Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are proud to announce Wisconsin Rapids senior Frank Vruwink as the 2010 recipient of the Joe Thomas Award as the most outstanding senior offensive lineman in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards.
The only unanimous first team all-conference offensive lineman in the Wisconsin Valley Conference, Vruwink was so highly thought of by opposing coaches that he even received a vote for Offensive Player of the Year, an award that ultimately went to teammate Joe Ritchay, the fullback Vruwink helped open holes for.
Rapids rushed for more than 3500 yards this year and averaged 378 yards per game overall. The offense averaged 35.8 points per game, fourth in Division 1.
Frank was recognized by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association as a First Team All-State selection.
“We ran to Frank's side 70 of the time,” head coach Tony Biolo said. “Even after teams knew we were 'right-handed', he still made his blocks and then some. He is always viewed on film blocking downfield on our long runs.” A 3.9 student and positive influence on his teammates, he wasn't so nice to opposing players. “He demoralized defensive linemen,” added Biolo.
Finalists for the award were Vruwink, Zack Degner of Catholic Memorial, Jeremy Kelly of Somerset, Jon Pahl of Kimberly, and Dylan Seiter of Sun Prairie.
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: Nicholas Kartos, WSN President and Founder; Travis Wilson, WSN Content Manager; Dennis Semrau, Wisconsin State Journal; Justin Hull, AM 1570 The Score in Appleton; John Casper Jr., Eau Claire Leader-Telegram; Dan Barwick, WSN Associate Content Producer