Several area players saw the field in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Games, held at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh on July 15. The event served as a final showcase for many of the state’s top seniors and also served as a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Two Lake Country Lutheran players competed in the small-school game (Division 4-7), where the South landed a 25-20 win over the North by scoring 19 unanswered points.
Ezra Heinritz, who was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Lightning as a senior in 2016, recorded a sack and deflected a pass on the first series of the game, though the North jumped out to a 17-6 lead.
“The secondary was having a hard time defending the pass and run with the Cover-4,” said defensive back Adam Mielke, another senior from LCL. “During halftime, the team convinced the coach to switch to a Cover-2, which seemed to work better.”
Mielke saved a touchdown after the North ripped off a running play of 65 yards, falling just short at the 10-yard line. The defense held to a field goal, which set the stage for a comeback.
“That tackle saved the game; it was a proud moment,” said LCL head coach Greg Brazgel.
Mielke finished the game with six tackles, and Heinritz had 10.
The players and coaches involved in the game raised money for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The players trained at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for a week leading into the event, and they had the chance to meet children receiving care at Children’s Hospital. The game raised more than $450,000 for the cause.
Heinritz will attend UW-Oshkosh to play football and pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Mielke will attend Wisconsin in Madison and pursue a degree in business entrepreneurship and marketing.
Large school game
In the large-school game (players from Division 1, 2 and 3), Oconomowoc quarterback Ben Nienhuis completed three of 12 passes for 39 yards in the South team’s 10-0 win over the North. Nienhuis also ran for 3 yards.
Other area players named to the team were Sam DeLany of Kettle Moraine, Drew Shrader of Arrowhead and Blaze Beltran of Pewaukee.
Matt Mielke contributed to this article.