For all Jacob Heyroth did for the Lodi football team during its undefeated journey to the WIAA Division 4 state championship, the senior running back, linebacker and return specialist was rewarded Friday with a supreme honor.

A statewide media panel voted the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Heyroth as the state high school football player of the year.

"What an amazing honor,” Lodi coach Dave Puls said Friday. “The entire community of Lodi is extremely proud of Jacob and his teammates for all of their accomplishments this year. Having Jacob recognized for this award caps off a dream season for our school and team.

"I cannot say enough about this deserving young man who has committed himself to being the best student-athlete he can be. This is the highest honor any Lodi football player has ever received, and Jacob will represent this award with humility, character, and class."

Kimberly’s Steve Jones, whose team defeated Sun Prairie, 27-7, in the Division 1 state title game, was named coach of the year after the Papermakers won their fifth consecutive state championship (the first in Division 2 and next four in Division 1) and 70th consecutive game. 

Eight area players were selected for the first team, including Heyroth, as a running back/ The others: Sun Prairie outside linebacker Marty Strey, defensive lineman Khalan Coleman and kicker Alex Oakley; Waunakee running back Javian Dayne and defensive back Lucas Statz; and Lake Mills all-purpose player Ben Dunkleberger and receiver Hayden Iverson.

Entering the Division 4 state championship game, Heyroth had 2,758 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns and averaged 212.2 yards per game and 10 yards per carry for Capitol North Conference champion Lodi (14-0). Then he had 35 carries for 151 yards and one touchdown on a 6-yard run in Lodi’s 17-10 overtime victory over Hammond St. Croix Central.

As a linebacker, he totaled 8½ sacks during the season and recorded seven tackles in the final. He also returned three punts and one kickoff for touchdowns during the season and finished with 41 touchdowns overall. Lodi won its first title in football, led by Heyroth and honorable-mention selections Max Barreau, an outside linebacker, and Lucas Brisky, an offensive lineman.

Heyroth and Dayne were first-team selections as running backs, along with Kimberly’s D.J. Stewart.

Seniors Dayne and Statz were unanimous first-team choices for WIAA Division 2 state champion and undefeated Waunakee (14-0), which defeated Brookfield Central 14-13 in the final. Dayne rushed for 107 yards and both Warriors’ touchdowns in that game. The Warriors landed second-team honorees in offensive lineman Spencer Nellis and defensive lineman Nolan Thole and defensive end Reed Ryan was an honorable-mention pick.

Sun Prairie, the Division 1 state runner-up, had three first-team picks in seniors Strey, Coleman and Oakley, two second-team selections in offensive lineman Anthony Villanueva and defensive back Kadon Kauppinen and an honorable-mention pick in senior defensive end Josh Dinga.

Lake Mills senior Dunkleberger was chosen as an all-purpose player for his outstanding play as a quarterback, defensive back, punter and return specialist, and was joined on the first team by Iverson, the L-Cats’ leading receiver.

Other second-team selections from the area included Monona Grove senior quarterback Alec Ogden and Beloit Memorial junior punter Matthew Wedig.

Other area players receiving honorable-mention recognition included Verona defensive back Bui Clements, Stoughton running back Brady Schipper and Monona Grove tight end Lucas Gerlach.

Among others receiving recognition were Platteville’s Donovan Blevins, first-team receiver; Black Hawk’s Brody Milz, second-team inside linebacker; Lancaster running back Evan Gates (honorable mention); Beloit Turner offensive lineman Brandon Malkow (honorable mention); and Clinton running back Zach Krause (honorable mention).


As chosen by a statewide panel of sports reporters and broadcasters

Player of the Year: Jacob Heyroth, Lodi

Coach of the Year: Steve Jones, Kimberly

x - unanimous selection


QB: Max Alba, 6-5, 182, sr., Franklin

RB: x-Javian Dayne, 6-0, 230, sr., Waunakee

RB: Jacob Heyroth, 6-1, 193, sr., Lodi

RB: D.J. Stewart, 6-0, 175, sr., Kimberly

OL: Austin Ertl, 6-3, 290, jr., Wauwatosa West

OL: Brandon Haag, 6-3, 326, sr., Appleton North

OL: Andrew Lyons, 6-5, 280, sr., Kenosha Bradford

OL: Owen Rozumalski, 6-1, 275, sr., Oak Creek

OL: Bryce Texeira, 6-2, 280, sr., Waukesha West

WR/TE: Donovan Blevins, 6-2, 200, sr., Platteville

WR/TE: Hayden Iverson, 6-0, 170, sr., Lake Mills

PK: Alex Oakley, 6-4, 205, sr., Sun Prairie

ALL-PURPOSE: John Chenal, 6-3, 235, sr., Grantsburg

ALL-PURPOSE: Ben Dunkleberger, 5-11, 170, sr., Lake Mills


QB: Alec Ogden, 6-3, 180, sr., Monona Grove

RB: Julius Davis, 6-0, 189, jr., Menomonee Falls

RB: Joe Garcia, 6-3, 190, sr., Racine Horlick

RB: Peter MacCudden, 5-9, 190, sr., Waukesha West

OL: Jordan Haddad, 6-3, 265, sr., Mequon Homestead

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OL: Jake Miller, 6-1, 228, sr., Menomonie

OL: Zach Mueller, 6-5, 300, sr., Schofield D.C. Everest

OL: Spencer Nellis, 6-5, 220, sr., Waunakee

OL: Anthony Villanueva, 6-1, 250, sr., Sun Prairie

WR/TE: Alex Anthony, 6-1, 175, sr., Whitefish Bay

WR/TE: Sam Ferris, 6-1, 175, sr., Appleton Xavier

PK: Blake Wilcox, 6-4, 195, jr., Kettle Moraine

ALL-PURPOSE: Karson Butt, 5-11, 175, jr., Edgar

ALL-PURPOSE: Luke Reader, 6-0, 185, sr., Bangor


DL: Seth Bickett, 5-11, 235, sr., Pewaukee

DL: Khalan Coleman, 5-10, 240, sr., Sun Prairie

DL: Blake Fehrmann, 6-6, 245, sr., Brookfield Central

DE/OLB: Boyd Dietzen, 6-3, 245, sr., Kimberly

DE/OLB: Marty Strey, 6-3, 205, sr., Sun Prairie

ILB: C.J. Goetz, 6-4, 232, sr., Waukesha Catholic Memorial

ILB: Brad Dati, 6-1, 230, sr., Brookfield East

ILB: Clay Schueffner, 6-2, 215, sr., Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs

DB: Trent Ingalls, 6-1, 185, sr., Menasha

DB: Derrick Seay, 6-2, 175, sr., Racine Horlick

DB: x-Lucas Statz, 5-11, 181, sr., Waunakee

P: x-Brad Woldt, 6-0, 205, sr., Mequon Homestead


DL: Darien Peniston, 6-5, 317, sr., Appleton North

DL: Jordan Schroeder, 6-4, 275, sr., Mequon Homestead

DL: Nolan Thole, 6-3, 215, sr., Waunakee

DE/OLB: Reggie Jennings, 6-2, 225, sr., Brookfield Central

DE/OLB: Will McDonald, 6-5, 215, sr., Waukesha North

ILB: Trey Glass, 5-10, 185, sr., Kenosha Bradford

ILB: Brody Milz, 6-1, 215, sr., Black Hawk

ILB: Nate Steinbrecker, 5-10, 205, sr., Green Bay Southwest

DB: Will Geels, 5-11, 165, sr., Sussex Hamilton

DB: Kadon Kauppinen, 6-3, 185, sr., Sun Prairie

DB: Chandler Pulvermacher, 6-2, 215, sr., Hartland Arrowhead

P: Matthew Wedig, 6-4, 205, jr., Beloit Memorial


Josh Dinga, DE, sr., Sun Prairie; Max Barreau, OLB, sr., Lodi; Bui Clements, DB, sr., Verona; Evan Gates, RB, sr., Lancaster; Lucas Brisky, OL, sr., Lodi; Lucas Gerlach, TE, sr., Monona Grove; Zach Krause, RB, sr., Clinton; Brandon Malkow, OL, sr., Beloit Turner; Reed Ryan, DE/OLB, jr., Waunakee; Brady Schipper, RB, sr., Stoughton

Marcus Glodowski, QB, sr., Amherst; Bryce Huettner, RB, jr. Iola-Scandinavia; Donavon Free, QB, sr., Marathon; Isaiah Westfall, WR, sr. Wisconsin Rapids; Kellan Wandtke, OL, jr., Iola-Scandinavia; Justin Evans, RB, sr., Menomonie; Cormac Sampson, DE/TE, sr., Eau Claire Memorial; Mason Platter, OLB, sr., Menomonie; Jack Kern, DL/OL, sr,, Eau Claire Memorial; Brady Redwine, RB, jr., Elk Mound

Hunter Plamann, QB, sr., Appleton Xavier; Logan Eiden, OLB, jr., Neenah; Zayne Rodencal, RB, sr., Appleton Fox Valley Lutheran; Adam Zeratsky, WR, sr., Appleton North; Ben Kohl, QB, sr., Oshkosh West; Mitch Waechter, DB, jr., Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs; Jason von Heimburg, QB, sr., Cedar Grove-Belgium; Max Feldman, DB, sr., Kiel

Da’Shaun Brown, QB-DB, jr., Racine St. Catherine’s; Darios Crawley-Reid, RB-DB, jr., Greendale Martin Luther; Cade Garcia, QB, sr., Whitefish Bay; Grayson Cooley, QB, sr., Waukesha South; Mike Bruner, LB, sr., Mequon Homestead; Mike Timm, LB, sr., Wales Kettle Moraine; R.J. Clarke, DE, sr., St. Francis; Isiah Wright, QB, sr., Milwaukee Bay View; Stephen Halusan, WR, sr., New Berlin Eisenhower; Dane Vance, RB, jr., Lake Country Lutheran

Tanner Hendricks, DB, sr., Bay Port; Garrett Sphatt, DE, sr., Fond du Lac; Drew Becker, RB, sr., Holmen; Ryan Beirne, A-P, sr., West Salem; Garrett Krueger, OL/DL, sr., Bangor; Nathan Riehle, OL, sr., Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau; Noah Skifton, QB, sr., Onalaska


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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.