Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are happy to announce Bay Port's Josiah Azure as the 2022 recipient of the John Anderson Award as the most outstanding senior linebacker in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.
Josiah Azure is a dominating two-year starter for Bay Port who has put up outstanding numbers once again as a senior. Through ten games, he had 106 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and two forced fumbles for the Pirates.
The North Dakota State commit missed much of the playoff run but was recently named the Defensive Player of the Year in the FRCC-North.
Azure was recently announced as a repeat selection on the WFCA Large School All-State team and also named the WFCA Large School Defensive Player of the Year.
Finalists for the award were Azure, Riley Fischer of Mukwonago, Blake Fletcher of Racine Horlick, Taylor Schaefer of Southern Door, Nolan Schopp of Kettle Moraine, and Keith Williams of Catholic Memorial.
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), Marquette's Riley Nowakowski (2019), Xavier's Mac Strand (2020), and Kaukauna's Will Campbell (2021).
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; 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.