Burlington High School, Catholic Central High School, Sports, Union Grove High School, Waterford High School

SLN All-Area Football: Burlington, Waterford offensive players highlight annual squad

Tanner Keller makes a dash for the end zone in an early season Waterford win (File Photo/Standard Press).

By Chris Bennett

Welcome to the fourth annual Southern Lakes Newspapers All-Area football team.

This season marked many highlights, including Burlington, which came up short of reaching the WIAA Division 2 state championship game.

While Waterford and Wilmot captured a share of the Southern Lakes Conference title, Burlington made a deep WIAA Division 2 playoff run, which ended with a third-round loss to Waukesha West.

Burlington’s Level 3 playoff appearance was a first for the school since 2005 and played a role in SLN’s selection of quarterback Dalton Damon as All-Area Player of the Year.

Damon, a senior, is featured in a separate story.

Meanwhile, in the Trailways Conference-Large, Palmyra-Eagle finished second to Horicon/Hustisford and concluded its campaign in a tightly contested 28-20 loss to Cambridge in Level 1 of the WIAA Division 6 play.

Palmyra-Eagle, however, boasted prolific passer Brandon Wilde on the first team along with wide receiver Danny Hammond.

As for the All-SLN team, staff members and freelancers reached out to coaches from four counties spanning four conferences for nominations, which were broken down into first and second teams with honorable mention selections.

There was heavy consideration given to All-State, All-Region and All-Conference honors. In instances where those criteria were insufficient we compared statistics.

Our 14 teams include the Southern Lakes Conference, Mukwonago, East Troy, Big Foot, Catholic Central, Palmyra-Eagle and Whitewater.

Listed below are capsule profiles for the first team honorees:

First Team Offense
Quarterback: Brandon Wilde, Palmyra-Eagle
Wilde passed for 2,932 yards and 27 touchdowns and took the Eagles to the Division 6 playoffs. Wilde is a two-time team captain, MVP and a two-time All-Trailways Conference performer.

Running back: Zach Wallace, Burlington
Wallace rushed for 1,402 yards and 18 touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 149 yards and a score, and he earned first team All-SLC honors and a spot on the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Region 3 squad.

Running back: Tanner Keller, Waterford
Keller rushed for 1,601 yards and 20 touchdowns and earned SLC Offensive Player of the Year honors, and earned honorable mention All-State honors from the WFCA.

Wide receiver: Danny Hammond, Palmyra-Eagle
Hammond earned first team All-State, All-Region and All-Trailways Conference recognition after catching 83 passes for 1,101 yards with 11 touchdowns.

Wide receiver: Dylan Runkel, Burlington
Runkel finished with 24 catches for 499 yards and eight touchdowns and earned first team All-SLC and WFCA All-Region honors.

Tight end: Otto Traxinger, Burlington
Traxinger caught 19 balls for 278 yards and three touchdowns and earned first team All-SLC honors and All-Region laurels from the WFCA.

Offensive line: Tyler Pitcel, Mukwonago
Pitcel earned honorable mention All-State honors and All-Region accolades from the WFCA after helping the Indians finish with almost 4,000 yards of total offense this past season.

Offensive line: Kyle Freund, Badger
Freund earned WFCA All-Region and All-SLC honors in each of the past two seasons. Freund started for three years. Badger finished with more than 3,100 yards rushing as a team this past season.

Offensive line: Sam Dickerson, Big Foot
Dickerson earned All-Region honors and is a two-time All-Rock Valley Conference selection. The Chiefs racked up more than 3,000 yards of offense rushing and receiving this past season.

Offensive line: Trevor Pye, Waterford
Pye earned the most votes of any offensive linemen named first team All-SLC and garnered All-Region honors. Waterford rushed for more than 3,200 yards and passed for another 800 this past season.

Offensive line: Luke Walesa, Burlington
Walesa played center for the Demons alongside two new starters at guard and earned first team All-SLC honors. Burlington rushed and passed for more than 4,500 yards of offense this past fall.

Kicker: Cora Anderson, Burlington
Anderson earned honorable mention All-Region and first team All-SLC honors after finishing 41-for-43 on extra points. Anderson missed one field goal this past season and started for three years.

KR/PR: Wallace, Burlington
Wallace averaged 27.8 yards per kick return with one touchdown and more than 11 yards per punt return.

First Team Defense
Linebacker: Will Borchert, Mukwonago
Borchert earned honorable mention All-State recognition and All-Region status after finishing with 152 total tackles, 23 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles.

Linebacker: Ross Gengler, Delavan-Darien
Gengler earned honorable mention All-State, All-Region and first team All-SLC honors. Gengler was also Co-SLC Defensive Player of the Year.

Linebacker: Dominic Miller, Waterford
Miller earned All-Region honors and first team All-SLC honors after finishing with 52 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown.

Linebacker: Austin Videlka, Wilmot
Videlka finished with 106 total tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks. Videlka earned All-Region and first team All-SLC honors.

Defensive line: Nate Wilcher, Mukwonago
Wilcher earned WFCA All-State and All-Region honors. Wilcher finished with 63 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Defensive line: Will Faul, Badger
Faul twice earned All-Region and All-SLC honors and was Co-SLC Defensive Player of the Year this season. This past year Faul finished with 63 tackles, 10 sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

Defensive line: Victor Chapman, East Troy
Chapman earned All-Region and All-Rock Valley Conference honors after racking up 80 total tackles, five sacks and a forced fumble.

Defensive line: Connor Luoma, Wilmot
Luoma played the latter half of the season with a torn labrum and still earned All-Region and All-SLC honors. Luoma accounted for 47 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss and six sacks.

Defensive back: David Doerflinger, Catholic Central
Doerflinger earned honorable mention All-State, All-Region and All-Metro Classic Conference laurels after tallying 29 total tackles and five interceptions.

Defensive back: Aaron Schmitz, Mukwonago
Schmitz earned first team All-Classic 8 honors and finished the season with 70 total tackles, a tackle for loss, one fumble and three passes defensed.

Defensive back: Nick Goldammer, Waterford
Goldammer earned All-Region and first team All-SLC honors. Goldammer tallied 34 total tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Defensive back: Caden Mulhollon, Wilmot
Mulhollon earned All-Region honors and first team All-SLC status after registering 114 total tackles, five tackles for loss, three interceptions, two sacks and two forced fumbles.

Punter: Blake Weaver, Wilmot
Weaver earned first team All-SLC honors after averaging 38.4 yards per punt and putting four inside the 20-yard line this past season. Coach Keiya Square said Weaver won games for the Panthers due to his ability to change field position.

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