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Six locals make All-Region list; Gilman’s Krizan gets state award

Six locals make All-Region list; Gilman’s Krizan gets state award Six locals make All-Region list; Gilman’s Krizan gets state award


Six of Taylor County’s high school football players have added to their collections of post-season awards with Monday’s release of the 2020 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Region teams.

Because of the circumstances of 2020 and the reduced number of teams competing in the fall, the Large and Small divisions were combined within each of the four regions for 11-player football. Eightplayer football stars also were included in the All-Region list. Award information for teams and players planning to compete in the spring season will be announced following the completion of that season.The WFCA will announce a single All-State team that includes both fall and spring athletes after the completion of the spring season.

Five of the six local All-Region picks were recognized for their play on defense, including Gilman linebacker Julian Krizan, who last week was named the state’s 2020 Eight-Player Football Defensive Player of the Year by

Krizan, a junior, was Gilman’s leading tackler with 96 total stops, an average of 12 per game. He hit double figures in seven games, including a season-high 19 in Gilman’s 53-0 season-opening win over Bruce on Sept. 25 when he was also involved in five sacks. He had 16 tackles in a 53-14 non-conference win at McDonell Central Nov. 5 and 14 in a 65-6 win over New Auburn Oct. 23. Krizan had seven sacks and two fumble recoveries during the season.

Krizan was named the Central Wisconsin West Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Great Northern Conference Player of the Year Emett Grunwald of Medford is on the All-Region 1 defensive list, along with his Raider teammates Joe Gierl and Peyton Kuhn. Gilman defensive back Kade Kroeplin made the list as a defensive back.

Gilman had a successful 7-1 debut season in eight-player football, winning the CWWC title, while Medford won the Great Northern Conference title for the second straight year and finished 6-2.

Medford’s defensive statistics are posted on through seven games. In those seven games, Grunwald, a senior defensive end, was credited with 30 total tackles with 20 solo stops. He had four sacks and eight tackles for losses, all in conference play. Grunwald was often in opponents’ backfields applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks.

Gierl, a senior defensive tackle, was involved in 37 total tackles, including five tackles for loss, two sacks and eight solo stops. Kuhn, a senior inside linebacker, recorded 49 total tackles with 20 solos, including eight tackles for loss, four sacks, a fumble forced and a fumble recovered.

Kroeplin, a senior, was Gilman’s top cover man in the secondary and finished with 41 total tackles, including 11 in a 24-20 season-ending loss to Belmont. He wasn’t able to corral any interceptions this year, but his passes defensed included three crucial wins in a Nov. 5 win at McDonell Central.

Gierl, Kuhn and junior running back Aiden Gardner were Medford’s representatives on the All-Region 1 offense.

Kuhn got one of the tight end/fullback spots after catching 19 passes for 196 yards, one touchdown and two two-point conversions. He also ran the ball 42 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns.

The blocking of Kuhn and Gierl was part of the reason for Medford being able to average 390.8 yards per game in six GNC games, including 308 yards rushing per game. Overall, in eight games, the Raiders finished at 267.9 rushing yards and 84 passing yards per game for a total average of 351.9 yards per contest. Medford put up 31.9 points per game overall and 39.2 points per game in conference outings.

Gardner piled up 833 yards on 79 carries for a hefty 10.5-yard per carry average in league play and scored 10 touchdowns in six GNC outings. Overall, he just missed a 1,000-yard season, picking All-Region

up 995 yards on 114 attempts. He scored 11 touchdowns.

Region 1 was represented this year by the Great Northern Conference, Big Rivers Conference, Middle Border Conference, Heart O’ North Conference, Dairyland Conference and the Valley Football Association. Several schools from the VFA and Big Rivers opted to play football in the spring.

Joe Gierl

Peyton Kuhn

Kade Kroeplin

Julian Krizan

Aiden Gardner

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