Panthers’ Schweiger top ECC lineman

Six Panthers named All-ECC first team
by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff

DEREK SCHWEIGER DEREK SCHWEIGER Senior Derek Schweiger of Plymouth was voted the East Central Conference’s Offensive and Defensive Lineman of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2016 football season.

Schweiger, 6-feet-4, 270 pounds, is a unanimous first-team offensive lineman and first-team defensive end. He was also a unanimous firstteam offensive lineman as a junior.

Five other Panthers also earned first-team honors and they include: offense – senior Logan Rusch, lineman; senior Cody Kuhn, athlete/utility on offense as a running back and wide receiver; and defense – Kuhn, outside linebacker; senior Erik Ohman, inside linebacker; junior Mackade Mella, outside linebacker; and senior Gavin Falk, back.

Ohman and Berlin senior Brady Krebs were selected the ECC’s Co- Inside Linebackers of the Year.

Falk and Kewaskum senior Brady Hanson were voted the league’s Co- Defensive Backs of the Year.

MACKADE MELLA MACKADE MELLA Schweiger and Kuhn are among five players who are on the first-team offense and defense. The other athletes are Hanson, named to the wide receiver position on offense; Berlin senior Zach Wilson, offensive lineman and defensive interior lineman; and Kewaskum senior Dalton Espitia, offensive lineman and defensive interior lineman.

The other unanimous first-team picks are Hanson at wide receiver; Wilson, offensive lineman and defensive interior lineman; Ripon senior Reagan Kropp, offensive lineman; Ripon senior Hunter Merrill, running back; Berlin senior Jack Werch, running back; and Campbellsport senior Jack Malloy, punter.

The other first-team repeaters are Wilson, offensive lineman; Berlin senior Ethan Becker, kicker on offense; and Werch, defensive back.

Plymouth’s second-team selections include: offense – Ohman, tight end/fullback; Falk, quarterback and junior Derek Novotny, running back; and defense – senior Jared Beck, interior lineman and Notvotny, back.

CODY KUHN CODY KUHN The Panthers’ honorable-mention players include: offense – senior Trevor Horneck, lineman and Falk, kicker; and defense – senior Alex Shutter, back.

Schweiger had 35 total tackles in ECC action which included 14 solos and 21 assisted. He also had eight tackles for losses and one quarterback sack.

“Derek had a great season on both sides of the line. He is a dominant player that really played well this season. Derek has great athleticism for his size,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

Ohman finished eighth in the conference in total tackles with 52 – 25 solos and 27 assisted. He contributed six tackles for losses and one sack.

“Erik plays with great instinct and toughness. A bit undersized at inside linebacker but overcame that with his other strengths,” Knaus pointed out.

GAVIN FALK GAVIN FALK Falk led the ECC in interceptions with seven. He had 23 total tackles, including 16 solos and seven assisted. Falk was credited with one tackle for loss.

“Gavin tied the school record for interceptions [11 for the overall season]. He really had a knack for the ball and was one of the better true free safeties I’ve coached,” said the coach.

Kuhn was a dual threat on offense, splitting time between running back and wide receiver. He led the conference in rushing touchdowns for ECC play with 14 and scoring with 86 points. Kuhn ranked fifth in rushing yardage with 625 yards (8.1- yard average per carry).

He finished fifth in receptions with 14 and eighth in receiving yardage at 156 (11.1 average per catch).

Kuhn, an All-ECC second-team outside linebacker in 2015, made 34 total tackles – 20 solos and 14 assisted this past season. He ranked seventh in solos. Kuhn had five tackles for losses, two sacks and one interception.

LOGAN RUSCH LOGAN RUSCH “Cody is a great athlete and was very versatile for us on offense and defense this season,” said Knaus.

Mella ranked fifth in solo tackles with 23 and had 23 assisted which gave him a 46 total which was tied for 11th. He contributed eight tackles for losses, one sack and one interception.

“Mackade got better and grew his confidence each week. He really played his best ball by the end of the season – a great upside for next year,” Knaus said.

“Logan Rusch played with a bad knee all season but was still able to be very effective and help make our offensive line jell. He was one of the hardest off-season workers we had and it showed in his performance.

ERIK OHMAN ERIK OHMAN “As I always say, individual awards come from team success, so these awards are a part of our team’s success this past season,” added Knaus.

Falk had a league-best 51.9 completion percentage. He passed for 418 yards, which was third most in the ECC, and one TD. He was an All-ECC honorable-mention quarterback as a junior.

Novotny finished sixth in the ECC in rushing with 566 yards (6.9 average per attempt) and ran for six TDs.

The ECC’s other major awardwinners include: Werch, Offensive Player and Offensive Back of the Year; Hanson, Receiver of the Year; and Joe Stellmacher of Berlin, the Head Coach of the Year. Berlin, PHS and Kewaskum shared the ECC championship with 6-1 records.


Senior running back Hunter Merrill of Ripon led the league in rushing with 857 yards (8.7 average per carry). Werch was second with 800 yards.

Senior quarterback Dalton Poole paced the ECC in passing yardage with 1,282 yards and TD passes, 11.

Junior wide receiver Anthony Steger of Kewaskum led in receptions with 28, receiving yardage at 485 (17.3 average per reception) and TD catches, six. Hanson ranked No. 2 in catches with 21, receiving yardage, 452 (21.5 average per catch) and TD receptions, four.

Ripon junior inside linebacker Marshall Morrin led the ECC in total tackles with 76 (18 solos and 58 assisted). Junior defensive back Brandon Heckendorf of Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson) made a leaguehigh 29 solo tackles.

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