The Sauk Prairie prep football seniors are leaving the program better than they found it.
Seven of them — Parker Breunig, Ben German, Dayton Goette, Marcus Hankins, Garrett Hertzfeldt, Brooks Leister and Jay Liedtke — are also leaving with All-Badger North Conference honors. Junior Tyler Uselman also picked up all-conference recognition.
“I will remember them as the group that changed the culture in this program,” first-year head coach Clay Iverson said of a senior class that played for three head coaches and saw just five total wins prior to this season. “They have set a standard that the rest of us have to live up to. They cared when others might have decided it was too much to care ... they didn’t quit when others might have because it was too hard ... they had a great attitude through good times and during adversity. They were a blast to work with and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
The defensive-heavy Eagles had six honorees on that side of the ball. Sauk Prairie, which went 6-4 and made the WIAA playoffs for the first time since 2007, shut out two opponents while giving up 220.1 yards and 18.6 points per game, including just 9.7 points per game in their six wins.
German, Hankins and Hertzfeldt all earned second-team honors on both sides of the ball. German, a wide receiver and defensive back, caught 15 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns while notching 14 tackles, one tackle for loss and one interception. Hankins anchored both lines from his center and defensive tackle positions. Hertzfeldt, a running back and linebacker, ran for 890 yards and nine touchdowns on 153 carries while collecting 48 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack.
Leister was named a second-team linebacker after tallying a team-high 54 tackles to go along with five tackles for loss and three sacks. He also earned an honorable mention nod as a punter, while he had three rushing touchdowns at fullback.
Breunig was named a second-team edge player for his work at outside linebacker. The senior had 26 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, three sacks, one fumble recovery, and an interception he returned 50 yards for Sauk Prairie’s lone defensive touchdown of the year. Breunig, who moved to quarterback after three games due to an injury to Ethan Gibbs, also threw for 440 yards and six touchdowns while running for 263 yards and six touchdowns.
Goette earned an honorable mention nod at linebacker after tallying 51 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions.
Liedtke earned honorable mention recognition for his work at defensive back, including a game-clinching interception in the closing seconds of a 19-13 win at Madison Edgewood in Week 2.
Uselman, a junior running back, earned an honorable mention nod. He carried the ball 97 times for 688 yards and three touchdowns, averaging a team-best 7.09 yards per carry, and caught four passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles went 4-3 to finish fourth in the eight-team Badger North. They earned a sixth seed in the Division 3 playoffs, suffering a 26-13 loss at third-seeded Stoughton in a first-round playoff game Oct. 25.
All four Sauk Prairie losses — against Stoughton, Reedsburg, DeForest and Waunakee — came to teams that advanced to at least the second round of the playoffs.
Conference champion DeForest had 12 first-team honorees, including Offensive Player of the Year Lane Larson, a senior wide receiver, and Offensive Lineman of the Year Colby Hartig, a senior guard. Waunakee senior linebacker Jeb Frey was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Reedsburg senior Johnathan Schmitt was the Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Hayden Rauls, jr., TE, DeForest; Broden Boschert, sr., WR, Beaver Dam; Lane Larson*, sr., WR, DeForest; Isaac Schaaf*, jr., WR, Waunakee; Adam White*, sr., T, DeForest; Thomas Meffert, jr., T, Waunakee; Colby Hartig*, sr., G, DeForest; Forrest Anderson, sr., G, Waunakee; Ethan Ziebell, jr., C, Reedsburg; Trey Schroeder*, sr., QB, DeForest; Gabe Finley*, jr., RB, DeForest; Dale Sheppard*, sr., RB, Portage; Casey Campbell, sr., RB, Reedsburg; Aidan Driscoll, so., PK, Waunakee.
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Offensive Player of the Year: Lane Larson, sr., WR, DeForest.
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Colby Hartig, sr., G, DeForest.
Zach Schoenberger, sr., TE, Beaver Dam; Ryan Schultz, sr., WR, Portage; Ben German, sr., WR, Sauk Prairie; Jordan Wuensch, sr., WR, Waunakee; Jack Thennes, sr., T, DeForest; Liam Greenwood, jr., T, Reedsburg; Braydon Harmon, jr., G, DeForest; Jonathan Schmitt, sr., G, Reedsburg; Marcus Hankins, sr., C, Sauk Prairie; Caden Nelson, jr., QB, Waunakee; Alex Endres, sr., RB, DeForest; Mason Kirchberg, jr., RB, DeForest; Garrett Hertzfeldt, sr., RB, Sauk Prairie; Graham Langkamp, sr., PK, Baraboo.
Baraboo — George Fitzwilliams, sr.; Luna Larson, so. Beaver Dam — Nick Ludowese, so.; Carter Riesen, jr. DeForest — Logan Bierman, sr.; Bennett Girten, jr.; Jagger Lokken, jr. Mount Horeb/Barneveld — Dylan Oimeon, jr. Reedsburg — Max Tully, sr.; Danny Kast, sr.; Joel Douglas, sr.; Ryan Phelps, sr.; Ethan Lee, sr. Sauk Prairie — Tyler Uselman, jr. Waunakee — Randy Vojitisek, jr.; Andrew Keller, so.; Jordan Burrell sr.; Ben Benusa, sr.; Wyatt Ziegler, sr.; Cole Mobley, sr.
Edwyn Erickson, sr., DL, DeForest; Johnathan Schmitt*, sr., DL, Reedsburg; Sam Myers, sr., DL, Waunakee; Cole Yocum*, sr., Edge, DeForest; Will Bolden*, sr., Edge, Waunakee; Jett Riese, sr., LB, DeForest; Alex Endres, sr., LB, DeForest; Robert Losic, sr., LB, Reedsburg; Jeb Frey*, sr., LB, Waunakee; Marlon Cystrunk, sr., DB, DeForest; Devin Magli, so., DB, DeForest; Carson Beyer, sr., DB, Reedsburg; Joe Hauser*, sr., DB, Waunakee; Cris Pertusatti*, sr., P, Mount Horeb/Barneveld.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jeb Frey, sr., LB, Waunakee.
Defensive Lineman of the Year: Johnathan Schmitt, sr., Reedsburg.
Alonzo Blevins, sr., DL, DeForest; Carter Daniels, sr., DL, Reedsburg; Marcus Hankins, sr., DL, Sauk Prairie; Trey Warne, sr., Edge, DeForest; Parker Breunig, sr., Edge, Sauk Prairie; Raudell Guerrero, sr., LB, DeForest; Garrett Hertzfeldt, LB, Sauk Prairie; Brooks Leister, sr., LB, Sauk Prairie; Conner Loy, sr., LB, Waunakee; Adam Szepieniec, sr., DB, DeForest; Trace Grundahl, jr., DB, DeForest; Ben German, sr., DB, Sauk Prairie; Jacob May, sr. DB, Waunakee. Jeb Frey, sr., P, Waunakee.
Baraboo — Joe White Eagle, sr.; Owen Nachtigal, jr.; Nate McCauley, sr. Beaver Dam — Andrew Rosado, sr.; Ian Wendt-Utrie, sr. DeForest — Cody Kuchar, sr. Mount Horeb/Barneveld — Josh Radke, sr.; Nick Flaherty, sr. Portage — Colton Brandsma, sr.; Matthew Miles, sr. Reedsburg — David Finkel, jr.; Austin Peters, sr.; Max Tully, sr.; Danny Kast, sr.; Dominic DeJesus, sr.; Casey Campbell, sr. Sauk Prairie — Dayton Goette, sr.; Jay Liedtke, sr.; Brooks Leister, sr., P. Waunakee — Max Raemisch, jr.; Gabe Hughes, sr.; Dan Ford, jr.; Lawson Ludwig, sr.; David Kienow, sr.