CG-Belgium running back another unanimous choice in all-league coaches’ vote; Street tops Ozaukee standouts
After rushing for 2,614 yards and scoring 40 touchdowns last season, Alex Giles was expected to pile up big numbers again this year.
The Cedar Grove-Belgium senior didn’t disappoint, again emerging as one of the area’s top running backs.
Although Giles couldn’t match the totals he compiled as the leader of a team that made a deep run in the 2011 WIAA playoffs, he still left his mark. With 1,615 yards on the ground and 21 touchdowns, Giles was an easy unanimous first-team choice in All-Central Lakeshore Conference voting.
“What Alex did is a testament to his hard work and dedication to our football program,” said Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Chris Zablocki, whose team won its second straight CLC title.
“He is a great talent, but he will be the first to tell you he wouldn’t be as good without his teammates. He’s a totally unselfish team player.”
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Giles, who averaged 8.1 yards per carry and 179 yards per game, was also the Rockets’ leading receiver. He caught 11 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
Giles is a three-time first-team selection in all-conference voting. Last year, he also received all-district and all-state honors.
“Alex was working as hard at the end of this season as he did at the start,” Zablocki said.
Cedar Grove-Belgium, which went 4-0 in the conference and 6-3 overall, had five players receive first-team honors in the coaches’ voting.
Fellow Rockets joining Giles on the first-team offense were interior linemen Alex May and William Paulus, both seniors. May was a unanimous offensive choice and was also named to the first-team defense as a lineman along with teammate Greg Wenzel, a junior linebacker.
Ozaukee, which placed second in the CLC race, grabbed the lion’s share of the individual honors.
The Warriors are represented on the first-team offense by wide receiver Steve Street, interior linemen Cody Stageman and Hunter Vande Boom, quarterback Colton Susen and running back Ethan Brouillette. Street, Susen and Brouillette were unanimous choices.
Ozaukee’s first-team defensive players are Hunter Hess (end), Stageman (lineman), Brouillette (linebacker) and Street (back). Street was a unanimous defensive choice.
Zablocki described May (6-3, 290) and Paulus (6-0, 266) as the workhorses of an offensive line that has traditionally powered the Rockets’ hard-charging ground game.
“It all started with those two guys. They came into the program, kept working hard and got better and better,” Zablocki said.
May also anchored his team’s defensive front, making 35 tackles. He had one quarterback sack and forced a fumble.
Wenzel was the Rockets’ leading tackler with 84 stops, including 12 solos and seven for losses. He had 2-1/2 sacks, forced a fumble and recovered another.
“Greg was a leader of our linebacking corps, which has to read all the keys intelligently and make the stops,” Zablocki said. “As a junior, he had a great season, and he should be even better next year.”
Street (6-6, 185) was one of the area’s best all-around players, excelling on both sides of the ball for the Warriors, who were 3-1 in CLC play and 6-3 overall.
Offensively, the senior was a favorite target of Susen and had 35 catches for 537 yards and nine touchdowns.
On defense, Street shined at free safety. He made 40 tackles, including 15 solos, and intercepted one pass.
“Steve is a tall target and a great athlete, which made it really tough on other teams’ defenses,” Ozaukee coach Jim Lippe said.
“On defense, he had the ability to take away half of the field.”
Brouillette (5-11, 170) was another versatile talent. The senior rushed for a team-high 943 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
On defense, Brouillette led Ozaukee with 90 tackles, including 37 solos and three for losses, and blocked two punts.
Brouillette also received second-team honors as a kicker. He converted 21 of 26 extra-point tries and was 2-for-4 on field goals.
“Ethan was as tough as nails, a real workhorse kind of guy,” Lippe said. “He was so valuable because he could do just about everything.”
Susen (5-8, 145) used his athleticism and throwing arm to spark the Warriors’ offense. The senior completed 51 of 87 passes (59%) for 782 yards and 10 touchdowns, with only four interceptions.
“Colton really put in the effort in the off-season and improved his passing skills. He put up some pretty impressive numbers,” Lippe said.
“We’re traditionally a run-oriented team, but he gave us another weapon.”
Stageman (5-10, 230) and Vande Boom (6-0, 230) excelled as run and pass blockers.
Stageman, a junior, is a three-year starter who has continued to improve each season. As a nose guard, he made 56 tackles, including 16 solos and four for losses, and forced two fumbles.
Vande Boom, a senior, showed his toughness each week, including by playing the second half of a game against Howards Grove with a broken hand, Lippe
Hess (5-9, 185) was a three-year starter who led the Warriors with 12 tackles for losses. The senior made two sacks, intercepted a pass, forced a fumble and blocked a kick.
“Hunter had a real good, solid year for us. He was very reliable,” Lippe said.
Ozaukee and Cedar Grove-Belgium both had plenty of faces on the all-conference second team.
In addition to Brouillette, the Warriors are represented on offense by interior lineman Jake Saltzmann and running back Logan Smith.
Saltzmann (6-4, 275), a sophomore, bounced back from a knee injury last spring to earn a starting job and became one of the league’s best offensive lineman.
Smith (5-8, 145) was Ozaukee’s inside rushing threat. The senior ran for 528 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
The Rockets’ second-team honoree was offensive lineman Adam Chier (6-3, 215). The junior used his quickness and strength to excel as a second-year starter.
Chier was also named to the second team as a defensive end. He had 53 tackles, including 11 solos and five for losses, with four sacks.
The Rockets’ other second-team defensive honorees were Paulus as an interior lineman, linebacker Brian Mueller and backs Logan Peterson and Brady Myhre.
Paulus had 31 tackles, including six solos and two sacks, and recovered a fumble.
Mueller (5-8, 170) was his team’s third-leading tackler. The junior’s 53 stops included three for losses. He forced one fumble and intercepted one pass.
Peterson and Myhre were the leaders of a solid secondary that made life tough on opposing receivers.
Peterson (5-9, 145) led the league with four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. The junior cornerback also had 36 tackles, including 11 solos.
Myhre (6-2, 185) excelled at safety. The senior was the Rockets’ second-leading tackler with 60 stops, including 17 solos.
Ozaukee’s second-team defensive selections were linebacker Kevin Beckmann and punter Kyle Gensrick.
Beckmann (5-10, 175) was the Warriors’ second-leading tackler. The junior had 75 stops, including 24 solos and two for losses.
Gensrick (5-10, 165) punted only six times, averaging 31 yards per kick. The senior excelled at directional placement, Lippe said.
“He only had six punts, but that’s because we just didn’t punt the ball much,” he said. “We usually went for it on fourth down.”
Image Information: Alex Giles