Kimberly linebacker Tristan Argall
The John Anderson Award is given annually to the state's top senior linebacker as part of the WSN Senior Football Awards. The award is named after John Anderson, a former Waukesha South standout who went on to star at the University of Michigan and later with the Green Bay Packers.
The pre-season watch list was trimmed down to 22 semi-finalists, and five finalists for the award have now been selected. Winners are announced the week of the state finals.
John Anderson Award Finalists:
Tristan Argall, Kimberly - One of the few returning starters for the Papermakers' defense, Argall has gone from First Team All-Conference pick last season to the VFA-North Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. The unit's leader, he has 99 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks for head coach Steve Jones. "He shows tremendous ability to be a great run stopping linebacker, but he also has the ability to cover receivers and running backs in passing situations," said Jones.
Leo Chenal, Grantsburg - Despite missing a game to a mission trip and playing sparingly in the second half of games, Chenal has been one of the most dominant two-way players in the state. On defense, the University of Wisconsin recruit has 120 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions, and a sack. He also has more than 2000 rushing yards with 42 touchdowns for the unbeaten Pirates. "Leo is the most explosive, well-rounded athlete I've ever coached and he brings an unmatched energy to every single game and practice," said head coach Adam Hale.
John Klus, Oregon - Klus leads the state in tackles by a good margin, racking up 189 on the season, with 6 tackles for loss, a sack, fumble recovery, and interception. "He is the best linebacker that I have coached in 20+ years of coaching," said head coach Dan Kissling. Klus has also blocked three punts this year.
Derik LeCaptain, Southern Door - LeCaptain leads the team in rushing, receiving, and tackles, earning Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the MONLPC-Large this season. He has 98 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions, 3 tackles for loss, a sack, and fumble recovery, returning two of his interceptions for touchdowns.
Hakeem McCullers, Sun Prairie - McCullers has been a First Team All-Conference selection the past two seasons, part of a very strong linebacker group for the Cardinals and head coach Brian Kaminski. The 6-3, 230-pounder has 73 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries as the Cardinals were a co-champion of the Big Eight Conference.