Keegan Wodill, Jr., Fall River: Led Pirates in sacks (6) and tackles for loss (15), 3rd in tackles (75). “Defensive mismatch” who can “single-handedly take over a game,” according to Pirates’ head coach Joe Zander. Member of defense that allowed 16.2 points per game and 7.7 points per game in conference. Helped Pirates to 3rd-ever conference title and 1st-ever trip to state semifinals. 1st team all-Trailways Small.
Ryan Neu, Jr., Dodgeland: Trojans’ leader in tackles for loss (13), 3rd in tackles (64). Edge rusher who despite not having any sacks was good at pressuring quarterback. Helped Dodgeland make playoffs for 3rd-straight year and notch first postseason victory since 2003. 1st team all-Trailways Large.
Andrew Soda, Sr., Markesan: Hornets’ co-leader in sacks (5), 4th in tackles for loss (9). Member of defense that held opponents to 14.8 points per game. Had big hand in helping Hornets win conference title for 3rd year in a row en route to state semifinals. 1st team all-Trailways Large.
Darren Feucht, Sr., Mayville: Played through knee injury all season and still made big impact, with three sacks and fumble return for a touchdown that changed the momentum in Cardinals’ 28-14, Week 4 win over Omro. Helped Cards end 7-year postseason drought and nearly pull off round-one upset of eventual D4 state champion Lodi in 38-31 loss to Blue Devils on Oct. 20.
Mateo Ramirez, Sr., Beaver Dam: Tied for 28th in state in tackles for loss (20) and tied for 31st in state in tackles (125). Ball of energy whose motor never stopped. “Always found a way to get to the ball; phenomenal blitzer,” Beaver Dam head coach Steve Kuenzi said. Helped Golden Beavers end 5-year postseason drought. 2nd team all-Badger North.
Logan Griffin, Sr. Mayville: Despite playing football for first time since freshman year and playing with cast on wrist all year, he was “almost unblockable,” Cardinals’ head coach Tom Noennig said. Cards’ 5th-leading tackler (57), leader in sacks (3), and co-leader in tackles for loss (6). Blocked three kicks and forced two fumbles. Helped end Mayville’s postseason drought. 1st team all-Flyway.
Sam Nelson, Sr., Fall River: “Emotional leader, heart and soul of the defense,” Pirates’ head coach Joe Zander said. Led team in tackles (109) despite missing four games because of injury. Had three sacks, three tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and an interception. “Smart player who absorbs film like a sponge,” Zander said. 1st team all-Trailways Small.
Ty Plagenz, Sr., Markesan: Defensive Player of the Year in Trailways Large. Led Hornets in tackles (80), tackles for loss (16), fumble recoveries (4), and forced fumbles (4). 3rd on team in sacks (3).
Parker Morton, Sr., Fall River: Tied for 30th in state in interceptions (5), 3rd on team in solo tackles (20), and his sure tackling in secondary prevented big plays. “College level talent,” Pirates’ head coach Joe Zander said. 1st team all-Trailways Small, and all-region according to Wisconsin Football Coaches Association.
Adam Bird, Jr., Beaver Dam: Also tied for 30th in state in interceptions (5), 4th on team in tackles (50), including two tackles for loss. Played pass and run equally well and had “great knack for breaking on the ball,” Beaver Dam head coach Steve Kuenzi said. 2nd team all-Badger North.
Matt Moynihan, Sr., Dodgeland: Led Trojans in tackles (92). Undersized (5-foot-5, 160 pounds) but played big, and his experience and tenacity helped the Trojans notch first postseason win in 14 years.
Drew Bernhagen, Sr., Markesan: Tied for eighth in state in interceptions (8), with one pick-six. Two-way star whose athleticism and penchant for big plays was as big a reason as any for Hornets’ 3rd straight conference title and trip to state semis. 1st team all-Trailways Large.
Andy Vujnovich, Sr., Columbus: Average 37.1 yards per punt with exceptional hang time, consistently at 4.0 seconds, which allowed coverage team to get downfield and prevent returns; opponents averaged only 3.0 yards per return (77 total yards) on 26 returns.