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Football Alumni Round-up: Week 4

09/27/2023, 2:30pm CDT
By Colton Wilson

Many high school football standouts in Wisconsin go on to big things at the college level and in the pros, and this is our spot to recognize those athletes each week and help you keep up with what is going down on some of your favorite players from the past. If you have alumni news, please send it to Colton Wilson

TJ Watt of Pewaukee High School


At this point, we are going to have to call the first paragraph the "TJ Watt Round-Up". The former Pewaukee Pirate and Wisconsin Badger looks unstoppable on the football field. In a league that has the best of the best playing on the gridiron, Watt continues to look a shoulder above everyone else. The Pittsburgh Steelers won their first game 23-18 over the Las Vegas Raiders. Watt had two more sacks, bringing his season total to six through three games. Keeanu Benton, the Janesville Craig, recorded his first NFL sack in the game as well.

The Miami Dolphins put up video game numbers this past week in a 70-20 win over the Denver Broncos. Bay Port's Alec Ingold signed a new contract before the season, serving as the fullback/utility back for the Dolphins. Ingold led block all day for a Dolphin offense that accumulated 350 yards on the ground and 726 total yards.

On the other side of the ball, Hartford and UW-Whitewater grad Quinn Meinerz started his 25th game on the Broncos offensive line. Meinerz has graded out as one of the top interior lineman through three games this eason.

Last week Madison Memorial's Jake Ferguson scored a touchdown for the Dallas Cowboys. This week, former Spencer grad and FCS All-American Hunter Luepke recorded his first rush and catch in the Cowboy's 28-16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Rashein Thomas of Racine Park

Division 1

Despite a 22-14 loss to Tulsa, a pair of alumni led the Northern Illinois defense. Raishein Thomas of Racine Park had a team high 11 tackles and a sack in the loss. Whitnall's Nate Valcarcel added four tackles and also hauled in his first career interception for the Huskies.

Valcarcel wasn't the only former Badger State standout to record his first collegiate interception for a MAC school this past weekend. Andrew Behm, who's brother Josiah won Defensive Player of the Week last week in the Northern Sun, had four tackles and his first career interception in a 29-27 loss to Indiana. Behm, a Fox Valley Lutheran grad, was a NJCAA All-American at Ellsworth CC in 2021.

Cole Godbout has been a staple on the Wyoming defensive line for a few years now and was an Honorable Mention All-Mountain West performer in 2021. The Hudson grad had ten tackles this past Friday in a 22-19 win over Appalachian State. Fellow defensive lineman Gavin Meyer of Franklin had four tackles and one for loss. On the other side of the trenches, Appleton North's Wes King has started every game on the Cowboy's offensive line.

The Ivy League football schedule is now in week 2 of their season and many former alumni are playmakers throughout that league.

Columbia blew out Georgetown 30-0 on Friday with their lead back Joey Giorgi spearheading the offense. The Grafton grad carried the ball 21 times for 116 yards while adding three catches for 38 yards in the victory.

Nick Howard is a Swiss army knife for the Dartmouth football team. The Green Bay Southwest grad had 16 rushes for 70 yards and two scores in a 34-17 win over Lehigh. Howard also completed five of seven passes for 20 yards and hauled in a nine yard reception, proving his incredible versatility for the Big Green offense.

Lastly in the Ivy League, Cornell took down Yale 23-21 in a tight matchup. Notre Dame High School alum Joel Meglic got his first start on the offensive line for the Big Red.

Curtis Cox of Mineral Point High School

Division 2

Curtis Cox was perfect from his kicker position this past week in Duluth's 33-0 win over Southwest Minnesota State. The Mineral Point grad went four for four on field goals and three for three on PATs in the victory, earning Northern Sun Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Cox hit field goals of 21, 33, 38 and 40 yards.

Sioux Falls won a 7-0 defensive battle over Minot State this past Saturday. The stifling Cougar defense got contributions from a handful of alumni. Brendan Holt (West Salem), Jake Hoch (St. Mary's Springs) Cal Botsford (Sussex Hamilton), Amaurii Grosskopf (Beloit Memorial), Michael Stenbroten (Lake Mills) and Alex Macksam (Germantown) all recorded at least one tackle.

Winona State took care of Northern State 39-16 as the Warriors were led on offense and defense by many former Badger State standouts. Sylvere Campbell of Martin Luther had two catches for 71 yards and a score in the victory. Regis' Tristan Root had a team high seven tackles but also handles the punting duties for the Warriors. St. Mary's Spring's Clay Schauffner had six tackles while Nathaniel Wilcher of Mukwonago and Kyjuan Vengrowsky of De Pere both added sacks.

Despite a 45-27 loss to Quincy College, Northern Michigan had plenty of players stand out in the box score to be mentioned. Michael Karlen of Stanley-Boyd was a perfect two for two on field goals and three for three on PATs. Middleton's Owen Halverson handles the punting duties for the Wildcats. Cedar Grove-Belgium's Sam Peiffer had nine catches for 94 yards and a score while Waukesha North's Franko Williams had six catches for 55 yards. Defensively Jax Hertel of Big Foot had a team high nine tackles, one for loss, and an interception and Joe Mueller of Madison Memorial added three tackles, including one for loss.

Division 3

Carroll improved to 3-0 this past weekend with a 70-23 win over Illinois Wesleyan. Like last week Cudahy's Austin Eichstaedt put up huge numbers from his wide receiver position hauling in eight catches for 119 yards and one touchdown. Greendale's JR Muth had four catches for 149 yards and two scores while Trevor Hancock of Waterford had a touchdown reception and Platteville's Tyler McClain rushed for a score. On the Pioneer offensive line, Trevor Pye of Waterford and Nate Johnson of Menasha helped pave the way to 581 yards of total offense.

Dubuque got its first win this season, defeating Loras College 35-23. The Spartan defense got sacks from Garrett Hertzfeldt of Sauk Prairie, Dalton Creighton of Badger and Ben Rashid of Lodi. Ben's brother Alex Rashid had six tackles for Dubuque while CJ Dean of Madison East led the team with ten tackles.

Dawson Rud was mentioned last as the true freshman from Mondovi is seeing carries for the third ranked Wartburg football team. This past weekend Rud scored his first touchdown of his collegiate career in a 63-0 win over Simpson College.

Elmhurst ran into a powerhouse in North Central and fell 59-6 over the weekend. However, Brookfield East's Seth Desmore did record his first career touchdown in the contest.

Speaking of firsts, Ben Butler and Magrady Ellis both recorded firsts for North Park despite a 38-0 loss to Millikin. Butler, a Kenosha St. Joseph grad had his first career interception. Ellis, a former Kettle Moraine Lutheran standout, recorded his first career sack.

Carleton battled Hamline and took home a 31-27 win this past weekend. Oconomowoc grad Isaac Simons is a two-time, first team All-MIAC and had ten tackles, including two for loss, in the win for Carleton. New Glarus' Nathan Streiff hauled in eight catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. On the other sideline, Croix Zacharius of Green Bay Southwest had eleven tackles, two and a half for loss, and a sack for Hamline.

Robby Michael was a gunslinger when he played for the Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran co-op in high school. He threw for 579 yards in one game (third all-time) seven touchdowns in one game (tied for eighth all-time), threw for 39 touchdown passes in a season (tied for eleventh all-time) recorded 4,136 combined yards in a season (fifth all-time) had 57 total touchdowns in a season (fourth all-time). To top it all off, Michael threw for 96 career touchdowns which is a state record to this day.

This past weekend Michael was electric for Lakeland University in a 41-20 win over Rockford University. He went 19 of 29 for 206 yards and three scores through the air and rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Michael was named the NACC Offensive Player of the Week for his ability to take over a game.

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