Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are proud to announce Casey Bednarski of Oconomowoc and Colin Downing of Whitefish Bay as the 2013 co-recipients of the Kevin Stemke Award as the most outstanding senior kicker or punter in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.
Also an outstanding receiver with more than 700 yards and 9 touchdowns, Bednarski possesses a big leg that has allowed him to be a weapon on special teams as well. He averaged 42.4 yards per punt and has connected on 11 of 12 field goals this year, including a 55-yarder in a Level 1 playoff game. He's 49 of 50 on extra points. Bednarski was a First Team WFCA All-State kicker.
"Casey has energized this team and school with his right leg and has been a huge weapon for us," said head coach Ryan McMillen. "Casey can execute every type of kick or punt, and has done so over the course of the year."
An outstanding punter and kicker for the Blue Dukes and head coach Jim Tietjen, Downing accepted a scholarship offer from Iowa State earlier this year. He connected on 25 of 25 extra points in the regular season, averaged 55.4 yards per kickoff, and 43.2 yards per punt. Downing earned WFCA First Team All-State honors as a punter and Honorable Mention All-State recognition at kicker.
Finalists for the award were Bednarski, Downing, Emmit Carpenter of Ashwaubenon, Jake Dragoo of Madison Edgewood, and Ian Gallagher of Big Foot.
Past winners of the award include Menomonee Falls' Kyle French (2009), Arrowhead's Drew Meyer (2010), Sun Prairie's Lucas Otto (2011), and Lodi's Donnie Manke (2012).
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 Content Manager and Head Football Writer; Nicholas Kartos, WSN President and Founder; Norbert Durst, WSN Content Producer; Dennis Semrau, Wisconsin State Journal; Justin Hull, WSCO The Score 95.3 in Appleton; JR Radcliffe, NOW Newspapers; Dan Barwick, WSN Contributor