Rock Valley well-represented on all-star roster
The trend started with Beloit Turner winning the 1988 Division 4 state title game, and the mighty Rock’s impact on the state scene continued with Walworth Big Foot’s runner-up finish in Division 4 this past season.
When you add in the success of the Evansville and Brodhead/Juda programs, who have combined for 37 postseason wins, it’s no surprise that the Rock Valley is well-represented on the Division 4-5-6-7 South all-star roster for Saturday’s Wisconsin Football Coaches Association game in Oshkosh.
Five players from the Rock are on the South roster, including three from Ron Grovesteen’s dominating program at Evansville.
Heading the list of Blue Devils is Andrew Keister. He was Evansville’s starting quarterback for four years and the two-time Rock Back of the Year, along with an all-state selection at defensive back. A Minnesota State at Mankato recruit, Keister will switch to defensive back for the South team and will play there in college.
Keister is joined on the South team by high school teammates Derek Cashore and Tucker Johnson. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Johnson will get a chance to play on his future home field as he will enroll at UW-Oshkosh in the fall and play football for the Titans.
The 5-10, 205-pound Cashore will play linebacker for the South, but the all-state first-team catcher will concentrate on baseball next year at UW-Whitewater.
The other two Rock Valley players gearing up for Saturday’s 2 p.m. game are Big Foot linebacker Matt Fogerty and Brodhead/Juda defensive back Beau Benner. Fogerty is going to play football at Beloit College, while Benner is undecided on whether to try out for the team at Division III powerhouse UW-Whitewater.
Cashore said the Rock Valley could play a pivotal role in Saturday’s outcome.
“We want to win the game, and because everybody on the team from our conference is used to winning, hopefully that will continue at Saturday’s game,” Cashore said. “I don’t want my last football game to be a loss.
“The Rock is a great conference, and it just shows you how tough it is in football,” Cahsore said of the five South representatives.
Brodhead-Juda coach Jim Matthys, who along with Big Foot’s Rodney Wedig is serving as an assistant this week, said the talent pool in the Rock Valley seems to get stronger every year.
“When you get a chance to play and coach against the talent in our conference, and look at those kids on tape each and every week like Rodney and I do, we already know how good the kids we have on our (South) roster are,” Matthys said. “And now they’re getting the opportunity to play with the best of the best at their positions, and nothing has changed. They’re all still very good players, even at this high level.”
What else would you expect from the Rock Valley Conference?