Big Foot's play was better than Wedig imagined in August
Rodney Wedig wasn’t as confident—at least in his public statements in August—that his Big Foot High football team would be as strong as in past seasons.
“Trust me, we aren’t going to be throwing 50 points on the board in the first half and sitting back and relaxing the rest of the game this year,” Wedig said days before the season opener.”
Well, the Chiefs proved their head coach wrong. They did put 50 points on the board by half during some games—including a 63-0 lead at half against Turner and 56-0 after two quarters in their first playoff game—and have been just as dominant as previous teams.
Now Big Foot is about to play its third WIAA state title game in the past five seasons. The Chiefs (12-0) play Somerset (11-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium in the Division 4 championship game.
Wedig summarizes his team by pointing at his two tackles—255-pound Collin Frederick and 265-pound Garett Cary—running back Mason Dixon who has rushed for 2,080 yards and 40 touchdowns; quarterback Carter Hehr who has thrown for more than 1,000 yards and rushed for 700 more, and kicker Ian Gallagher, who has converted 80 of 82 extra points and several field goals.
“We have a lot of weapons,” Wedig said this week. “We don’t have the speed and athleticism we’ve had in the past, but we play fundamentally sound.”
That has allowed Big Foot to outscore its opponents by an average of 36 points.
The Chiefs face a Somerset team that will attempt to use its quickness on the offensive line to overcome a definite size disadvantage. The Spartans run an option attack that features quarterback Tyler Ledbeter.
Ledbeter has rushed for nearly 750 yards and nine touchdowns in the past three playoff victories.
Big Foot has not faced an option team this season.
“The big thing defensively is to stick to our assignments and not try to find the ball,” Wedig said. “We have our work cut out for us.”
Frederick and Cary will play major roles from their end positions. Gus Wedig—Rodney’s son—at middle linebacker, and Hehr at safety usually clean up whatever comes their way.
The head coach said the Frederick and Cary keep runners in the middle of the field, and Gus Wedig leads the team in tackles.
“We are as sound up the middle as we can be,” Wedig said.
Hehr, who ran a 4.6 40 at a Northwestern football camp, had nine interceptions last season, but since none of the Rock Valley Conference teams ran spread offenses this season, his opportunities for picks have diminished.
With Hehr and Dixon putting up their numbers on offense, the Chiefs have the ability to score on any play.
With Frederick—the younger brother of starting UW center Travis Frederick—and Cary on the offensive line, Dixon and Hehr usually has plenty of openings.
Big Foot, which lost in the Division 4 state title game in 2008 to the Jared Abberderis-led Wautoma/Faith Christian squad, 20-0, and beat Kewaunee, 42-13, in the 2009 Division 4 title game, won’t be leading the this year’s title game by 50 points at halftime.
Wedig will settle for leading by one point at the end of the game.
ALL-SOUTHERN LAKES CONFERENCE TEAMS
QB—Peter Krien, Badger, sr.
WR—Matt Christensen, Wilmot, sr.
WR—Kasey Solofra, Burlington, sr.
RB—Robert Johnson, Badger, sr.
RB—Alex Thomaschek, Waterford, sr.
TE—Ty Dennis, Burlington, sr.
OL—Logan Tenney, Badger, jr.
OL—Brandon Miller, Waterford, sr.
OL—Luke Hesse, Burlington, jr.
OL—JJ Pryzbylka, Waterford, sr.
OL—Paul Swartz, Wilmot, sr.
K—Spencer Warner, Burlington, sr.
n Offensive Player of the Year—Peter Krien, Badger, sr.
QB—Jayden Essman, Burlington, sr.
WR—Luke Millhouse, Westosha Central, sr.
WR—Stephen Rodriguez, Delavan-Darien, soph.
RB—Bennett Kothe, Wilmot, soph.
RB—Chad Redmer, Burlington, sr.
OL—Carlos Garcia, Badger, sr.
OL—Austin Gilmore, Westosha Central, sr.
OL—Quentin Cauffman, Elkhorn, sr.
OL—Brandon Schindler, Waterford, sr.
OL—Tyler Kirkeeng, Burlington, jr.
DL—Brandon Miller, Waterford, sr.
DL—Zach Dodge, Wilmot, jr.
DL—Josh Doyle, Badger, jr.
DL—Jake Wirshing, Waterford, sr.
LB—Andy Cychner, Badger, jr.
LB—Ross Canales, Burlington, sr.
LB—JJ Ahlers, Waterford, sr.
LB—Max Fisher, Waterford, soph.
DB—Matt Reynolds, Badger, jr.
DB—Chris Benavides, Waterford, sr.
DB—Ty Dennis, Burlington, sr.
P—Michael Dilley, Waterford, sr.
n Defensive Player of the Year—Brandon Miller, Waterford.
DL—Luke Hesse, Burlington, jr.
DL—Matt Brumm, Badger, sr.
DL—Eliah Nelson, Delavan-Darien, jr.
DL—Paul Swartz, Wilmot, sr.
LB—Justin Schweitzer, Wilmot, sr.
LB—Austin Gillmore, Westosha Central, sr.
LB—Peter Krien, Badger, sr.
LB—Yanni Skapinakis, Waterford, jr.
DB—Trenton Bobula, Badger, sr.
DB—Nolan Dodge, Delavan-Darien, jr.
DB—Tyler Bowes, Elkhorn, jr.
P—Luke Gorst, Elkhorn, sr.
QB—Noah Strasser, Wilmot, sr.; WR—Drew Bryson, Elkhorn, sr.; Brad Ostrowski, Union Grove, sr. RB—Austin Feeney, Westosha Central, jr.; TE—Erik Nevoso, Wilmot, sr.; OL—Noah Mishleau, Union Grove, jr.; Heath Gascoigne, Wilmot, sr.; Alec Henderson, Waterford, jr.; Mike Habrel, Badger, sr.; Brendan Huber, Delavan-Darien, sr.
DL—JJ Pryzbylka, Waterford, sr.; Brandon Schindler, Waterford, sr.; Grant Berg, Elkhorn, jr.; Jimmy Penzel, Burlington, sr.; John Damron, Delavan-Darien, jr.; Andrew Allen, Badger, jr. LB—Chris Lindstrand, Wilmot, soph.; Alex Thomascheck, Waterford, sr.; Ross Canales, Burlington, sr.; Logan Mohr, Elkhorn, sr.; Zack Biehn, Westosha Central, jr. DB—Bryce Kothe, Wilmot, soph.; Justin Steffens, Waterford, jr.; Cody Jones, Union Grove, sr. P—Fred McCann, Union Grove, sr.
Tyler Fiebelkorn, Westosha Central, sr. 16:23.3; Shane McNealy, Westosha Central, soph, 16:31.2; Tomas Pecha, Badger, sr. 16:33.4; Grant Brooks, Waterford, sr., 16:40.9; Jacob Hebior, Westosha Central, fresh, 16:55.9; Mickael Pauly, Burlington, 16:59.2; Charles Lamp, Westosha Central, sr., 17:00.7.
Grant MacKinnon, Westosha Central, sr., 17:09.8; Gavin Denecke, Badger, jr.; Mychal Grube, Waterford, jr.; Sam Logterman, Delavan-Darien, sr., 17:30.8; Bailey Davis, Union Grove, jr., 17:36.7; Jacob Pierce, Badger, soph,; 17:38.0; Cody Sadikoff, Badger, fresh., 17:38.5.
Melissa Capra, Westosha Central, soph., 15:36.4. Maria Sabouria, Westosha Central, soph., 15:39.4. Madelyn Schwartz, Union Grove, jr., 15:40.0; Joanne Reiners, Westosha Central, jr., 15:42.9. Kit Kocha, Burlington, jr., 15:45.5. MacKenzie Bevry, Westosha Central, jr., 15:51.9. Renee Culbertson, Westosha Central, jr., 16:01.4.
Alex Swarthout, Badger, jr., 16:05.6. Brittany Ehlen, Burlington, soph., 16:06.3. Kallen Crowe, Wilmot, sr., 16:51.1. Rebecca Lamp, Westosha Central, soph., 16:15.4. Maddie Murphy, Westosha Central, soph., 16:15.8. Julia Alberth, Westosha Central, soph., 16:16.2. Valerie Knurr, Waterford, jr., 16:17.7.
-- Runner of the Year—Melissa Capra, Westosha Central, soph.
Boys—Cody Sadikof, Badger; Zach Wawrzniakowski, Burlington;; Kane Castel, Delavan-Darien; Austn Reese, Elkhorn; Logan Kottchagen, Union Grove; Trent Rudebeck, Waterford; Corbin Bevry, Westosha Central; Matt Hagemann, Wilmot.
Girls—Elle Adams, Badger; Beka Olson, Delavan-Darien; Stephanie Schmidt, Elkhorn; Anna Peterson, Union Grove; Makenna Reed, Waterford; Kallen Crowe, Wilmot.
Mari Suokko, Union Grove, fr., Paige Murdoch, Union Grove, sr., Leah Birch, Westosha Central, jr. Brittany Loveless, Wilmot, sr., Taylor Clark, Westosha Central, sr.
Player of the Year—Mari Suokko.
Emily Powers, Waterford, sr., Hannah Grobelny, Elkhorn, jr.; Ellen Stang, Burlington, soph., Breanna Bertschinger, Waterford, soph., Danni Robers, Burlington, soph.
Kate Russell, Badger; Tess Lavieri, Burlington; Sarah Rowe, Elkhorn; Tara Manteufel, Union Grove; Samantha Mamerow, Waterford; Madison Fenske, Westosha Central; madion Hahn, Wilmot,
Forward—Joseph Ahlgren, Badger, sr., Brandon Riese, Elkhorn, sr., Juan J. Rocha, Delavan-Darien, soph.,
Midfielder—Jon Stopple, Elkhorn, sr., Macall Hill, Delavan-Darien, sr., Ben Plantz, Waterford, sr.
Defender—Caleb Marse, Delavan-Darien, sr., Dylan Seitz, Elkhorn, sr., Kai Batwinski, Waterford, jr.
Goal Keeper—Erik Papenfus, Elkhorn, sr.
At large player—Austin Swigart, Waterford, jr.
-- Player of the Year—Jon Stopple, Elkhorn.
Forward—Saul Rivera, Delavan-Darien, soph., Jerohan Duran, Elkhorn, jr., Zach Zenner, Wilmot, sr.
Midfielder—Jorge mayorga, Badger, soph., Rameses Huerta, Badger, jr., Eric Aguirre, Burlington, sr.
Defender—Connor Kotula, Badger, sr., Alex Kruk, Burlington, jr., Schuyler Williams, Delavan-Darien, sr.
Goal Keeper—Noah Olson, Delavan-Darien, sr.
At large player—Adam Filz, Union Grove, sr.
Paul Leedle, Badger; Eric Skipper, Badger; Adam Skoczylas, Elkhorn; Chandler Kayser, Elkhorn; Zach Patryn, Elkhorn; Andy Hatch, Union Grove, Edde Neubauer, Union Grove, David Zahn, Waterford.
Cricket Geldermann, Badger, jr., Lily Fisher, Badger, sr., Joanie Williams, Badger, soph., Andrea Chironis, Badger, soph., Alysaa Helwig, Waterford, sr., Bridget Brockman, Waterford, soph., Kendall Rueber, Union Grove, jr., Alyssa Leffler, Union Grove, fr., Emily Rogahn, Waterford, sr., Taylor Webb, Waterford, soph.
-- Player of the Year—Lily Fisher, Badger.
Jessica DeGroot, Union Grove, jr., Sydney Ciaro, Waterford, sr., Jenna Oliver, Union Grove, jr., Hayley Ellie, Waterford, jr., Sam Hoyord, Delavan-Darien, sr., Kylie Bliss, Delavan-Darien, sr., Emily Green, Westosha, jr., Danielle Tesar, Westosha, jr., Miranda Dam, Union Grove, soph., Juli Luenburg, Union Grove, jr.
Victoria Bouras, Badger, jr., Olivia Leuck/Alli Zeman, Burlington, jr-jr., Rose Wang, Delavan-Darien, jr., Jenna Oliver, Union Grove, jr., Emily Brekke, Waterford, jr., Nrienna Bostanche, Westosha Central, soph., Mikaela Coose, Wilmot, jr.
L—Morganne Longoria, Burlington, sr., OH—Ciara Capizo, Burlington, sr., S/RS—Kaysie Shebeneck, Burlington, sr., S/OH—Danielle Rampart, Westosha Central, jr., Kylie Wilks, Union Grove, fr., Lauren Hickson, Westosha Central, sr.
n Player of the Year—Ciara Capezio, Burlington.
OH—Quinn Spieker, Burlington, fr., MB—Maria Rausch, Westosha Central, jr., RH—Rebekah Raebel, Waterford, jr,. LIB—Halie Hart, Westosha Central, jr., OH—Savannah Kohlhagen, Union Grove, soph., S—Ali Flasch, Elkhorn, jr.
McKinley Veith, Badger, Phoebe Hozeska, Burlington, Katie Jones, Delavan-Darien, Maggie McGraw, Elkhorn, Ashley Olsen, Union Grove; Elyssa Hochevar, Waterford; Linda Flahive, Westosha Central, Sarah Vozel, Wilmot.