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Football: Nine Wolves honored for SLC play

Elmwood/Plum City senior Tyler Maxwell was named to the South Lakeland Conference's offense and defense first teams. (File photo)

Nine Elmwood/Plum City Wolves football players received South Lakeland Conference All-Conference selections after their team’s 2018 season in which they recorded a 3-3 conference record.

Senior Tyler Maxwell and junior Dalton Binkowski received first team honors for their defensive and offensive play. Maxwell was named a first team defensive back after recording 60 total tackles, three pass break-ups and two forced fumbles. The senior wide receiver was also named to the conference’s offense first team list after leading the Wolves and the SLC with 587 total receiving yards on 34 receptions. Maxwell completed 12 total touchdowns for the Wolves in 2018, nine of which were passing touchdowns. The multi-skilled player was a three-year member of the Wolves’ team, and tallied up just over 1,000 receiving yards before concluding his time with the program.

Binkowski also dominated on both ends of the field in his junior season. The 5-10 linebacker led the SLC with 147 total tackles this year and added seven tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one interception to his defensive stat line. Binkowski’s added offensive talent made him a multidimensional threat for the Wolves in his third season with the Wolves. The junior running back gave up his quarterback duties in 2018 and racked up 745 total rushing yards for the Wolves in his new role. Binkowski averaged 4.4 yards per carry and ran in 10 touchdowns this season. His importance to his team’s offense will grow exponentially in 2019 when the Wolves will have to operate without leading back Nic Forster.

Forster recorded 1,141 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, only trailing Pepin/Alma’s Wyatt Lehnartz in both categories. Forster recorded eight yards per carry this season and was an easy offensive selection for the SLC’s All-Conference First Team. Defensively, Forster contributed 33.5 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks and two forced fumbles to claim a spot on the SLC’s Defense Second Team. Forster leaves the Wolves’ program with 1,790 total rushing yards, 111 tackles, 20 touchdowns and a career that will be hard for future EPC players to match.

Senior Jordan Brunner was the fourth EPC player to be recognized for both his offensive and defensive contributions. Brunner was named to the conference’s Offense First Team and received honorable mention honors for his defensive line duties. Brunner recorded 31 tackles in his final season with the Wolves and leaves the team with 94 career tackles and 11 tackles for loss.

Senior Noah Gansluckner was listed on the SLC’s Defense Second Team at the conclusion of his high school football career after recording 77 total tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack this season. Gansluckner leaves the Wolves with 126 career tackles and eight touchdowns, six of which he recorded this year.

Senior Josiah Boyce joined Gansluckner and Forster on the SLC’s Defense Second Team after filling his final stat line with 50 tackles and three interceptions in his final campaign. Boyce also hauled in three passes this season for 60 total receiving yards and one touchdown.

Junior Zack Phillips became the SLC’s second-best passing quarterback in his debut season as EPC’s QB1. Phillips recorded 906 passing yards, a 50 percent completion rate and found his receivers in the end zone 13 times this season. His breakout year concluded with deserved All-Conference offense second team honors.

Though the Wolves will be missing a talented class of 2019 next season, having two sophomores receive All-Conference recognition adds some hope for the team’s future. Sophomore lineman Andrew Solfest joined Phillips on the All-Conference Offense Second Team and his fellow sophomore lineman Paul Schwebach received honorable mention honors for his offensive play.