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Seven Falcons named to All-WIAC football teams, former Wildcats Zimmerman, Kusilek honored

UW-River Falls’ sophomore defensive back Nick Zimmerman breaks up a pass in the end zone in a game against UW-Platteville earlier this season. Zimmerman was one of seven Falcons named to All-WIAC teams, earning a spot on the second team after leading the Falcons with 54 tackles. (River Falls Journal photos by Bob Burrows)

Two River Falls High School graduates are among seven members of the UW-River Falls football team selected to All-WIAC teams for the 2013 season.

Sophomore defensive back Nick Zimmerman was named to the All-WIAC second team while sophomore quarterback Ryan Kusilek earned a spot on the All-Sportsmanship team.

Zimmerman and senior defensive end Alex Hohenstein were both named to the second team. Other Falcons who received honorable mention include sophomore all-purpose back Robbie Flom of Somerset, senior center Jake Litecky, junior wide receiver Jordan Christianson and junior linebacker Cole Sirek.

Zimmerman started seven games this season before being sideline the rest of the year with an injury. Despite missing three games he led the Falcons with 46 solo and 54 total tackles. He had one tackle for loss and set a school record with 12 pass break ups.

“It says a lot about the respect everyone has for Nick to be named to this team after missing three league games,” Falcon head coach Matt Walker said. Nick is as good of a cover corner as there is in this league and the scary thing is that he still has two full years left and his best football in front of him.”

Kusilek started all 10 games for the Falcons at quarterback and threw for 1,929 yards and 11 touchdowns, completing 172-of-342 passes for a 101.85 efficiency rating. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 396 yards and three scores.

The WIAC All-Sportsmanship team is selected by conference coaches and is made up of individuals that displayed exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season.

“Ryan  had one of the best first part of the season as anyone I have ever been around,” Walker said. “Early on, he was leading the league in total yards and in the top two or three in all rushing and passing categories. After his knee injury at Point, he really battled his body every Saturday. He is as gritty and tough of a quarterback as I have ever coached and we are all lucky to have him as our team leader and the face of our program. He is the example of how to carry yourself on and off the field.”

Flom appeared in eight games and led the Falcons in both punt and kickoff returns. He returned six punts for an average of 8.5 yards a return and 21 kickoffs for an average of 19.7 yards. He also had 142 rushing and 221 receiving yards, giving him 827 all-purpose yards.

“Robbie would be the first to tell you that he did not have the year he wanted to or put up the numbers he wanted to, but he constantly affected the game and opponents always knew where he was,” Walker said. “He was another guy that battled through injuries all year and gave everything he had through pain on Saturdays. It is my prediction that before Robbie Flom graduates, he will be named our league’s Player of the Year.”

Hohenstein started all 10 games and finished with 25 solo and 37 total tackles with 6.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also forced a fumble. Sirek, who also started all 10 games, finished the year with 26 solo and 37 total tackles. He led the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and had two sacks.

Litecky was the anchor in the offensive line where he started every game the past two seasons, while Christianson was the team’s top receiver with 52 catches for 612 yards and seven touchdowns.

        -- UWRF sports Information