Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are proud to announce Waunakee's Lucas Statz as the 2017 recipient of the Jim Leonhard Award as the most outstanding senior defensive back in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.
Statz was a consistent playmaker in the back end of the Waunakee defense, where he recorded 80 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries, 3 forced fumbles, scored 3 defensive touchdowns, blocked 4 kicks, had a safety, and broke up 12 passes.
If that's not enough, he scored on three kick returns as the Warriors are unbeaten heading into the Division 2 state title game.
Statz was recently recognized on the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-State team.
Finalists for the award were Statz, Bui Clements of Verona, Trent Ingalls of Menasha, Kadon Kauppinen of Sun Prairie, Travis Klassy of Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Craig Newsome, Jr. of Holmen, and Chandler Pulvermacher of Arrowhead.
Past winners of the award include Marquette's Michael Trotter (2009), Appleton North's Joe Makeever (2010), Edgar's Kyle Schueller (2011), Whitefish Bay's Jackson Weber (2012), Appleton North's Connor Rolain (2013), Kimberly's Bret Verstegen (2014), Marquette's Michael Crowley (2015), and Monona Grove's Jarrett Maier (2016).
The award is named after Jim Leonhard, one of the most beloved players from the state of Wisconsin. Hailing from tiny Tony, Wisconsin and attending Flambeau High School, Leonhard was a two-time All-State selection. He walked-on at the University of Wisconsin, and quickly established himself as a leader and outstanding player. He started 39 games in his career, and his 21 career interceptions are tied for the most in Badger history and fourth in the Big Ten. He also broke the Big Ten punt return yardage record. Leonhard went undrafted, but hooked on with the Buffalo Bills before moving to the Baltimore Ravens. In 2009 he signed with the New York Jets and is now with the Cleveland Browns.
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; Justin Hull, WSCO The Score 95.3 in Appleton; JR Radcliffe, NOW Newspapers; Dan Barwick, WSN Contributor; Colton Wilson, WSN Content Producer; Fan Vote
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