The All-Conference honors continue to come in for the Antigo Red Robins in fall sports.
Football was the latest sport to release its list and the Robins have seven players receiving honors.
While first team honors eluded Antigo this time around. A total of four players were named to the second team.
That includes seniors Dakota Matuszewski, Dane Cornelius and Alex Stank, along with junior Brady Vandeweerd.
Matuszewski earns the honor at running back, where he was the Robins’ leading rusher in the regular season with 511 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and scoring five touchdowns.
He finished sixth overall among the GNC rushing leaders. Those finals numbers would have been even higher, had Matuszewski not missed the final two GNC contests due to injury.
“Dakota was a captain on our team and has been our heavy load running back,” head coach Tom Schofield said. “He is a hard nosed kid that is very explosive. He ran downhill at all times. A season ending injury really hurt, but he was a true team player, pushing his teammates when he wasn’t able to play.”
Vandeweerd, was arguable Antigo’s best offensive lineman throughout the season, playing mainly guard and helping the pave the way for Antigo’s rush attack which averaged 223.9 yards per contest in conference games.
“Brady is a guard who is very aggressive,” Schofield explained. “Once he got into a defensive lineman he stuck to his blocking, creating a nice hole for the back to run through.”
Cornelius was named to the second team defense, where he emerged as a playmaker at safety, leading the team with four interceptions.
“Dane developed into a leader on our team as well as one of the best tacklers,” Schofield said. “He has proven himself to be an extremely versatile player that can line up in the secondary, as a linebacker or on the edge. His combination of length, speed, tackling and ball skills are a perfect fit for an all-conference strong safety.”
Stank also earned his nod in the defensive secondary, coming at cornerback.
“Alex is pound for pound one of the best athletes in our program,” Schofield noted. “He easily could have done well at any position in our our defense and we asked him to utilize his speed as our number one corner. He demonstrated excellent coverage and did not give up a single touchdown in pass coverage on his side of the field the entire year. He also epitomizes the phrase ‘student-athlete’ as he has maintained an excellent GPA and is a stand-up person on and off the field.”
A trio of Red Robins were named to the honorable mention squad.
Senior running back Josh Heuss emerged as the season wore on and ended with 510 regular season yards and six touchdowns. Heuss played a key role all season on offense, even more so when Matuszewski went down.
“Josh was another captain of the team and always ran as hard as he could,” Schofield said. “He always gave it his all, he stood up as a leader both on the field and vocally pushing his teammates to do their best.”
Senior Ben Tincher anchored the middle of the Robins’ offensive line at the key position of center.
“Ben was the leader of our o-line and a captain,” Schofield said. “He is a very smart player who has worked really hard to ensure the line is doing what is expected and helped others with their blocking scheme.”
Connor Kolz, a junior, also earned honorable mention at punter, despite leading the GNC in punt average at 39.2 yards per kick.
“Connor came up big in the punting department,” Schofield added. “He helped us in field position and has the capability to really boom the ball.”
Antigo finished 2-6 this past season and fell to Seymour in a Division Two, Level One playoff game. Of Antigo’s defeats, one came in overtime by a field goal to state-ranked Rhinelander, another by just two points, losing 8-6 at Lakeland.
As far as the conference awards are concerned, junior running back Aiden Gardner of Medford is the GNC’s Offensive Player of the Year. Gardner racked up 833 yards rushing on 79 carries, averaging 10.5 yards-per-carry in conference games and scored 10 touchdowns.
Gardner also led the GNC in scoring as Medford rolled to the conference title with a perfect 7-0 mark.
Teammate Emett Grunwald is the Defensive Player of the Year, while Ted Wilson completes the Medford sweep by being named GNC Coach of the Year.
GREAT NORTHERN CONFERENCE
Football All-Conference First Teams
Dylen Tutor, Sr. OL Ashland
Joe Gierl, Sr. OL Medford
Brody Doberstein, Sr. OL Medford
Kirk Mathews, Sr. OL Rhinelander
Joe Fugle, Jr. OL Rhinelander
Travis Towne, Sr. TE Rhinelander
Drayton Lehman, Sr. WR Mosinee
Cyle Kowalski, Sr. WR Mosinee
Michael Dul, Sr. QB Mosinee
Aiden Gardner, Jr. RB Medford
Emett Grunwald, Sr. RB Medford
Carter Brown, Sr. RB Ashland
Michael Dul, Sr. K Mosinee
Joe Gierl, Sr. DL Medford
Brody Doberstein, Sr. DL Medford
Ben Sinclair, Sr. DL Rhinelander
Kirk Mathews, Sr. DL Rhinelander
Emett Grunwald, Sr. DE/OLB Medford
Nate Retterath, Sr. DE/OLB Medford
Peyton Kuhn, Sr. LB Medford
Blaine Seidl, Sr. LB Medford
Chad Hunt, Jr. LB Rhinelander
Kevon Powell, Sr. DB Ashland
Colton Surek, Sr. DB Medford
Drayton Lehman, Sr. DB Mosinee
Jackson Labs, Sr. DB Rhinelander
Michal Dul, Sr. P Mosinee