The Kevin Stemke Award is presented annually to the state's top senior kicker or punter as part of the WSN Senior Football Awards. The award is named after former Green Bay Preble and University of Wisconsin standout Kevin Stemke. At Wisconsin, Stemke was presented with the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter and holds UW records for highest punting average in a career (43.5) and total punting yards (10,660).
The pre-season watch list was trimmed down to 15 semi-finalists, and five finalists for the award have now been selected. Winners are announced the week of the state finals.
Kevin Stemke Award Finalists:
Connor Allen, Brookfield East - Allen was a standout as both a punter and kicker for the Spartans this season. He averaged 38.1 yards per punt, with 25 of his 44 punts during the regular season pinning the opponent inside the 20. He averaged 60 yards per kickoff, with 26 of 36 going for touchbacks. He was 8 of 10 on field goals, with two over 40 yards.
Zach Hintze, Saint Mary's Springs - It's rare for a kicker to catch the state's attention, but Hintze has done just that this season. During the regular season he was 8 of 12 on field goals, including a game against Wautoma where he connected from 20, 28, and 57 yards. He also averaged 58 yards per kickoff, with 6 going through the uprights. It was a Level 2 playoff win over Algoma that really got people talking however. Just before halftime, he made a 61-yard field goal, setting a new state record.
Coby Oswalt, Sun Prairie - Oswalt is the latest in a strong line of kickers for the Cardinals, which includes 2011 Kevin Stemke Award winner Lucas Otto. During the regular season he made 7 of 8 field goals, with a long of 45 yards. Three of his makes were from more than 40 yards away. He finished 35 of 36 on extra points.
Alex Piehler, Racine Horlick - Piehler is the top ranked kicker in the state according to Kohl's Kicking, and had an outstanding senior season. He made 8 of 14 field goals, going 6 of 7 on field goals of less than 45 yards. 22 of 24 on extra points, his two misses were on a bobbled snap and a block. He averaged 56.1 yards per kickoff, with touchbacks on 23 of 38 kickoffs.
Carter Schmitz, Germantown - Schmitz averaged 61 yards per kickoff, with 43 of his 60 going for touchbacks. He was 45 of 47 on extra points during the regular season for head coach Jake Davis and the Warhawks. On field goals, he was 6 of 7, with all but one of his attempts coming from over 35 yards. He made a school record 53-yarder, and five of his makes were over 40 yards.