Fond du Lac's Andrew Stone (2018), Stoughton's Jack Nelson (2019), Grafton's J.P. Benzschawel (2020), and Whitefish Bay's Joe Brunner (2021).
The award is named after Joe Thomas, a graduate of Brookfield Central High School now playing in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns. Thomas was a three-sport athlete in high school, lettering all four years in football, basketball, and track and field while also being named to the Honor Roll all four years. He started 37 games at left tackle for the Badgers and won the Outland Trophy after his senior season. After an All-American career at UW, Thomas was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl each of his first ten years in the league and is a sure-fire Hall of Famer.
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; Jonathan Krause, WSCO The Score 95.3 in Appleton; Jimmie Kaska, WEAU in Eau Claire; 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.