Panthers dominate All-EWC first-team picks

¦ Neils, Held, Cain, coach Knaus earn major honors
by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


BRAD TRAKEL BRAD TRAKEL Eastern Wisconsin Conference champion Plymouth dominated the 2013 All-EWC first-team offense and defense, and also reaped most of the major awards.

The Panthers, 7-0 in the EWC and very impressive en route to winning their second straight league title, have five players on the first-team offense and six on the top defensive unit.

PHS senior quarterback Kollin Neils was voted the EWC’s Offensive Player of the Year, Offensive Back of the Year and Defensive Back of the Year by the league coaches. The Panthers’ other major honors on offense went to senior guard Luke Held for Offensive Lineman of the Year and to junior split end Zac Cain for Receiver of the Year.

Neils, a first-team defensive back, and Held made the firstteam offense for the second straight season and are unanimous choices. Cain is on the top offensive unit.

Held, a first-team defensive end, was also voted the Co-Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year. Senior linebacker Scott Skornicka of Two Rivers shared the top defensive player honor with Held and also earned the Linebacker of the Year award. Held was an honorablemention pick on defense at interior lineman in 2012.


ZAC CAIN ZAC CAIN PHS head coach Dan Knaus was voted the conference’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

The Panthers’ other first-team players include: offense – senior tackle Westley Meinnert and senior center Zack Bradley (unanimous picks); and defense – senior end Westley Meinnert, Bradley at interior lineman, junior inside linebacker Tyler Willeford and senior outside linebacker Brad Trakel (unanimous choice).

Bradley was also a first-team center as a junior. Meinnert is a first-team defensive end for the second consecutive season.

Plymouth’s second-team picks are senior guard Denton Saladini and Trakel at running back on offense; and senior defensive back Justin Picard. The Panthers’ honorable mention players are Willeford at running back and senior inside linebacker Cody Hoffmann.


TYLER WILLEFORD TYLER WILLEFORD Neils had an outstanding season at quarterback. He led the EWC in touchdown passes with 19 and completion percentage at 75.6 percent. He ranked third in passing yardage with 1,423. Neils also ran for 301 yards and five TDs.

On defense, Neils recorded 20 total tackles (14 solos), including three for losses.

“Kollin played both ways for us this year and did an outstanding job of leading this team,” said Knaus.

“He set every passing school record for us, was like having a coach on the field and knew the offense inside and out. He played an outstanding cornerback for us and usually matched up on the opponent’s best receiver and shut them down.”


KOLLIN NEILS KOLLIN NEILS Cain ranked No. 1 in the league in TD receptions with an impressive 11 and receiving yardage with 570 (17.3 average per catch), and was third in receptions with 33. He finished second in scoring with 66 points.

“Zac had a breakout year. He has outstanding hands and can go up and catch the ball against any defensive back,” Knaus observed.

“Luke played with great intensity and desire. He is a very athletic lineman that uses great technique to win battles.”

Held led the EWC in quarterback sacks with four. He made 20 solo tackles and 41 overall.

Bradley had 31 total tackles, including 17 unassisted and three sacks.

“Zack has many of the same qualities that Luke possesses. Zack has a great heart and desire, plays much bigger then he is, and is the strongest kid on our team,” said Knaus.


LUKE HELD LUKE HELD “Playing center is a tough job in a shotgun offense but Zack did an outstanding job and never lost a turnover due to a bad snap.”

“Westley is our biggest lineman but still had the ability to play with good athleticism. Westley filled in on the offensive side of the ball this year for Jordan Mueller [allstater in 2012] and played at a level very comparable.”

Meinnert made 32 total tackles, including 13 solos and one sack.

Willeford recorded 35 solo tackles and 60 overall. He had three sacks and five tackles for losses.

“Tyler really improved as the season went on. I think he learned the [inside linebacker] position better each week. He plays with great intensity and loves to hit,” said Knaus.

Trakel had 35 total tackles, including 19 solos and three for losses.

“Brad was such a solid defensive player. He always was in the right spots and was a great tackler,” Knaus pointed out.


ZACK BRADLEY ZACK BRADLEY “At outside linebacker you have to play the pass and the run, and Brad was outstanding at both which which set him apart from others at his position.”

The only other player who was voted to the first-team offense and defense is Skornicka who is on the offensive unit at running back. The other first-team repeater is senior Bobby Geiger of Two Rivers who was named at tight end after earning honors at defensive end a year ago.

The other unanimous first-team selections include senior guard Austin Feuerhammer and senior defensive interior lineman Cody Baierl of Campbellsport and Skornicka at running back.

“I think the honors that all of the [PHS] players and coaches have received over the past 3-4 years have been a direct reflection of a lot of hard work and effort put in by many,” said Knaus.


WESTLEY MEINNERT WESTLEY MEINNERT “As with any postseason award, success of the team is one of the main factors for who gets the most awards, so I like to look at these as team awards earned by all.”

FINAL EWC STATISTICS

Senior quarterback Arik Tavs of Waupun led the EWC in passing yardage with 1,738.

The top rusher was senior running back Quinn Compton of New Holstein with 733 yards (5.5 average per carry). Trakel was seventh with 509 yards and a league-best 11.1 average per attempt.

Senior wide receiver Ryan Schmitt of Waupun was No. 1 in receptions with 36. Two Rivers senior quarterback Dexter Smith was the top scorer with 70 points, including 11 TDs (all by rushing).

Senior linebacker Nathan Kaiser of New Holstein led the league in total tackles with 104 and solo tackles, 72.

All-EWC Football

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE
SE – Zac Cain, Plymouth................Jr.
TE – Bobby Geiger, Two Rivers........Sr.
T – Westley Meinnert, Plymouth..Sr.
T – Robert Scherer, New Holstein...Sr.
G – Luke Held, Plymouth…...........Sr.
G – Austin Feuerhammer, Camp. .....Sr.
C – Zack Bradley, Plymouth..........Sr.
QB – Kollin Neils, Plymouth..........Sr.
RB – Scott Skornicka, Two Rivers....Sr.
RB – Quinn Compton, New Hol. ......Sr.
RB – Brandon Thull, Kewaskum......So.
FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE
E – Held, Plymouth…....................Sr.
E – Meinnert, Plymouth.................Sr.
IL – Cody Baierl, Campbellsport.......Sr.
IL – Bradley, Plymouth...................Sr.
ILB – Skornicka, Two Rivers.............Sr.
ILB – Tyler Willeford, Plymouth….Jr.
OLB – Brad Trakel, Plymouth........Sr.
OLB – Brandon LaChappelle, TR....So.
B – Neils, Plymouth.......................Sr.
B – Jake O’Brien, Campbellsport.....Sr.
B – Matt Ringwell, Kewaskum.........Sr.
P – Aaron Field, Kiel........................Sr.
SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE

SE – Ryan Schmitt, Waupun.....…....Sr.
TE – Ty Schmidt, Campbellsport.......Jr.
T – Sam Fechter, Kewaskum.........So.
T – Grant Goebel, Campbellsport...Sr.
G – Jordan Steckler, Two Rivers......Jr.
G – Denton Saladini, Plymouth....Sr.
C – Aaron Hepp, Campbellsport.......Jr.
QB – Dexter Smith, Two Rivers........Sr.
RB – Field, Kiel.................................Sr.
RB – Adrian Harmsen, Waupun........Jr.
RB – Trakel, Plymouth....................Sr.
SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE
E – Greg Rate, Kewaskum..............Sr.
E – Scherer, New Holstein...............Sr.
IL – Matt Halverson , Kiel.................Sr.
IL – Steckler, Two Rivers...................Jr.
ILB – Nathan Kaiser, New Holstein...Sr.
ILB – Joey Seitz, Kewaskum............Sr.
OLB – Brett Slaby, Two Rivers.........Sr.
OLB – Alex Lutz, Campbellsport.......Jr.
B – Ethan Willman, Two Rivers........Jr.
B – Mike Blanck, New Holstein........Sr.
B – Justin Picard, Plymouth.........Sr.
P – Mark Sippel, New Holstein.........Sr.

HONORABLE-MENTION OFFENSE
SE – Willman, Two Rivers.................Jr.
TE – Josh Rostek, Sheb. Falls..........Sr.

T – Dalton Winter, Sheboygan Falls.Jr.
T – James Lorenz, Sheb. Falls........Sr.
T – Danny Harmsen, Waupun........So.
G – Jacob Kaiser, New Holstein......So.
G – Trevor Agnew, Kiel.....................Jr.
G – Jacob Becker, Sheboygan Falls.Sr.
C – Eric Limberg, Kewaskum..........Sr.
QB – Arik Tavs, Waupun..................Sr.
RB – Dustin Salter, Campbellsport...Sr.
RB – Willeford, Plymouth…...........Jr.
RB – Blanck, New Holstein...............Sr.
RB – Seitz, Kewaskum.....................Sr.
RB – Sean Mattek, Sheb. Falls........So.
RB – Dustin Setzer, Sheb. Falls......So.
HONORABLE-MENTION DEFENSE
E – Sam Adelmeyer, Camp. ............Sr.
E – James Lorenz, Sheb. Falls........Sr.
E – Brock Schneider, Kiel................Sr.
IL – Alex Secord, New Holstein........Sr.
ILB – Al Zommers, Campbellsport....Sr.
ILB – Cody Hoffmann, Plymouth...Sr.
OLB – Bryce Gannigan, Kiel.............Jr.
OLB – Cody Mitchell, Waupun..........Sr.
OLB – Brady Mauer, Sheb. Falls......Sr.
B – Brett Boegel, Kewaskum............Sr.
B – Brandon Morrissey, Waupun.......Jr.
P – Setzer, Sheboygan Falls............So.
P – Tavs, Waupun.............................Sr.


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