Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are proud to announce Waunakee senior Jake Irwin as the inaugural recipient of the Joe Thomas Award as the most outstanding senior offensive lineman in Wisconsin, part of the 1st Annual WSN Senior Football Awards.
A two-time first team all-conference lineman, Irwin really burst onto the scene this summer after a dominating performance at the UW Badgers summer football camp. That performance got him a scholarship to Wisconsin, and he has once again been a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball this season. He and his linemates have led the way for two 1,000-yard rushers this year and allowed quarterback Trent Cummings to pass for over 1300 yards.
All told, nine different players have scored rushing touchdowns for the Warriors this year. Waunakee won yet another Badger-North Conference title, with the offense being a big reason for that success. The Warriors scored 38.9 points per game on the season, and have continued that into the post-season. They put up 42 points against Franklin in Level 4. The first Waunakee player under veteran coach Pat Rice to get a scholarship from Wisconsin, Irwin has done everything asked of him this year for the Warriors. "Jake's done a great job," Rice said. "He's a leader and a super kid. He's a physical kid and he runs well too. He's not just a big body; he's a pretty athletic kid. Offensively, he has anchored our offensive line."
To view all the Joe Thomas Award finalists, click here.
The award is named after Joe Thomas, a graduate of Brookfield Central High School now playing in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns. Thomas was a three-sport athlete in high school, lettering all four years in football, basketball, and track and field while also being named to the Honor Roll all four years. He started 37 games at left tackle for the Badgers and won the Outland Trophy after his senior season. Thomas was drafted 3rd overall by the Browns in 2007, and has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of his first two seasons.
The voting panel for the WSN Senior Football Awards consisted of: Dennis Semrau, Wisconsin State Journal; Todd Sommerfeldt, La Crosse Tribune; John Casper, Jr., Eau Claire Leader-Telegram; Mike McGivern, WSSP Radio in Milwaukee; Justin Hull, KFIZ Radio in Fond du Lac; Nicholas Kartos, President and Founder of WSN; and Travis Wilson, WSN Sports Content Producer