Football Cardinals named all-Big 8

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton’s Kayden Lyles was named the Big Eight Conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Year./File photo

The best offensive lineman in the history of Middleton football is arguably Ryan Groy.

Groy was an all-state player in 2008, had a stellar career at the University of Wisconsin and currently plays for the Buffalo Bills.

This season, Kayden Lyles had a year similar to any that Groy had at Middleton.

Lyles, who’s also a UW recruit, was named the Big Eight Conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Year and was a first-team all-state player. Lyles headlined a number of Cardinals that earned postseason honors.

Senior linebacker Joe Ludwig and junior offensive lineman Jarrett Horst were named first-team all-league.

Junior running back Dion Huff, senior defensive linemen Harrison Bielski and Max Elliott, junior linebacker Shane Bick and senior safety Jack Smith were named second-team all-conference.

And junior quarterback Davis Roquet, senior fullback Noah Helbach, senior cornerback Tre Turner, senior defensive lineman Roman Kryshak and senior offensive lineman Seth Craker were all named honorable-mention all-conference.

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Lyles was arguably the best offensive lineman in the state and one of the top recruits in the country. Lyles, who transferred into the district before the 2017 school year, proceeded to have a memorable season.

“He played with great power and technique,” Middleton coach Tim Simon said of Lyles. “He had a great all around game — power, pulling, trapping. He’s a very good athlete.  Not enough good things can be said of Kayden and his play.”

Ludwig was the Big Eight’s top defensive back in 2015. He moved to linebacker this year, where he was just as impactful.

Ludwig finished the year with 79 total tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovered and two passes defended.

“Joe is very versatile and can play inside and outside linebacker as well as strong safety,” Simon said of Ludwig. “He has an excellent football IQ.”

Horst (6-4, 270) was the only junior offensive lineman named first-team all-conference. Horst was sensational in the run game and improved as a pass blocker as the year went on.

“Our second-best lineman,” Simon said. “He played with great leverage and a football nasty that we all love. He really improved his technique as the year went on. He’s a great run blocker and can really hold his edge on the line of scrimmage.”

Huff was the third-leading rusher in the Big Eight with 916 yards on 170 carries (5.4). Huff had 11 rushing touchdowns, 15 receptions for 216 yards, and added two receiving touchdowns.

“He’s a very good runner and receiver,” Simon said of Huff.

Bielski improved as much as any player on the roster. And after a quiet junior season, Bielski finished the year with 43 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack.

“He played with great pad level,” Simon said. “He’s a strong explosive player and was a cornerstone of our D-Line. He was a great leader up front in our defense.”

Elliott was a two-year starter at defensive end who finished the year with 30 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, one sack and two passes defensed.

“He’s a fast player and a great lock out player,” Simon said.

Bick had a big junior year and will be one of the Cardinals’ leaders in 2017. Bick finished the year with 41 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and two passes defensed.

“Shane has great sideline to sideline speed,” Simon said. “He’s physical and fast.”

Smith was Middleton’s top safety finishing the year with 68 tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception and six passes defensed. Smith played both safety spots and also played some cornerback when injuries and suspensions hit the program.

“Jack is a versatile player, athletic and smart,” Simon said.

Roquet took over the starting quarterback job midway through the season and closed strong. Roquet finished the year with 1,212 passing yards, completed 53.5% of his passes, and threw for eight touchdowns and just two interceptions.

“He really came on strong as the season went on,” Simon said of Roquet. “He has great savvy and football IQ. He’s a very much improved player!”

Helbach led the way for Middleton’s running backs to have big years. Helbach also had 61 rushing yards, 10 receptions for 84 yards and scored a touchdown.

“He was the best and most complete fullback in the conference,” Simon said. “He’s a great blocker.”

Turner finished the year with three interceptions, 43 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovered. Turner also had an interception return for a touchdown and six passes defensed.

“He’s an extremely fast and reactive player,” Simon said of Turner. “He could have played tailback, but sacrificed for the team and moved to the defensive side of the ball.”

Kryshak also had a huge year after making just minor contributions as a junior. Kryshak finished the year with 28 tackles and one tackle for loss.

“He was voted by the team as the hardest worker in the offseason,” Simon said. “He really improved since last year.”

Craker was a two-year starter at right tackle and helped Middleton’s running game become a dominant force in 2016.

“He’s a great lock out player and has a good overall football IQ,” Simon said.

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