PHS trio All-State Honorable Mention

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

Plymouth’s Tyler Willeford, Zac Cain and Samuel Staehling were named Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-State Honorable Mention for the 2014 season.

Cain earned honorable mention at wide receiver for the second straight season. Willerford, a senior inside linebacker, and junior cornerback Staehling are on the defensive unit. All three Panthers were 2014 All-Eastern Wisconsin Conference first-team selections.

Cain was voted the EWC’s Receiver of the Year this past season. He enjoyed an outstanding 2014 campaign with 45 catches for 696 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 15.5 yards per reception.

“Zac has the rare combination of size and speed for the receiver position with outstanding hands,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

Willeford was selected the EWC’s Defensive Player and Linebacker of the Year. He made 114 overall tackles, including 72 solos, as a senior. Willeford had seven tackles for losses, one quar- terback sack and a forced fumble.

“Tyler is a big hitter that plays the game at full speed, loves contact and has been a great leader for us,” Knaus observed.

Staehling was named the EWC’s Defensive Back of the Year. He was credited with 34 total tackles, including 22 solos. Staehling made three tackles for losses and had three interceptions, including one returned for a TD.

“Samuel moved from outside linebacker to DB this season and led the team in interceptions, and was always assigned to cover the opponent’s top receiver,” Knaus pointed out.

Junior running back Brandon Thull of Kewaskum was voted to the All-State first-team offense. Thull was the EWC’s Offensive Player and Offensive Back of the Year.

Ozaukee’s Sam Schuette, a senior defensive end, and teammates Michael Richter, a junior wide receiver, and senior quarterback Jake Wolff received honorable mention. Cedar Grove-Belgium has two honorable-mention picks – junior offensive lineman Dan Gjertson and senior running back Aaron Chier.


Willeford, Cain, Staehling and their teammate senior Matt Olig were voted All-East Central Region by the WFCA: Willeford at inside linebacker; Cain, wide receiver; Staehling, defensive back and running back; and Olig at defensive end.

Staehling had a stellar season on offense as he racked up 1,261 yards and 19 TDs on the ground – averaging a whopping 9.3 yards per carry. He also caught 14 passes for 173 yards (12.4 average per reception) and two TDs.

Olig registered 74 total tackles, with 40 solos, and had 10 tackles for losses. He also had one sack, three fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

“Matt is a very solid lineman that plays with great intelligence,” observed Knaus.

“Matt was an anchor [at tackle] for a young offensive line and was a leader to those young guys. Matt had to play both ways this season and stepped up to fill both roles with great consistency.”

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