The Baldwin-Woodville football season came to a close Saturday afternoon with a 23-6 Level 2 playoff loss to Wrightstown at King Field.
“We had several opportunities that we just didn’t take advantage of,” said Baldwin-Woodville Coach Dan Keefer. “The end of a season, a career is never easy. When you work so hard and pour your heart into something, the finality hurts. It hurts because of the relationships that are built and all the trust and sacrifice involved in being part of something that is bigger than the individual. It hurts because your teammates become like an extension of your family. I am extremely proud of every player and coach that was a part of this team.”
The Blackhawks’ lone score came on a long jet sweep by Austin Hanson. B-W was really stung by the fact that it failed to score on first and goal from the two-yard line.
“We were inconsistent in our ability to run the ball,” Keefer said. “Wrightstown had a big and talented defensive line, and they played well.”
Both teams finished with four turnovers, but field position after the turnovers favored Wrightstown.
“Ross Roemhild had a gutsy performance at quarterback,” Keefer said. “Zach Nilssen showed he is one of the best tight ends in the state, and Brent Paulson continued his great season by making some amazing catches. Austin Hanson... played with a lot of heart.”
He added that linebackers Sam Crowley and Jake Lindquist played well and defensive ends Thomas Albrightson and Tyler Rudd were very physical.
“Chewey Lee played with great pad level against players that outweighed him by more than 60 lbs,” Keefer said. “Taylor Lokker and Zach Nilssen were also terrific at the point of attack.”
He says goodbye to a senior class that includes linebacker/tight end Jordan Bonte, defensive back/slot Austin Hanson, wide receiver Brent Paulson, tight end/defensive lineman Zach Nilssen, quarterback/linebacker/defensive back Ross Roemhild, inside linebacker/running back Jake Lindquist, defensive back/wide receiver Michael Shilts, cornerback Warick Weyer, defensive lineman/kicker Jake Maurer, offensive lineman/defensive end Thomas Albrightson, right tackle Hunter Clausen, defensive lineman Dylan Hackner, guard and defensive tackle Tsuah-Luag (Chewey) Lee and offensive tackle/defensive end Ryler Rudd.
“They were truly great,” Keefer said.
Hanson’s toughness and speed led him to all Middle Border Conference honors at cornerback. Paulson’s route running, combined with his speed and strength guided him to an all-conference season at wide receiver. Nilssen doubled up, humbly earning all-conference recognition at both tight end and on the defensive line.
Roemhild, who was runner-up for MBC Player of the Year, was an all-conference quarterback whose work ethic and leadership skills are far beyond his years, according to Keefer.
Lindquist made an inspiring comeback from an ACL injury last season to become an all-conference inside linebacker this season and plans to continue playing at UW-Eau Claire next season. Albrightson also showed his leadership skills as a two-way all-conference player.
Lee’s work ethic, quickness and pad level on the line earned him all-conference honorable mention while Rudd’s strength, physicality and smarts garnered all-conference recognition as an offensive tackle.
Bonte and Shilts were both limited by injuries most of the season but were able to still contribute to make the team better in their own ways. Weyer led the team in interceptions, with four. Maurer was effective all season despite playing with a cast on his hand and having not played since his freshman year. And Clausen was a smart, passionate, two-year starter.