November 21, 2013

Nine Blugold Football Players Honored by WIAC

MADISON, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Nine UW-Eau Claire football players have been recognized by the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) as the All-WIAC team was announced today for the 2013 season.

View All-WIAC Announcement

Named to the first team on offense were Paul Santi (Sr.-Kingsford, Mich.) and Joel Sweeney (Sr.-Tomah, Wis.).

Santi, the Blugolds' center, started all 40 games in his career. Previously, he was named to the All-WIAC Second Team in 2011 and 2012.

Sweeney, a running back, ended his career with 4,021 rushing yards, third on the Blugolds' all-time list, and 861 carries, fourth most in school history. He also finished with 45 touchdowns in his career, tied for fourth in school archives. This season Sweeney had 1,168 yards playing nine games, tied for seventh best in a single season with Blugold Hall of Famer Roger Vann. He led the conference all season in rushing. This is the second year in a row Sweeney was named to the first team while he was also honored on the second team in 2010.

Honored on the second team offense were Isiah Cage (So.-Chicago, Ill./Percy L. Julian) and Scott Burzynski (Sr.-Stanley, Wis./Stanley-Boyd) while Sean Graham (Sr.-Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall) was selected to the defensive second team.

Cage started seven games on the offensive line this season, playing in a total of nine games.

Burzynski was selected to the second team as a punter. He was fourth in the conference averaging 34.9 yard per punt. He is fifth in school history with 4,963 punting yards in his career and 10th with an average of 35.2 yards per punt. This season he was also second on the team with 70 tackles and two forced fumbles while leading the Blugolds with two fumble recoveries.

Graham, a linebacker who has started 30 straight games and has played in all 40 during his career, led the team this season with 79 tackles (44 solos and 35 assists). The total was also seventh best in the conference. He had one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and blocked one kick this season. In 2011 Graham was honorably mentioned on the All-WIAC team while earning second team honors last year.

Honorably mentioned were Clint Larsen (So.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) on offense, along with Erik Hulman (So.-Milwaukee, Wis./Lutheran) and Luke Hoyord (Sr.-Scandinavia, Wis./Iola-Scandinavia) on defense.

Larsen was honorably mentioned as an all-purpose back. He was second in the conference in kick returns, averaging 28.4 yards per return (512 yards, 18 returns). Larsen also had 206 rushing and 88 receiving yards, playing in nine games for an average of 92.1 all-purpose yards per game. On Oct. 5, he returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, the Blugolds' first kick return for a touchdown since Nov. 11, 1987, the longest in school history, the seventh longest in NCAA Division III this season, and the seventh longest in conference history.

Hulman, a linebacker who started three games while playing in all 10 this year, finished with 46 tackles (32 solo, 14 assists), tied for fourth on the team and 34th in the WIAC. He also recovered one fumble and had one sack.

Hoyord, who started all 10 games this season at cornerback, was seventh on the team with 43 tackles (36 solo, seven assists), which tied for 42nd most in the conference. He also had one interception this season.

Additionally, Josh Loken (Sr.-Iola, Wis./Iola-Scandinavia) was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team, which was chosen for individuals that displayed exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season. It included one member from each school. Loken, an offensive tackle, started all 10 games both this season and last season while playing in a total of 24 in his career.

-KM-

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