MADISON — For all Jacob Heyroth did for the Lodi football team during its undefeated journey to the WIAA Division 4 state championship, the senior running back, linebacker and return specialist was rewarded Friday with a supreme honor.
A statewide media panel voted the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Heyroth as The Associated Press state high school football player of the year.
“What an amazing honor,” Lodi coach Dave Puls said Friday. “The entire community of Lodi is extremely proud of Jacob and his teammates for all of their accomplishments this year. Having Jacob recognized for this award caps off a dream season for our school and team. I cannot say enough about this deserving young man who has committed himself to being the best student-athlete he can be. This is the highest honor any Lodi football player has ever received and Jacob will represent this award with humility, character and class.”
Heyroth rushed for 2,909 yards on the season, the fourth-highest total in state history according to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. He averaged 9.4 yards per carry and racked up 36 touchdowns, including a 6-yard score in the WIAA Division 4 title game that helped Lodi (14-0) defeat St. Croix Central 17-10 in overtime. Heyroth rushed for 151 yards on 35 carries in the championship game.
As a linebacker, he totaled 8½ sacks during the season and recorded seven tackles in the final. He also returned three punts and one kickoff for touchdowns during the season and finished with 41 touchdowns overall. Lodi won its first title in football, led by Heyroth and honorable mention selections Max Barreau, an outside linebacker, and Lucas Brisky, an offensive lineman.
Kimberly’s Steve Jones, whose team defeated Sun Prairie 27-7 in the Division 1 state title game, was named coach of the year after the Papermakers won their fifth consecutive state championship (the first in Division 2 and next four in Division 1). Kimberly has gone undefeated in each title season.