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WIAC Football All-Conference and Awards Announced

11/18/2022, 12:45pm CST

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Joey Stutzman, UW-Platteville’s Justin Blazek and UW-Stout’s Arthur Cox were selected the Kwik Trip Offensive Player of the Year, Kwik Trip Defensive Player of the Year and Kwik Trip Special Teams Player of the Year, respectively, to lead the individuals chosen to the 2022 All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Football Team by the league coaches. In addition, UW-Whitewater’s Jeffery Isotalo-McGuire received Kwik Trip Newcomer of the Year honors and UW-La Crosse head coach Matt Janus was tabbed the Kwik Trip George Chryst Coach of the Year. 

Stutzman received first team accolades for the second straight season and becomes the second player in program history to receive the offensive honor, joining Cole Spieker in 2019. Stutzman leads the conference with 1,098 rushing yards (109.8 per game), while ranking second with 1,220 all-purpose yards and third with 207 rushing attempts. He surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in six contests, including a season-high 180 yards against University of Dubuque (Iowa) on Sept. 10. 

Blazek is the third Pioneer to collect the defensive distinction, joining Jacob Zilbar (2014) and Andrew Robinson (2015). Blazek is second in the WIAC with 12 tackles for loss and nine quarterback sacks. He added 55 tackles, nine quarterback hurries, two pass break-ups and one interception. Blazek recorded a season-high 10 tackles against UW-River Falls on Oct. 15, and season-best three quarterback sacks against UW-Stout on Oct. 29. 

Cox earned first team honors for the second consecutive year and is the second Blue Devil to claim the special teams award, joining Drew Pearson in 2016. Cox compiled 297 kick return yards, including a 95-yard touchdown return against UW-Eau Claire on Oct. 1, which is the second-longest in the conference this season. 

Isotalo-McGuire has converted a conference-best 13 field goals in 19 attempts, including a season-long, game-winning 49-yard field goal as time expired against UW-River Falls on Oct. 29. He also has made 34-of-34 extra-point attempts and handled kickoff duties for the Warhawks, recording 14 touchbacks. 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 a season ago included:  UW-La Crosse’s Elijah Alt and Mike Bertoia; UW-Oshkosh’s Tory Jandrin; UW-Stout’s Levy Hamer; and UW-Whitewater’s Kyle Gallagher, Egon Hein and Ryan Liszka. 

Janus led UW-La Crosse to a share of the 34th conference championship in program history and the 12th NCAA appearance. UW-La Crosse’s nine regular-season wins this season are the most since the 2003 campaign. 

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

2022 All-WIAC Football Team 


First Team – Offense 

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

Joe Swanson, Eau Claire, Senior, Tight End, Osceola, Wis. (Osceola) 
Mike Bertoia, La Crosse, Junior, Offensive Line, Lake Zurich, Ill. (Lake Zurich)
Ben Hildebrand, La Crosse, Senior, Offensive Line, Highland Ranch, Colo. (Mountain Vista) 
Alex Klecker, River Falls, Junior, Offensive Line, River Falls, Wis. (River Falls) 
Seth Roberts, Whitewater, Senior, Offensive Line, Johnson Creek, Wis. (Johnson Creek) 
Nick Retterath, Stevens Point, Senior, Center, Medford, Wis. (Medford) 
Sean Borgerding, Stout, Senior, Quarterback, Spring Valley, Wis. (Spring Valley) 
Jaylon Edmondson, Whitewater, Senior, Running Back, Racine, Wis. (Case) 
Joey Stutzman, La Crosse, Senior, Running Back, Lake Zurich, Ill. (Lake Zurich)
Arthur Cox, Stout, Senior, Wide Receiver, Dixon, Ill. (Dixon) 
Levy Hamer, Stout, Senior, Wide Receiver, Chicago, Ill. (St. Laurence) 
Trae Tetzlaff, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Waukesha, Wis. (West) 
Keyser Helterbrand, La Crosse, Sophomore, All-Purpose Back, Hudson, Wis. (Hudson) 

First Team – Defense 

Justin Blazek, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Line, Naperville, Ill. (Neuqua Valley) 
Kyle Gallagher, Whitewater, Senior, Defensive Line, Niles, Ill. (Notre Dame College Prep) 
Jack Kelly, La Crosse, Junior, Defensive Line, Plover, Wis. (SPASH)
Brandon Kolgen, Oshkosh, Senior, Defensive Line, Appleton, Wis. (North) 
Tory Jandrin, Oshkosh, Senior, Linebacker, Kolberg, Wis. (Southern Door) 
Ryan Liszka, Whitewater, Senior, Linebacker, Naperville, Ill. (Benet Academy) 
Sam Smith, Platteville, Senior, Linebacker, Pewaukee, Wis. (Anoka, Minn.) 
AJ Spychala, La Crosse, Senior, Linebacker, Muskego, Wis. (Muskego) 
Elijah Alt, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, Lone Rock, Wis. (River Valley)
Michael Brown, River Falls, Sophomore, Defensive Back, Victoria, Minn. (Chaska) 
Cannon Griner, Stout, Junior, Defensive Back, Mesa, Ariz. (Red Mountain) 
Egon Hein, Whitewater, Junior, Defensive Back, St. Charles, Ill. (North) 
Carson Raddatz, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Defensive Back, Fond du Lac, Wis. (Fond du Lac) 

First Team – Special Teams 

Ryan Beirne, La Crosse, Senior, Placekicker, West Salem, Wis. (West Salem) 
Carter Unger, Stevens Point, Senior, Punter, Waukesha, Wis. (South)
Arthur Cox, Stout, Senior, Return Specialist, Dixon, Ill. (Dixon) 
Drake Martin, Whitewater, Sophomore, Special Teams Player, Rhinelander, Wis. (Rhinelander) 

Second Team – Offense 

Zach Sherman, Whitewater, Junior, Tight End, Oconto, Wis. (Oconto) 
Jacob Foss, Stout, Junior, Offensive Line, Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie) 
Seth Mitchell, Eau Claire, Senior, Offensive Line, Green Bay, Wis. (De Pere) 
John Schirger, Oshkosh, Sophomore, Offensive Line, Grafton, Wis. (Living Word Christian) 
Nathan Zak, Whitewater, Junior, Offensive Line, Germantown, Wis. (Germantown) 
Alex Bongers, La Crosse, Senior, Center, Nerstrand, Minn. (Bethlehem Academy) 
Kobe Berghammer, Oshkosh, Junior, Quarterback, Cumberland, Wis. (Cumberland) 
Ivan Ruble, Eau Claire, Sophomore, Running Back, Clear Lake, Wis. (Clear Lake) 
Tamir Thomas, Whitewater, Sophomore, Running Back, Menomonee Falls, Wis. (Menomonee Falls) 
Tyler Holte, Whitewater, Senior, Wide Receiver, Elgin, Ill. (St. Edward Central Catholic) 
Tony Steger, Oshkosh, Junior, Wide Receiver, Kewaskum, Wis. (Kewaskum) 
Mason Van Zeeland, River Falls, Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Kaukauna, Wis. (Kaukauna) 
Kaleb Blaha, River Falls, Sophomore, All-Purpose Back, Coon Rapids, Minn. (Fridley) 

Second Team – Defense 

Tyler Bacon, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Line, Johnston, Iowa (Johnston) 
Reed Farrington, Whitewater, Sophomore, Defensive Line, Edgerton, Wis. (Edgerton) 
Jake Halsey, River Falls, Senior, Defensive Line, Austin, Minn. (Austin) 
Frank Hartman, River Falls, Senior, Defensive Line, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. (Lincoln) 
Ryan Daines, La Crosse, Junior, Linebacker, Westby, Wis. (Westby) 
Colton Ingram, Platteville, Senior, Linebacker, Byron, Ill. (Byron) 
Caleb Johnson, River Falls, Senior, Linebacker, Muscoda, Wis. (Riverdale) 
Shane McGrail, Whitewater, Senior, Linebacker, Plainfield, Ill. (North) 
Aaron Borgerding, River Falls, Sophomore, Defensive Back, Spring Valley, Wis. (Spring Valley) 
Cade Osborn, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Back, Eau Claire, Wis. (Regis) 
Jared Saad, Oshkosh, Junior, Defensive Back, Naperville, Ill. (North) 
Aidan Tyk, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Back, Manhattan, Ill. (Lincoln Way West) 

Second Team – Special Teams 

Andrew Schweigert, Platteville, Senior, Placekicker, Sussex, Wis. (Hamilton) 
Nate Baranek, Eau Claire, Senior, Punter, De Pere, Wis. (De Pere) 
DJ Stewart, Oshkosh, Junior, Return Specialist, Kimberly, Wis. (Kimberly) 
Sawyer Schick, La Crosse, Senior, Special Teams Player, Racine, Wis. (Horlick) 

Honorable Mention – Offense 

Noah Coleman, La Crosse, Sophomore, Offensive Line, Wilmot, Wis. (Wilmot) 
Cole Greco, La Crosse, Senior, Offensive Line, Greenfield, Wis. (Whitnall) 
Harley Jones, Stevens Point, Senior, Offensive Line, Lake Mills, Wis. (Lake Mills) 
Jake Thompson, Eau Claire, Sophomore, Center, Chippewa Falls, Wis. (Chi-Hi)  
Kaleb Blaha, River Falls, Sophomore, Quarterback, Coon Rapids, Minn. (Fridley) 
Evan Lewandowski, Whitewater, Senior, Quarterback, Buffalo Grove, Ill. (Lake Zurich) 
Terrell Carey, Oshkosh, Senior, Wide Receiver, Madison, Wis. (West) 
Parker Fossum, Stout, Senior, Wide Receiver, Chatfield, Minn. (Chatfield) 
Luke Kush, River Falls, Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Fort Ripley, Minn. (Little Falls) 
Ben Wilson, Platteville, Senior, Wide Receiver, Bettendorf, Iowa (Bettendorf) 
Arthur Cox, Stout, Senior, All-Purpose Back, Dixon, Ill. (Dixon) 

Honorable Mention – Defense 

Justin Allen, Whitewater, Junior, Defensive Line, Huntley, Ill. (Huntley) 
Josh Dorschner, La Crosse, Senior, Defensive Line, Neenah, Wis. (Neenah) 
Scott Gustafson, Stout, Senior, Defensive Line, Victoria, Minn. (Chanhassen) 
Drew Hahn, River Falls, Junior, Defensive Line, Elburn, Ill. (Kaneland) 
Aidan Sproule, Platteville, Junior, Defensive Line, Algonquin, Ill. (Harry D. Jacobs) 
Gervase Thompson, Stout, Junior, Linebacker, Brule, Wis. (Northwestern) 
Dylan Brown, River Falls, Sophomore, Defensive Back, Mequon, Wis. (Homestead) 
Dayne Friday, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Back, Kiel, Wis. (Kiel) 
Ryan Kuechle, Eau Claire, Junior, Defensive Back, Mankato, Minn. (East) 
Kyle Scharenbroch, Oshkosh, Senior, Defensive Back, Appleton, Wis. (East) 
Samuel Tausz, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Back, New Berlin, Wis. (Eisenhower) 
Tysen White, Stevens Point, Junior, Defensive Back, McFarland, Wis. (McFarland) 

Honorable Mention – Special Teams 

Jeffery Isotalo-McGuire, Whitewater, Freshman, Placekicker, Phoenix, Ariz. (Pinnacle) 
Tyler Holte, Whitewater, Senior, Return Specialist, Elgin, Ill. (St. Edward Central Catholic) 
Parker Bohm, Eau Claire, Senior, Special Teams Player, Bonduel, Wis. (Bonduel) 

All-Sportsmanship Team 

Nick Arguedas, Stout, Senior, Defensive Back, Waterville, Minn. (New Prague) 
Connor Berry, La Crosse, Senior, Offensive Line, Marshfield, Wis. (Marshfield) 
Jake Cochnauer, Eau Claire, Sophomore, Linebacker, Farmington, Minn. (Farmington) 
Jimmy Duval, Oshkosh, Junior, Tight End, Whitewater, Wis. (Whitewater) 
Kyle Koelblinger, Whitewater, Sophomore, Defensive Back, Crystal Lake, Ill. (Prairie Ridge) 
Conner McKern, River Falls, Senior, Offensive Line, Kasson, Minn. (Kasson-Mantorville) 
Gerrit Schomacker, Platteville, Senior, Defensive Line, Freedom, Wis. (Freedom) 
Reese Wiggins, Stevens Point, Senior, Linebacker, Carpentersville, Ill. (Harry D. Jacobs) 

Kwik Trip Offensive Player of the Year:  Joey Stutzman of La Crosse 
Kwik Trip Defensive Player of the Year:  Justin Blazek of Platteville 
Kwik Trip Special Teams Player of the Year:  Arthur Cox of Stout 
Kwik Trip Newcomer of the Year:  Jeffery Isotalo-McGuire of Whitewater 
Kwik Trip George Chryst Coach of the Year:  Matt Janus of La Crosse 
Max Sparger Scholar-Athlete:  Alex Bongers of La Crosse 

UW-La Crosse’s Bongers Named Max Sparger Football Scholar-Athlete

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Alex Bongers has been named the recipient of the 2022 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Max Sparger Football Scholar-Athlete Award. 

A senior from Nerstrand, Minn. (Bethlehem Academy), Bongers possesses a 3.89 grade point average. He is currently enrolled in the doctor of physical therapy graduate program after earning an undergraduate degree in biology. He secured a spot on the 2021 NCAA Division III Academic All-America® Second Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America and the 2021 NCAA Division III Academic All-District® Team. Bongers is a four-time member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll and been recognized on UW-La Crosse’s Dean’s List numerous semesters. 

A two-year team captain, he was selected to the All-WIAC second team this season after helping the Eagles claim the conference championship for the 34th time in program history. Bongers was an honorable mention selection in 2019 and 2021, when he also received his team’s Top Block award. 

Bongers has served as a tutor for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater La Crosse and conducted ROTC research and fitness planning for the health and wellness of cadets. He has volunteered with youth football camps, track & field meets and the UW-La Crosse EXPAND program. 

Also nominated for this year’s scholar-athlete award were: UW-Platteville’s Dayne Friday (Sr., Kiel, Wis./Kiel); UW-River Falls’ Calvin Rosen (Sr., Clear Lake, Wis./Clear Lake); UW-Stevens Point’s Nick Retterath (Sr., Medford, Wis./Medford); UW-Stout’s Parker Fossum (Sr., Chatfield, Minn./Chatfield); and UW-Whitewater’s Evan Lewandowski (Sr., Buffalo Grove, Ill./Lake Zurich). 

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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