Panther gridders fulfill potential

Subhead: Focus on team, off-season work crucial to successful season
by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – A team effort fueled the Plymouth Panthers' successful 2011 football season.
Despite having only four starters returning from the 2010 Eastern Wisconsin Conference championship
team, the Panthers contended for the EWC title, earned a Division 3 state playoff berth and finished 7-3
overall. PHS placed second in the league with a 6-1 mark and its only conference loss was to champion
Kewaskum, 33-21.
“I thought we had a very successful season. We played very competitive football and our three losses were
to teams that only had five losses total between them,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.
“We had a goal to be conference champions and came up one game short of that goal, and really played
well in that game [versus Kewaskum] other then one quarter.”
In addition to having a team effort, the Panthers' off-season work was crucial to their successful season.
“The players worked hard in our off-season weight training and speed programs. The kids played as a team,
understood that we would have more success if individual accomplishments were not the main outcome but
rather the team's accomplishments were the main focus,” Knaus said.
Knaus wasn't surprised the team did well even though it had many new starters.
“We just couldn't be sure what this group's abilities were. We felt like the guys who had earned their shot,
had tons of potential,” he said.
“And we just needed to see them translate that to the field. And they were able to do that very well, and had
a very solid 7-3 season.”
The coach said the season's highlights were making the playoffs for the 10th straight season, finishing a
solid second place in the EWC and winning Plymouth's homecoming game.
“I would like the commend every kid that was a part of this season's successes. It is a commitment to be a
part of the football program, and every player should feel pride in the success,” said Knaus.
He thanked everyone who supported Panther football this past season – coaches, parents, booster club
members, junior football and the eighth-grade football coaches.
Knaus offered his outlook for next season.
“It will a new group that will have high standards to follow from the previous three seasons but with great
work ethic we are expecting great things from them,” the coach said.
AWARDS, FINAL STATS
Senior Brett Erdmann and junior Eric Roberts were selected the Panthers' Co-Most Valuable Players for the
2011 season. Erdmann was named the EWC's Defensive Back of the Year and was on the All-EWC firstteam defense. Roberts, a tailback, earned All-EWC first-team honors at running back.
Erdmann was also voted to the all-league second-team offense at split end. Roberts also made allconference honorable mention at outside linebacker.
The Panthers’ other award-winners include: junior linebacker Owen Henriksen, Most Valuable Defensive
Player; sophomore quarterback Kollin Neils, Most Valuable Offensive Player; senior center Ross
Heginbottom Most Valuable Lineman; and sophomore lineman Luke Held, Most Improved.
Erdmann, Heginbottom, and seniors Sawyer Bruggink and Matt Augustine were voted permanent team
captains by the Panthers who also voted for the other award-winners.
Bruggink led the PHS defense in quarterback sacks with five. Henriksen had a team-high 46 solo tackles
and 99 total tackles.

The Panthers’ varsity letter winners include:

Seniors – Parker Kastelic, Jake Klemme, Zach Denzin, Brett Erdmann, Matt Augustine, Sean Murray, Nathaniel Nygaard,
Sawyer Bruggink, John Pruitt, Juan Castillo, Andrew Michaels, Brandon Wollner, Joe McMullen, Tyler Woelfel, Ross
Heginbottom, Jason Peters, Kurt Schmitz, Kevin Wollner and Evan Guell.
Juniors – Matt Rhude, Tony Arnold, Cory Unger, Eric Roberts, Owen Henriksen, Dylan Tripoli, Jake Ohman, Kevin
Friederichs, Tim Edwards, Cody Molkenthine, Tyler Noyes, Brant Urner, Jordan Mueller, Eric Leinen, Andrew Meyer and
Bryce Lueck.
Sophomores – Jack Heginbottom, Kollin Neils, Clay Henning, Denton Saladini, Zach Bradley, Westley Meinnert, Luke
Held and Aron Unger.
Freshmen – Tyler Willeford.

FINAL PLYMOUTH

FOOTBALL STATISTICS
Rushing Leaders
Yds. TDs
Eric Roberts…………………….......1162 12
Cory Unger………………………........289 3
Passing Leaders
Yds. TDs
Kollin Neils…………………….…….1585 19
Receiving Leaders
No. Yds.
Owen Henriksen………………....…..24 271
Evan Guell…………….……..….........22 302
Brett Erdmann.……..…..................17 385
Scoring Leaders
Pts.
Roberts…………………………….……...........80
Erdmann………………………..…............…..42
Guell………………………..…...................…..42
Interception Leaders
No.
Brett Erdmann…………………….…….……...4
Parker Kastelic…………………….…….……..4
Tackle Leaders
No.
Owen Henriksen……….…………………..….99
Sawyer Bruggink………..…...........………...72
John Pruitt…………..….……………..........….66
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