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 by 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.
As division 1 football concluded its regular season, and the division 2 and 3 seasons are in the midst of the playoffs, this will be the last edition of the football alumni round-up for the 2018 season. Look for a special edition of the alumni-round up in the future as we highlight those athletes that received all conference recognition around the country.
The New Orleans Saints are the highest scoring offense in the NFL this season and a lot of that credit goes to their prolific quarterback and skill position guys. However, right tackle Ryan Ramczyk of Stevens Point High School has been one of the best at his position in the NFL and has been a huge reason why Drew Brees is the least sacked quarterback in the league.
A pair of tight ends caught their first passes of the season this past weekend in college football.
Sam Seonbuchner has been a steady blocker for the Iowa State Cyclones all season. In a 42-38 win over Kansas State, Seonbuchner, an Arrowhead alum hauled in his first receiving touchdown of the season.
Vanderbilt picked up a 38-13 victory over Tennessee this past weekend and tight end Cody Markel recorded a pair of firsts in the game. The Middleton alum recorded his first collegiate catch which ended up also being his first collegiate touchdown.
In the matchup of the last two division 3 teams to feature Badger State talent, UW-Whitewater defeated St. Norbert College 54-21 to continue its undefeated season. Stanley-Boyd alum Ronny Ponick rushed for 131 yards a week after going over the 200 yard mark. Sparta High School’s Ryan Wisniewski rushed for 76 yards and a score while wide receivers JT Parish (Cambridge) and Mitchell Dess (South Milwaukee) hauled in receiving scores. Defensively, Nate Tranel of Lancaster High School had a team high 7 tackles and an interception.
For St. Norbert, Samuel Staehling (Plymouth) had four catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns while teammate Brandon Dudley (Green Bay West) had a receiving score as well.
Whitefish Bay’s Nick Bellore has been a special teams ace in his career thus far in the NFL. Sunday in the Detroit Lion’s 23-16 loss Nick had his first ever two-reception game in his career. He also added a tackle.
Melvin Gordon has been nothing short of stellar this season for the Los Angeles Chargers, and that didn’t change this past weekend in a 45-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The former Kenosha Bradford great rushed for 61 yards and two scores. Gordon is currently fourth in the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns and has 13 total touchdowns on the season.
Minnesota State-Mankato was the only team to advance in the division 2 football playoffs with Badger State athletes on its roster. The Mavericks were led up front by Hunter Toppel (DeForest), and Jared Gossen and Evan Heim of De Pere to a 24-10 second round win over CSU-Pueblo. Those three helped block for an electric offense that put up 329 yards in the victory.
Robert Windsor has been a steadying force on the defensive line of Penn State all season. In the Nittany Lion’s 38-3 shellacking of Maryland, Windsor helped the stifling defense by tallying three tackles and a sack. The Fond du Lac High School grad has recorded a sack in the last three games and has seven and a half total on the season.
Speaking of defensive stalwarts, Matt Lorbeck has played well for Northern Illinois this season. The Bay Port grad had three tackles and sack in NIU’s 28-21 loss to Western Michigan in the final game of the season. Lorbeck finished with four and a half sacks on the year.
As Northern Iowa got a 16-13 first round FCS playoff win over Lamar University, the defense was stifling, making plays when it mattered and holding Lamar to only 13 points. Rickey Neal Jr. of Racine Horlick helped that defense by tallying six tackles and a sack.
As much as J.J. Watt has been highlighted in this year’s articles of the alumni round-up, it is fitting and well-deserved. So no better way to end the last edition than one last mention of what should be the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year. After two years of injury-riddled play, the Pewaukee High School alum has been spectacular in his first season back. In the Texan’s 34-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans, Watt had nine tackles, three quarterback hits, and one and a half sacks, to lead Houston to its eighth straight win.
As mentioned earlier, look for the football alumni round-up honors and accolades article in the coming months. In the meantime, check out the boys and girls basketball alumni-round ups that are released every Tuesday and Wednesday.