h1

Rieder chooses Rochester

March 21, 2011

By Dan Tracy, BRCFootball.com Reporter/Blogger

Commitments from the BRC Class of 2011 continue to come in as Eau Claire North wide receiver has decided that he will play his college ball at Rochester Community and Technical College.

The BRC’s leading receiver in 2010, Rieder hauled in 60 catches for 887 yards and eight touchdowns. In addition to the interest from RCTC, Rieder was also in contact with Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota-Crookston, St. Thomas, UW-Stout, UW-LaCrosse and UW- Platteville.

Rieder will join Menomonie’s Jonny Koehler and Travis Welch, both 2010 graduates, who were on the 10-2 and Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC) State Championship winning Yellowjackets this past season. The Yellowjackets are 95-19 over their last ten seasons.

h1

Hudson kicker, defensive end near decisions

March 6, 2011

By Dan Tracy, BRCFootball.com Reporter/Blogger

Two of Hudson’s six 2010 All-BRC selections have come closer to making their college decisions. One will be attending either Wisconsin or Minnesota for academics while the other will wait a few months before picking a college destination where he can play football and run track and field.

The first is kicker and All-BRC second-teamer Jake Denison and the second is Will Johnson who was also an All-BRC second-teamer at defensive end.

 

Jake Denison

Jake’s parents Michele and Jim have informed BRCFootball.com that their son will not be continuing his college football career next season.

“While Jake would love to be a kicker at the college level, and several D3 schools have shown interest, none offered the engineering degree (either chemical or mechanical) that he hopes to pursue. He has decided to focus on academics either at UW-Madison or U of M Twin Cities.”

Denison contributed 31 points to the Raiders this season, making field goals of 23, 25, 27 and 33 yards and splitting the uprights on 19 of 23 extra points. The second-team All-BRC kicker in 2010 went 23 of 25 on extra points and 3 of 6 for field goals as a junior.

The 6’2 215 lb. Denison also played defensive end for the Raiders.

Here is a look at his highlight film. http://bit.ly/elXakg.

 

Will Johnson

Johnson plans to wait until after his senior season on the track before making his college decision.

“I have been weighing my options on many of the schools within the WIAC but it has proven to be a very difficult decision to make,” Johnson said. “I’m sure wherever I go will be a great fit for me and I’m excited about an entirely different level of play.”

“I can’t wait to get back on the field as soon as possible.”

Johnson’s current three top school choices are UW-Stout, UW-River Falls and UW-Eau Claire.

“I am not committing to any one school yet because I also plan on running track in college and I want to leave my options open come this track season,” Johnson said.

The 6’1 185 lb. Johnson runs the 200 and 400 meter dashes as well as running on the Raiders’ 4×400 meter relay team.

h1

National Signing Day Recap

February 14, 2011

By Dan Tracy, BRCFootball.com

Whew.

For BRCFootball.com there are the days we put together our final Preseason Team, our final All-Conference team and now with our recruiting coverage, there is the first Wednesday of February, National Signing Day. The ink has dried on the letters of intent signed 12 days ago and we’ve heard back from a number of recruits in the last 12 days who are still mulling over their college decisions.

Let’s take a look back at National Signing Day and a look at which other BRC recruits will be making or have already made their college decisions.

Who signed:

Note: These players’ college destination was not known before National Signing Day. For a complete list of commitments from the BRC Class of 2011, check out 2011 Commits List on the right side of our page.

Eau Claire North LB Gregory Button- Bemidji State

Menomonie RB Joey Neeb- Northern Michigan

Chippewa Falls TE/LB Mario Stephens- Bemidji State

Eau Claire North TE Grant Lokken- University of Minnesota-Crookston

Who hasn’t decided:

Here are some updates on some of the players of the BRC Class of 2011 who will make their college decisions sometime in the next few weeks.

Eau Claire Memorial DL Chuck Ayres: Definitely the most interesting recruiting process of any BRC recruit this season, Ayres is being courted by nearly all of the Ivy League with MIT, Princeton and Harvard in his top three. Ayres will be visiting MIT on Feb. 19 and he plans to make his decision soon after the visit.

Eau Claire North QB Mitch Degrasse: BRC’s leading passer in 2010 will not be playing college football next season and instead will opt to enlist in the United States Air Force.

Menomonie LB Nick Didier: Honored as first-team All-State and first-team All-BRC at both OL and LB, Didier has received interest from Division II Northern Michigan and Minnesota-Duluth but is also interested in Division III UW-Lacrosse.

River Falls WR Jack Herum: 6’4 170 lb. target caught 37 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns on his way to an All-BRC second team selection. Deciding on UW-Stout and UW-Whitewater and has not yet decided whether or not he will play football at the next level.

Hudson DL Will Johnson- All-BRC second-teamer plans to play at the next level and is receiving interest from numerous WIAC schools.

Hudson OL Matt Krier: Narrowed down his list of potential schools to two, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Lacrosse. Krier, a second-team All-BRC offensive lineman in 2010, visited UW-Lacrosse on Feb. 5.

Eau Claire Memorial QB Mark Munger: Old Abes signal caller will wait until after his senior season of hockey to decide between interest from UW-Eau Claire, Gustavus Adolphus and St. Thomas. All three schools are interested in Munger for football.

Eau Claire North WR Austin Rieder: The BRC’s leading receiver in 2010. He snagged 60 catches for 887 yards and eight touchdowns. Rieder is receiving interest from Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota-Crookston, St. Thomas, UW-Stout, UW-LaCrosse and UW- Platteville. Rieder informed me on Jan. 25 that he had hoped to make his decision “sometime soon.”

River Falls RB Nick Zimmerman: 1st-team All-BRC running back rushed for 1,352 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2010. Zimmerman has received interest from UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, St. Thomas, St. John’s, Gustavus Adolphus and UW-Whitewater. Both UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls are high on Zimmerman’s list.

Who we haven’t heard from:

Here is a list of Class of 2011 BRC players that were named All-Conference in 2010 but have not made their college plans known.

Ben Danovsky- Menomonie OL

Collin Couey- Rice Lake OL

Chris Ester- Rice Lake RB

Eli Sankey- Menomonie DL

Eric Elwood- Rice Lake DL

Taylor West- Rice Lake DB

Tyler Kinderman- Chippewa Falls DB

Tyler Naatz- Menomonie DB

Dylan Faulker- Eau Claire Memorial OL

Kelly Larson- River Falls OL

Aaron White- Menomonie RB

Tyler Hermann- Eau Claire North WR

Jamie Kozak- River Falls DL

Tim Weller- River Falls DL

Avery Sega- Eau Claire Memorial LB

Jake Denison- Hudson K

If you have any information about these players and their college plans, Dan Tracy can be contacted via e-mail at dtracy@iastate.edu.

No BRC Bulldogs:

The 2010 Division II National Champion University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs signed 22 players on National Signing Day but none from the BRC. The Bulldogs currently boast 10 former BRC players on their roster but it appears that that number won’t grow until next season as head coach Bob Nielson continues to build a dynasty up in Duluth.

h1

Button Headed To Bemidji

February 2, 2011

By Dan Tracy, BRCFootball.com

According to the Bemidji State athletics department, Eau Claire North linebacker Gregory Button signed his National Letter of Intent today to become a member of the Beavers squad.

The 6’2 215 lb. Button was the anchor of the Huskies defense over the last two seasons and was named to the All-BRC first team at linebacker in 2010. Button attended camps at Wisconsin, Winona State and Minnesota-Duluth prior to the 2010 season.

With no former BRC players on their roster, Bemidji State has recruited the conference hard this season with now two known commitments in Button and Chippewa Falls TE/LB Mario Stephens. Button is also the first known commitment from the Eau Claire North Class of 2011.

h1

Chi-Hi Duo Decides on National Signing Day

February 2, 2011

By Dan Tracy, BRCFootball.com

Chippewa Falls head coach Chuck Raykovich has churned out two more college recruits as BRCFootball.com has learned that running back Brad Huempfner and tight end/linebacker Mario Stephens have made their college commitments.

Huempfner rushed 413 times for 2,219 yards and 29 touchdowns over his junior and senior seasons as he led the Cardinals to a 10-9 overall record. Those totals included the final game of his junior season at Don and Nona Williams Stadium, a 26-13 season-ending loss to Menomonie. Huempfner rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

The 6’0 210 lb. bruising back hopes to get on the field at Williams Stadium again, but this time it will be as a UW-Stout Blue Devil. Huempfner plans to sign his National Letter of Intent to UW-Stout sometime this week as he is still waiting on his acceptance letter into the school. Huempfner will join Chi-Hi offensive lineman Zack Ross as incoming Blue Devils next season. The two-time All-BRC first team selection chose UW-Stout over Bemidji State and prior interest from schools at the Division II, Division III and JUCO level.

Speaking of Bemidji State.

Huempfner’s teammate at Chippewa Falls, tight end/linebacker Mario Stephens, has decided that he will don the green and white as he will sign his National Letter of Intent to Bemidji State today.

“I really like the coaches and the players made me feel welcome there when I visited their school,” Stephens told BRCFootball.com this morning. “I’m real excited for this day to come about, I would have never picture me signing with a college.”

Stephens visited Bemidji back on Jan. 15 and also visited Minnesota State-Mankato this past weekend.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to be able to sign with a D-2 college, I will not take this oppurtunity for granted and I will try to represent the Big Rivers while going throughout my college life,” Stephens said.

A four-star prospect according to Wissports.net, Stephens moved from the offensive line to tight end and linebacker this season. Known by many as “Mo-Pop” he was recruited to play at numerous positions including tight end, defensive end, inside linebacker and offensive tackle.

h1

2011 National Signing (and Groundhog) Day Preview

February 2, 2011

By Dan Tracy, BRCFootball.com

It’s fitting that this year’s National Signing Day falls on Groundhog Day, especially for the Big Rivers Conference.

There may not be a player in the BRC with a name as clever as Punxsutawney Phil (although Gregory Button comes in a close second) but for the remaining uncommitted recruits in the BRC, will they see their shadows and decide to ponder their college decisions for a few more weeks? Or will they emerge from their recruiting process and make plans to scamper away to college after inking their letter of intent?

Over the next 20 hours–that’s if you’re actually reading this at 4 a.m. when it was published–we will find out.

There are six known commits in the BRC Class of 2011 (see 2011 Commit List) including the only likely Division I recruit in Menomonie linebacker Brent Stout (Army). News of the sixth commit came just over two hours ago via Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reporter John Casper Jr.’s Twitter account that Menomonie running Joey Neeb will be signing with Division II Northern Michigan.

There are plenty of BRC recruits that have not announced their college decisions yet so I’ll give you a team-by-team breakdown of what we can expect either today or within the coming weeks from the remaining recruits in the BRC’s Class of 2011. Be sure to check back here at the BRCFootball.com blog for updates on these recruits throughout the day.

Chippewa Falls

Brad Huempfner: The last time I posted an article about Bruisin’ Brad he had received a bevy of recruiting interest from schools in the NSIC and WIAC. Ultimately, Huempfner had narrowed down his options to Bemidji State, UW-Stout and also a possibility of attending a technical school. I’ve learned that Huempfner has shown interest in Rochester Community and Technical College. RCTC is no stranger to recruiting the BRC as Menomonie’s Jonny Koehler and Travis Welch, both 2010 graduates, were on the 10-2 Yellowjackets this season as they won the Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC) State Championship. No word yet on when Huempfner will decide today although he did tell me that he hoped to decide around Signing Day.

Mario Stephens: One of the few BRC recruits left that will definitely end up heading to a Division II school. I’ve been in contact with Mario numerous times over the last few weeks and it’s down to Bemidji State and Minnesota-State Mankato. Stephens visited Bemidji State on Jan. 15 and Mankato on Jan. 29. Stephens had originally planned to have his decision made a week before National Signing Day. I expect that Stephens will make his decision today.

Tyler Kinderman: A first-team All-BRC selection at defensive back and a second-team All-BRC selection at punter this season.

 

Eau Claire Memorial

Chuck Ayres: Definitely the most interesting recruiting process of any BRC recruit this season, Ayres is being courted by nearly all of the Ivy League with MIT, Princeton and Harvard in his top three. Ayres will be visiting MIT on Feb. 19 and he plans to make his decision soon after the visit.

Ricky Caldwell: One of the most explosive athletes in the conference over the last three years, Caldwell never eclipsed the 700-yard mark in his three years in the Old Abes backfield but showed us flashes of his athletic potential. Caldwell was invited to the Wisconsin Badgers one-day camp before his junior season but since then his interest from colleges has been sparse.

Mark Munger: Second in the BRC in passing yards (1,642) and touchdowns (15) in 2010.

Avery Sega: Three-year letterwinner and second-team All-BRC at linebacker in 2010.

 

Eau Claire North

Gregory Button: I can’t confirm it yet but I’m hearing that Button could be headed to Bemidji State. The 6’2 215 lb. Button was the anchor of the Huskies defense over the last two seasons and was named to the All-BRC first team at linebacker in 2010. Button attended camps at Wisconsin, Winona State and Minnesota-Duluth prior to the 2010 season.

Mitch Degrasse: The leading passer in both yards (2,255) and touchdowns (23) this season. Named to the All-BRC second team.

Tyler Hermann: Caught 44 passes for 738 yards and five touchdowns this season. Named to the All-BRC second team.

Grant Lokken: 2010 Preseason All-BRCFootball.com tight end. Caught 17 passes for 260 yards and five touchdowns in five games before breaking his fibula which ended his season. Lokken attended pre-season camps at Wisconsin, Winona State and Minnesota-Duluth.

Austin Rieder: The BRC’s leading receiver in 2010. He snagged 60 catches for 887 yards and eight touchdowns. Rieder is receiving interest from Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota-Crookston, St. Thomas, UW-Stout, UW-LaCrosse and UW- Platteville. Rieder informed me on Jan. 25 that he had hoped to make his decision “sometime soon.”

 

Hudson

Jake Denison: Second-team All-BRC kicker in 2010.

Derek Krumrei: 6’2 190 lb. wide receiver caught 10 passes for 199 yards and five touchdowns in 2010. UW-Eau Claire has shown interest in Krumrei.

Matt Krier: Narrowed down his list of potential schools to two, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Lacrosse. Krier, a second-team All-BRC offensive lineman in 2010, will visit UW-Lacrosse this weekend.

Will Johnson: Second-team All-BRC defensive lineman in 2010.

 

Menomonie

Jimmy Benrud: First-team All-BRC tight end in 2010 will attend UW-Lacrosse for solely academic purposes after suffering a season-ending injury during wrestling season.

Ben Danovsky: First-team All-BRC offensive lineman in 2010.

Nick Didier: The most decorated player in the BRC’s class of 2011, Didier could complete the trifecta of all three first-team All BRC linebackers continuing on to play in college (pending Button’s commitment). The 2010 first-team All-State offensive lineman and linebacker has received interest from Northern Michigan and Minnesota-Duluth among others.

Joey Neeb: According to John Casper Jr. of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Neeb, a first-team All-BRC running back in 2010, will commit to Northern Michigan today.

Aaron White: Rushed for 754 yards and 11 touchdowns on his way to being named to the All-BRC second team in 2010.

 

Rice Lake:

Eric Elwood: 6’1 205 lb. Elwood was named to the All-BRC first team as a defensive lineman in 2010.

Chris Ester: First-team All-BRC selection at running back in 2010. One of four players in the BRC this season to rush for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns; he rushed for 1,064 and 10 touchdowns.

Taylor West: First-team All-BRC selection at defensive back in 2010.

 

River Falls

Jack Herum: 6’4 170 lb. target caught 37 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns on his way to an All-BRC second team selection. Deciding on UW-Stout and UW-Whitewater and has not yet decided whether or not he will play football at the next level.

Nick Zimmerman: Led all BRC running backs with 1,352 yards and 15 touchdowns. First-team All BRC selection has received Division III interest but is currently leaning towards attending UW-Madison for solely academic purposes.

 

Superior

Cam Stanley: Received interest prior to the 2010 season from Minnesota-Duluth. Caught seven passes for 147 yards and one touchdown at wide receiver and recorded  23 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble at defensive end.

h1

Recruiting Notebook: Ross, Krier, Rieder, Ayres

February 1, 2011

By Dan Tracy

BRCFootball.com

On the eve of National Signing Day, here are a few recruiting quick hitters which include a commitment, two updates from undecided recruits and an update from a top prospect for numerous Ivy League schools.

Zack Ross

Chippewa Falls and Menomonie have had quite a rivalry over the last four years atop the BRC. Chippewa Falls offensive lineman Zack Ross has battled Menomonie players in games throughout his varsity career, but now he will battle them in practice and will fight for victories with them as he has committed to UW-Stout for the 2011 season.

A 2nd team All-BRC selection in 2010, Ross chose the Blue Devils over interest from UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point and St. Scholastica.

The UW-Stout roster boasts four current BRC players, three of which are Menomonie grads. The BRC players on the Blue Devils’ roster include 2010 graduates Cody Siebert of Menomonie and Eau Claire Memorial’s Bobby Nyland.

Name: Zack Ross
Nickname(s): Rosco, Rossy
Height: 6’4
Weight: 230 lbs.
High School Position(s): Left tackle, tight end, defensive end
Potential College Position(s): Offensive tackle and defensive line
40 Time: 5.10 sec.
Greatest High School Football Accomplishment: Getting 2nd-team All-conference.
Best BRC player that you played against: Chippewa Falls RB Brad Huempfner and DB Tyler Kinderman
Personal Motto/Quote: “Winning isnt everything, its the only thing.”
One word that describes you: Competitive.

 

Matt Krier

Head coach Adam Kowles and the Hudson Raiders have boasted the biggest and always one of the best offensive lines in the BRC over the last three seasons. 2010 first-team All-BRC selection Matt Krier was a big part of that successful unit as they cleared lanes for the Hudson spread option attack. Krier plans to take his talents to the Division III level next season.

“I have not made my college decision yet however I do plan on continuing my football career,” Krier said. “I have narrowed it down to either the University of [Wisconsin] Eau Claire or Lacrosse.”

Krier will visit UW-Lacrosse this Saturday and hopes to make his decision soon after the visit. Krier has also received interest from UW-River Falls, Valparaiso, Bemidji State, St. Thomas, Gustavus, Upper Iowa, St. Scholastica, Winona St., Augsburg and Macalaster.

Name: Matt Krier
Nickname(s): Krier
Height: 6’2
Weight: 265 lbs.
High School Position(s): Offensive guard, Special Teams
Potential College Position(s): Offensive or defensive line
40 Time: 5.30 sec.
Max Bench Press: 270 lbs
Max Parallel Squat: 460 lbs
Max Power Clean: 260 lbs
Greatest High School Football Accomplishment: Being the only junior to start on our Big Rivers Conference championship team.
Personal Motto/Favorite Quote: “If you want something go get it . . .Period.”

 

Austin Rieder

How many teams in Northwest Wisconsin run pass-heavy offenses? Well, there’s Eau Claire North. And when you have a pass-heavy offense, you get receivers with huge receiving numbers.

So is the case with 2010 1st-team All-BRC and honorable mention All-State wide receiver Austin Rieder.

Reider hauled in a conference-leading 60 receptions for 887 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensive coordinators took notice during the season and now college recruiters are taking notice in the off-season. Rieder is now weighing interest from Division II Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota-Crookston as well as Division III schools St. Thomas, UW-Stout, UW-LaCrosse and UW- Platteville. Rieder hopes to make his decision “sometime soon.”

Name: Austin Rieder
Height: 5’11
Weight: 175 lbs.
High School Position(s): WR
Potential College Position(s): WR, DB
40 Time: 4.52 sec.
Max Bench Press: 260 lbs.
Max Parallel Squat: 375 lbs.
Max Power Clean: 190 lbs.
Greatest High School Football Accomplishment(s): Setting receiving records at North and getting named honorable mention All-State.
Best BRC player that you played against: Eau Claire Memorial RB Ricky Caldwell
Personal Motto/Favorite Quote: “Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.”
One word that describes you: Dedicated

 

Chuck Ayres

Notre Dame, Texas, Ohio State.

Three of the largest dynasties in college football.

MIT, Princeton, Harvard.

Three of the largest dynasties in college academics.

Not many college football recruits have the latter three schools in there final three schools to decide on, but Chuck Ayres does.

The three-year starter at defensive end for the Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes is being courted by a host of schools across the country but most notably from the academically-prestigious Ivy League.

Along with MIT, Princeton and Harvard, Yale, Penn, Dartmouth and Brown have all shown interest in the 6’4 225 lb. Ayres. In addition to the Ivy League interest, Ayres has received mail and calls from Wisconsin, Air Force, Lawrence University, Macalester, Augsburg, Upper Iowa, St. Thomas, Concordia St. Paul, Lakeland College, Winona State, Gustavus Adolphus and North Dakota State.

“I would love to play college football, but my education is more important to me,” Ayres said. “Ideally, I would love to play football at a college where I can excel academically.”

Ayres, a 2010 first-team All-BRC selection at defensive end, hopes to pursue Biomedical Engineering with a pre-med concentration at college. So far Ayres has been accepted into Purdue, Michigan and Wisconsin’s engineering schools.

“I want to play, I’d do almost anything to play even if that means walking on and getting redshirted,” Ayres said. “I love the game and would love to continue competing.”

Ayres will be flying out to Boston on Feb. 19 to spend the weekend with the MIT football team. Whether he plays or not, Ayres is working hard both in the classroom and in the weight room to prepare for his college career.

“Strength and body mass are my two points of emphasis,” Ayres said. “I believe that if I am going to compete at the next level I need to ramp up my training and put some more size on my frame. I know I can do it, it’s just a matter of time and putting in the work.”

Ayres is also finding success on the rink as he is a co-captain along with 2010 quarterback Mark Munger on the 19-1-0 and No. 1 ranked Eau Claire Memorial hockey team.

Name: Charles Ayres
Nickname(s): Chuck
Height: 6’4
Weight: 225 lbs.
High School Position(s): DE,OL
Potential College Position(s): DE
40 Time: 4.71 sec.
Max Bench Press: 225 lbs.
Max Parallel Squat: 315 lbs.
Max Power Clean: 225 lbs.
Greatest High School Football Accomplishment: Honorable Mention All-State as well as 1st Team All Northwest at defensive end.
Best BRC player that you played against: Rice Lake QB Kody Novinska
Personal Motto/Favorite Quote: BTA
One word that describes you: Intensity

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.