In a departure from the norm, the boys soccer coaches in the Packerland Conference named a defender as their Player of the Year. Sturgeon Bay senior Adison Benzinger – who has scored one goal this season – won the top award, which was announced Saturday.
“I was very surprised to win Player of the Year,” Benzinger said. “Usually defenders are overlooked when it comes to this stuff. I was very humbled to have been regarded as the Player of the Year.”
Benzinger led a defense that allowed only seven goals and recorded five shutouts in 11 Packerland matches. Sturgeon Bay Coach Todd Maas said Benzinger’s leadership is what also set him apart from other top players in the conference.
“He’s the one who sets the tone and is the voice of the team,” Maas said. “He’s everything you could ask for in a team captain. It is remarkable that a defender received this award because there are no stats to record for all the hard work and responsibilities that come from playing defense. Only clean sheets and pride keep you motivated to do what they need to do.”
Four other teammates joined Benzinger on the first team, led by midfielder Carson Dvorak, who was a unanimous choice. Midfielder Trey Maas and forwards Eli Dietzel and Owen Stevenson were also first-team choices.
Gibraltar-Sevastopol midfielder Ben Fitzgerald was a unanimous selection, and Vikings defenders Brady Ash and Cole Dvorak joined Fitzgerald on the top team.
Sturgeon Bay players named to the second team were Christian Fairchild, Ben Luders and Dylan Burk. Gibraltar-Sevastopol’s Kiegan Sargent, Ty Johnson and Hayden Hoffman also made the second team. Evan Lardinois and Connor Thompson from Gibraltar-Sevastopol were named honorable mention.
Four Southern Door players were named to the MONLPC Conference top team, led by Tyler Kroll, who earned a spot as place kicker and defensive back. Wide receiver Marcus Marchant, linebacker Nick Baudhuin and defensive end Evan Wheaton joined Kroll on the top team.
Making the offensive second team for the Eagles were quarterback Alex Daoust, running back Baudhuin and offensive linemen Lance LeGrave, Brodie Overbeck and Wheaton. On the defensive second team were defensive backs Marchant and Jack Peterson, linebacker Daoust and defensive linemen Overbeck and Devin Schinktgen. Tight end Alan Malcore and receiver Peterson were named honorable mention.
Southern Door’s Kendra Dantoin and Nicole Norton, Sevatopol’s Mya Ploor, and Gibraltar’s Agne Zukauskaite were named to the Packerland Conference volleyball first team.
Named to the second team were Sturgeon Bay’s Lauren Alger, Hailey DeGrave and Koko Hartzell; Southern Door’s Jackie Atkins and Carissa Bartels; and Gibraltar’s Bella Bunda and Abbi Sitte. Sturgeon Bay’s Kasia Klotz and Madelyn Jeanquart, Southern Door’s Anna Olson, and Sevastopol’s Rebekah Andreae made the honorable mention team.