Sports

Michael tabbed offensive POY

ALL EWC FOOTBALL

ROBBY MICHAEL carries the ball for the KLC football team. He was named offensive player of the year in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference. – Photo by Jenni Pickel

Five Kohler/Lutheran/Christian football players made all-conference on offense and defense, with the most notable being Robby Michael.

The junior not only was named first-team all-conference as a quarterback and defensive back, coaches voted him the offensive player of the year.

“I spent a lot of time this offseason working to try to be the best player on can be,” he said. “My coaches put me in a good spot, they helped me succeed and I think that’s really how I got it, with my teammates helping me as well.”

Michael ranked second in the state with 31 touchdowns and his 2,309 yards passing was third. He also scored nine rushing TDs and gained 563 yards to make the first team for the second consecutive time.

Defensively, Michael finished with five of his team’s seven interceptions.

“A knack for the football was his biggest thing,” coach Ryan Eigenberger said. “He worked a lot on tackling and got better in that regard, as well. So his overall defensive play was pretty stellar this year.”

Junior Colin Girdaukas made first-team wide receiver for the second straight season. He led Wisconsin with 1,495 yards and 18 touchdowns, and his 58 catches were fifth.

Girdaukas also received honorable mention as an inside linebacker.

“He’s just a great football player all around, with his size, his skill and athletic ability,” Eigenberger said. “He really understands the game well. Finding space on offense, making guys miss with the ball in his hands. … And defensively, I think his athleticism just really showed in his ability to play sideline to sideline. He had a great year in that regard as well.”

Despite playing in only six games, junior Casey Verhagen also made the first team as a wide receiver after he was second team last season. He got second team at defensive back for the second straight year as well.

All three players return next season, too.

“It gives us a lot of weapons and makes the other team have to think about who they have to guard, it makes it harder to double-team guys,” Eigenberger said. “Those two had the accolades at receiver, but we really had four or five guys that were always a threat. I think that helps those two to have so many threats out there.”

The other first-team pick is junior inside linebacker Matt Stephany, who had a team-best  87 tackles (42 solo, including 12 for a loss). He was honorable mention as a running back.

“Matt made all the plays when we needed it,” Eigenberger said. “Matt really made a lot of plays in the backfield, made a lot of tackles running guys down. His overall ability to lead the defense helped a lot.”

Junior Max Hildebrandt made the second team as an offensive lineman and was honorable mention as a defensive end. Honorable mention also went to sophomore tight end Andrew Verhelst, junior offensive lineman Everett Poth and junior offensive lineman Elijah White.

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