Panthers’ Staehling voted ECC’s top DB

Plymouth has three All-ECC firstteam picks
by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

SAMUEL STAEHLING SAMUEL STAEHLING Senior Samuel Staehling of Plymouth was voted the East Central Conference’s Defensive Back of the Year for the 2015 football season by the ECC coaches.

Staehling was voted unanimously to the All-ECC first-team offense at running back and the first-team defense. He was the Eastern Wisconsin Conference’s Defensive Back of the Year in 2014 when he earned All-EWC first-team honors on offense and defense. PHS moved to the new ECC last year.

Staehling is one of five players who were voted to the first-team offense and defense. One player was named to two positions on a first team – Berlin senior Ryan Wenig on defense at end and punter.

The Panthers’ other first-team picks are senior defensive end Ethan Keller and junior offensive lineman Derek Schweiger. Sch- weiger is a unanimous choice.

Earning second-team honors for PHS are senior lineman Mitch Meyer and senior place-kicker Jared Weinbauer on offense and junior outside linebacker Cody Kuhn on defense.

DEREK SCHWEIGER – Photos by Pannier Photography DEREK SCHWEIGER – Photos by Pannier Photography Three Panthers received honorable mention – senior tight end Zach Albers and junior quarterback Gavin Falk on offense and junior interior lineman Joe Chandler on defense.

“I thought Samuel was very deserving of both all-conference awards,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

“His Defensive Back of the Year award was a direct reflection of the other coaches’ understanding that he was always covering their best receiver and shutting them down. On offense, Samuel was a huge part of our offense and the center of attention from all opponents.”

Staehling ranked No. 2 in the ECC in rushing with 860 yards for an outstanding 8.3 average per carry. He was second in the league in scoring with 102 points and rushing touchdowns with 15.

ETHAN KELLER ETHAN KELLER He had 16 receptions for 139 yards and two TDs.

Staehling had 23 total tackles, including 16 solos. He made two tackles for losses.

“Derek was one of the anchors to our offensive line. He and Mitch Meyer were the leaders on the offensive line,” said Knaus.

“Derek is a big, athletic lineman that moves very well and other coaches notice his abilities quickly.

“Ethan had an outstanding year at defensive end. It was a new position for him this year that he grew into week by week,” Knaus pointed out.

“By the end of the season he became the leader on defense, and offenses had to account for him. Ethan is a great example of what hard work in the off-season can do for you. His success was built in the off-season.”

Keller led the ECC in quarterback sacks with 7.5 He finished third in the ECC in solo tackles with 39 and total tackles, 72. Keller also had eight tackles for losses, forced two fumbles and recovered two.

Senior running back Brandon Thull of Kewaskum was voted the conference’s Offensive Player and Offensive Back of the Year. Thull, a first-team pick, led the ECC in rushing with 1,324 yards (10.8 average per attempt) and scoring with 152 points. He had an impressive 24 rushing TDs which was first.

Senior Sam Fechter of Kewaskum was selected the Defensive Player of the Year, and the Offensive and Defensive Lineman of the Year. Fechter was named to the first team as an offensive lineman and is on the defense as an interior lineman.

Berlin senior Lucas Gravunder, a first-team wide receiver, was voted the Receiver of the Year.

Kewaskum senior Ben Watzig and Berlin senior Mitch Kramer were chosen the Co-Linebackers of the Year. Watzig and Kramer are on the first-team defense at inside linebacker and outside linebacker, respectively.

Kewaskum, which won the ECC with a 7-0 record, has a league-high 10 first-team picks.


Senior quarterback Carter Jodarski of Berlin led the ECC in passing yardage with 1,007 and TD passes, 12. Senior quarterback Tyler Swanlund of Winneconne was first in completion percentage with an excellent 68.1.

Gravunder was No. 1 in receptions with 37, TD catches with eight and receiving yardage, 569 (15.4 average per catch).

Senior inside linebacker Brett Peth of Ripon led the ECC in total tackles with 95, including 37 solos. Junior outside linebacker Austin Narges of Campbellsport made a league-high 63 solo tackles.

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