The Al Toon Award is presented annually to the state's top senior wide receiver or tight end as part of the WSN Senior Football Awards. The award is named after former University of Wisconsin athlete Al Toon, who went on to play in the NFL for several very successful seasons before multiple concussions ended his career early. Toon is an active member of the community in the Madison area both in the business world and in various charitable endeavors.
The pre-season watch list was trimmed down to 25 semi-finalists, and five finalists for the award have now been selected. Winners are announced the week of the state finals.
Al Toon Award Finalists:
Ross Harmon, Sun Prairie – Harmon is among the state leaders with 47 catches for 911 yards and 15 touchdowns, Harmon put together an outstanding senior season. With five 100-yard receiving games and five multi-touchdown performances (including two 4 touchdown efforts), it’s easy to see why he has been selected as one of the finalists for the Al Toon Award. “Ross is the best route runner we have ever had,” head coach Brian Kaminski said. “He is also a very good blocker downfield. He takes great pride in his blocking and would rather make a great block than a catch.”
Anthony Pouchert, Fond du Lac – A big play threat for the Cardinals this season, Pouchert racked up 852 yards receiving with 10 touchdowns on 38 catches. His 22.4 yard per catch average was one of the best in the state, and shows just how dangerous of a receiver he can be. Menasha can certainly vouch for that; in a Week 7 game won by Menasha 56-35, Pouchert did all he could to keep his team in it. He went for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 catches to post one of the top receiving games in the state this season.
Ben Schreib, Martin Luther – A small school standout, Schreib led all senior receivers in yardage this season with 978 to go along with 12 touchdowns. Martin Luther doesn’t throw the ball a ton, so it’s not as if his stats are higher because of the offense they run. He uses his ability and football IQ to get open and make plays from there. “What makes Ben an outstanding receiver is the amount of damage he does after the catch,” Martin Luther head coach Chris Clarey said. “Ben is just an outstanding player and teammate.” He’s certainly stepped it up during the playoffs – in two postseason games he caught a total of 13 passes for 324 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Garrett Wenzelburger, Milwaukee Lutheran – One of the top returning receivers from last season, Wenzelburger actually had a better year this year than last. That’s saying something considering he was a WFCA First Team and AP Second Team All-State selection last season. In eleven games this year, Wenzelburger caught 53 passes for 923 yards with 14 touchdowns in a strong yet balanced offense. Named the North Shore End of the Year for the second year in a row, Wenzelburger broke the conference record for receiving yards and touchdowns. “He runs outstanding routes, has great hands, and is a major threat in the red zone,” said his head coach Joe Kalkopf. “Some think his weakness is speed, but he had 8 catches this year of over 40 yards, most of those on quick slants.”
Zach Zweifel, Monona Grove – One of the most polished receivers in the state, Zweifel was a first team all-Badger South selection last year and is likely to be a choice this year as well. The senior caught 46 passes for 844 yards and 12 touchdowns as part of a solid MG offense. A precise route-runner who can get by and around defenders once the ball is in his hands, Zweifel does a great job catching the ball with his hands and not letting it get into his body. He also returned punts and kicks, although the MG defense allowed few scores so he did not have many chances plus teams kicked away from him quite a bit. Zach is also a standout on defense, where he was a second team all-league pick last year.