Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are proud to announce Appleton North's Caden Popp as the 2022 recipient of the Kevin Stemke Award as the most outstanding senior kicker or punter in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.
Caden Popp of Appleton North leads the state with 15 made field goals this year, connecting on 15-of-19. His 15 made field goals is tied for second in state history for a single season. He was four-for-four on field goals in a win over Oshkosh West earlier this year, making attempts of 25, 36, 41, and 41 yards. He's also 19-of-21 on extra points for the Lightning.
Finalists for the award were Popp, Sam Klestinski of Edgewood, Davis Paulsen of Baldwin-Woodville, Trevor Schulz of Sun Prairie East, and Bryce Smith of West De Pere.
Past winners of the award include Menomonee Falls' Kyle French (2009), Arrowhead's Drew Meyer (2010), Sun Prairie's Lucas Otto (2011), Lodi's Donnie Manke (2012), both Casey Bednarski of Oconomowoc & Colin Downing of Whitefish Bay (2013), Saint Mary's Springs' Zach Hintze (2014), Lodi's Garrett Wegner (2015), Monona Grove's Collin Larsh (2016), Sun Prairie's Alex Oakley (2017), Kettle Moraine's Blake Wilcox (2018), and Neenah's Jack Van Dyke (2019), Watertown's Branden Fischer (2020), and DeForest's Tyler Ebel (2021).
The award is named after Kevin Stemke, a Green Bay Preble graduate who would go on to play for the Wisconsin Badgers. At UW, Stemke quickly made an impression, setting the record for punting average as just a freshman. After a senior season that saw him average 44.5 yards per punt, Stemke was presented with the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter. Kevin also holds UW records for highest punting average in a career (43.5) and total punting yards (10,660).
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.