MADISON, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Led by two first team selections, nine members of the UW-Eau Claire football team earned all-conference recognition, the WIAC announced today.
Matt Withrow (Sr.-Platteville, Wis.) and Jimmy Hall (Jr-Howards Grove, Wis.) made the respective offensive and defensive first teams. Withrow started at left guard all nine games he played this season. With the exception of the missed game this year, Withrow has started every game since his freshman season. He earned second team honors in 2010.
Hall ranked fifth in the WIAC in sacks, racking up 4.5 this season. Hall also accumulated 35 tackles, with 26 solo and nine assisted. Hall started every game this season at left end.
Four Blugolds received second team honors. On offense, Austin Goetsch (Jr.-Waunakee, Wis.), David Goodman (Sr.-Neenah, Wis.) and Paul Santi (Jr.-Kingsford, Mich.) made the WIAC second team. Andy Neumann (Sr.-Germantown, Wis.) represented the Blugolds on the second team defense.
Goodman pulled in 42 catches for 647 yards and maintained an average of 64.7 yards each game, the third-highest average in the WIAC. Goodman earned second team recognition in 2009 and honorable mention status last season. Goodman's strong season also vaulted him to No. 1 on Eau Claire's list of most career receiving yards. From 2008-2011, Goodman recorded 2,348 yards on 153 catches.
Goetsch led the Blugolds with five receiving touchdowns and averaged 51.6 yards each game, the eight-highest total in the conference. Santi started all 10 games at center for the Blugolds this season. This is his first all-WIAC selection.
Neumann, who also made the second team last season, tied for first in the conference with two forced fumbles. He also totaled 60 total tackles, the second-highest mark on the team. Neumann also recorded 1.5 sacks and made one fumble recovery.
Austin Neu (Jr.-Iron Ridge, Wis./Hustisford) and Mike O'Connell (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Regis) picked up honorable mention honors on offense while Sean Graham (So-Hales Corners, Wis./Whitehall) received honorable mention on defense. Neu finished the year with the highest passing yard average in the conference at 247.9 yards each game. O'Connell led the Blugolds with 49 catches while finishing with 482 yards and three touchdowns. Graham's 83 tackles was the sixth-most in the conference. He also accumulated three sacks.
Additionally, senior Ben Van Geffen (Shiocton, Wis.) was also honored as Eau Claire's representative on the conference all-sportsmanship team. Athletes receiving this honor are recognized for their superior display of sportsmanship throughout the season.