GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Now that the high school football season has been digested it's time to look back and hand out "The Dougies," awards given to the best players and coaches from this past season.
The Dougies are split into two divisions, Large (Divisions 1-3) and Small (Divisions 4-7). There was a lot of great football played this past season, including four teams reaching state title games and two teams walking away with gold balls.
So here we go with The Dougies:
- OFFENSE: The offensive player of the year is Dylan Hendricks from Pulaski. Despite shouldering the burden on almost every offensive play, the North Dakota State recruit was a one-man wrecking crew as he led the state with 2,833 rushing yards and scored 32 TDs in leading the Red Raiders to a 10-2 record. In addition he had 776 passing yards and 8 TDs. Hendricks was one of a kind this season and how he stayed healthy playing both sides of the ball was impressive.
Also considered: Cody Staerkel, QB, Kimberly: led state with 2,932 passing yards; Eben Sauer, RB, Fond du Lac, 1,710 yards, 19 TDs; Isaiah Gash, RB, Bay Port, 1,646 yards, 30 TDs.
- DEFENSE: The Large Division defensive player of the year was someone who tried to stop Hendricks when they played, Bay Port’s Max Meeuwsen. The junior defensive end dominated at times, maybe all the time, tying for second in the state with 18 sacks, while also recording 20 tackles for loss, 65 tackles and forcing four fumbles. Offenses always had to locate Meeuwsen pre-snap because if they didn't Meeuwsen would find the ball.
Also considered: Jake Karchinski, DE, West De Pere, 7.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss; Tristan Argall, LB, Kimberly, 92 tackles, 3 sacks.
- COACH: The Large Division coach of the year is West De Pere’s Jack Batten, who led the Phantoms to a 13-1 record and a silver ball in Division 3. Batten returned West De Pere to the state title game for the first time since 2011.
Also considered: Steve Jones, Kimberly; Steve Jorgensen, Fond du Lac.
- OFFENSE: The offensive player of the year is without question Iola-Scandinavia running back Bryce Huettner, who was second in the state with 2,612 rushing yards and with 42 touchdowns. The senior was the major reason the Thunderbirds won the Division 6 state title game and he even played linebacker. Huettner was a two-way star.
Also considered: Derik LeCaptain, RB, Southern Door, 2,145 yards (8th in state), 23 TDs; Cade Christensen, WR, St. Mary's Springs, 53 catches, 1,115 yards, 12 TDs.
- DEFENSE: The Small Division defensive player of the year is St. Mary’s Springs linebacker Marcus Orlandoni. The junior was the backbone of a stingy defense as he recorded 135 tackles and 11 tackles for loss for the Division 5 state champs, who allowed just seven points per game. Orlandoni also scored two TDs in the Division 5 state title game as a running back.
Also considered: Bryce Huettner, LB, Iola-Scandinavia, 98 tackles.
- COACH: This was a shared award as St. Mary's Springs and Iola-Scandinavia each went 14-0 this season. St. Mary’s Springs’ Bob Hyland led the Ledgers to the Division 5 state title a year after winning the Division 6 state title, proving moving up one division meant absolutely nothing. It was Springs' eighth state title, tops in WIAA history. Iola-Scandinavia’s Scott Erickson led the Thunderbirds to the program’s first-ever state title winning the gold ball in Division 6 afetr finishing runner-up in 2017 to Springs.
Also considered: Brian Ryczkowski, Little Chute; Aaron Frederick, Reedsville.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay