Wisconsin Sports Network and WisSports.net are proud to announce Waukesha West's Connor Stefanski as the 2011 recipient of the Joe Thomas Award as the most outstanding senior offensive lineman in Wisconsin, part of the WSN Senior Football Awards presented by Taco Bell.
Stefanski was a big part of last season's Division 1 state title team and was outstanding this year as West went unbeaten during the regular season and claimed the Classic Eight Conference championship. Voted a captain by his teammates, Stefanski was the team's hardest worker in the off-season strength and conditioning program according to head coach Steve Rux.
"Connor has been a starter at offensive tackle the past three years and is out best offensive lineman this year," Rux said. "He has been a dominant player against everyone he has faced this year is the best offensive tackle we have had at West in the past 12 years." Stefanski committed to Ball State shortly before the season started.
The 6-4, 280-pounder was recently named a First Team All-State selection by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association.
Finalists for the award were Stefanski, Michael Biese of Kimberly, Mike Edwards of Sun Prairie, Joel Isenberger of Monona Grove, Levon Myers of Franklin, Josh Ruka of Greenfield, and Collin Smith of Muskego.
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