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Wandtke finalist for award

T-Birds’ senior part of undefeated team

By Holly Neumann

Iola-Scandinavia High School football player Kellan Wandtke is one of 20 finalists for the Joe Thomas Award.

The Wisconsin Sports Network presents the award to the state’s outstanding offensive lineman.

“I cannot say enough good things about Kellan,” Iola-Scandinavia football coach Scott Erickson said. “He is the guy you want on your offensive line. He runs the show and is always encouraging other players to do better. He is very deserving of any awards that he would be nominated for.”

Erickson described the 6-foot-3-inch, 275-pound Wandtke as hard-working, strong, athletic and physical player on the Thunderbirds’ offensive and defensive lines.

Wandtke said he is honored to be a finalist.

“I wake up every day with the goal of becoming the best football player I can be,” he said. “A lot of credit goes to my teammates and coaches for pushing me each and every day.”

Football has always been Wandtke’s favorite sport.

“Football has taught me countless life lessons that I will carry with me forever,” he said. “Coach Erickson has been a huge influence in my life on and off the field as he guides me toward being the best person I can be.”

The biggest lesson he has learned is commitment, he said.

“Academics have always been my first priority,” he said. “Between school, work and football, I do not have much free time, but I know my efforts will pay off down the road. In order to reach my goals, I know that I must make some sacrifices.”

Wandtke plans on continuing his football career at college.

“I have not yet decided which school I will be attending, but I am closing in on making a decision,” he said. “As of now, I plan on majoring in business finance.”

Wandtke is the son of Tim and Jen Wandtke of Scandinavia.

The list of award finalists will be trimmed to five after the first round of the WIAA playoffs. Award winners will be announced the week of the state finals in November.

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