By Vern Cahak
The Antigo High School football team and its coaches had much to celebrate November 5th when the Antigo Gridiron Club hosted its annual banquet honoring the Red Robins at North Star Lanes.
A co-championship in the Great Northern conference, Tom Schofield’s selection as conference Coach of the Year, and Max Nowinsky being unanimously named co-offensive Player of the Year were among the highlights of the event, attended by parents and other guests who provided service to the football program. Dave Schroepfer, president of the club, was master of ceremonies.
Schofield, who guided the Red Robins to a co-title in his first year as head coach at Antigo, received a standing ovation. He credited his dedicated players and coaching staff for Antigo’s success on the gridiron. “The players made my first year fantastic,” he said.
Longtime assistant coach Steve Kohler also had high praise for their attitude and their efforts to renew the Antigo tradition of the past. He labeled the coaching staff as the best in his 36 years of coaching.
Max Nowinsky, son of Joel and Jeanne Nowinsky, who have led the Gridiron Club as officers for nearly a decade, rushed for 1,078 yards and scored 74 points during Antigo’s 7-3 season. He led the conference in ground gaining with 663 yards in 82 carries for a 8.1 yards per carry average. His 60 points in league play tied for first place.
Nine of Nowinsky’s teammates received All-Conference recognition, including five on the first team, two on the second team and two honorable mentions.
Linebackers Ben Jansen and Cody Below were unanimous choices on the first team defense while tight end Hunter Hirsch and linemen Matt Elbe and Jake Fleischman were first team offense.
Antigo players named to the second team were Alex Nagel, both as quarterback and defensive back, Kirsch, defensive line, Jansen, offensive line and Alex Jagla, defensive line. Nagel missed Antigo’s last four-plus games with an ankle injury.
Elijah Wickersheim and Matt Winter received honorable mention as defensive backs.
The above gridders were among 28 players who were awarded letters by Coach Schofield at the banquet. They included seniors Caleb Hunter, Zach Levis, Nick Greening, Ryan Larson, Devon Brisby and Alex Arrowood; juniors Luke Berner, Bobby Brown, William Dixon, Quan Bussey, Hunter Cornelius, Justin Koszarek, Mitchell Schroepfer; and sophomores Jack Shinners, Wade Farmer, Adam Schmidt, Hunter Bolson, and Jehrico Kelly.
Participation awards went to Mitchell Wagner, Mike Zabrowski, Mike Hugunin, Collin Lee and Alexis Dodd.