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EARLY ALL-AMERICANS FROM THE BADGER STATE…PART 2

Continuing on from the previous blog, here are my thoughts on who should have been named to an All-American team from 1930-1947. And again, the list is based on what they did as a high schooler. but I included info on their later career.


1930…Bill Trost…Milwaukee Washington…Tackle…Played on two City Conference championship teams as he earned All-Conference honors. Bill was also a star on the track field throwing the shot. If there had been an All-State team, he would have been the top lineman on the squad. He went on to play at Marquette and spent six seasons in the NFL.


1930…Francis “Pug” Lund…Rice Lake…Running back… One of the all-time backs from the northwest part of the state who made the honorable mention list of the 1993 Milwaukee Journal All-Century team. Played for The University of Minnesota on their 1934 national championship team earning All-American honors.


1932…George Wilson…Delafield St. John’s Military Academy…End…A standout on both sides of the line. The team didn’t pass often so it was his brilliant blocking that drew the attention of the opponents on offense. St. Johns was the 1932 state champions playing against five college freshman teams and beating Culver (IN) Military Academy before 40,000 fans at Chicago’s Soldiers Field Stadium to earn the National Prep Championship trophy. He blocked two punts in the game. Wilson went on to play for Northwester, play in the NFL for the Chicago Bears for 10-seasons and then coached the Detroit Lions before becoming the first coach of the Miami Dolphins.


1932…Ray Buvid…Quarterback…Port Washington… Directed the team to three unbeaten seasons as well as the state Class-B track title. Played at Marquette, earning all-American honors in 1936, placing third in the Heisman vote. He then played for two seasons in the NFL after being drafted 3rd overall by the Chicago Cardinals. He retired at the age of 23 to serve as a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II.


1932…Eddie Jankowski…Milwaukee Riverside…Halfback… All-City Conference in 1930, 1931 and 1932. Scored 97 points his senior season. Attended the University of Wisconsin where he played all four backfield positions while at Madison. Standing 5’9, 201 he backed up the line in the era of one-platoon football and was a standout there as a linebacker. Played five seasons with the Packers as a fullback. After playing for the Packers and World War II Eddie became a very successful high school coach at Whitefish Bay


1934…Howie Weiss…Fort Atkinson…Fullback… In 1934, halfback Howie Weiss, a four-year starter, led Fort Atkinson to the Southern Six-League championship by scoring a team leading 14 touchdowns. Weiss is often considered, alongside “Whitey” Woodin to be the best athlete to come from Fort Atkinson. A brilliant broken-field runner, Weiss often left his opponents in the dust with his long runs. In 1935, Howie moved on to Madison, playing for the Badgers. In 1937, he earned the team’s Most Valuable Player award and then again in 1938 he also won the Big Ten Conference’s Most Valuable Player award. He placed sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting.


1937…Dave Schrreiner…Lancaster…Linebacker… An outstanding tackler who was feared for his hard play. A three-time All-Conference player who was 6’2, 198. Went to UW-Madison where he was an all-American in 1940 and 1941 as a defensive end. Named Big Ten Player of the Year in 1942. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions but never played pro ball as he was killed in combat during World War II.


1939…Pat Harder…Milwaukee Washington…Ever hear the fans chant “Hit ‘em again, harder, harder’? That was a chant that University of Wisconsin fans used to cheer to motivate Pat Harder as he led the Badgers to the Big Ten in 1941 conference title. It may have really started in high school as Harder was by far the best player not only in Milwaukee but in the state. As a senior he rushed for 17 touchdowns, kicked 23 extra points and six field goals, leading the. Milwaukee Washington Purgolders to the mythical state title Harder is often considered the best high school player of the 1930’s. He played eight seasons in the NFL after World War II.


1640…Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch…Wausau…Halfback…If harder is considered the best in Wisconsin for the 1930’s, Hirsch is considered the best of the 1940’s and there are nine more years to the decade. Yes, his feats as a college and pro player may come to mind, his senior season was brilliant. The first of coach Win Brockmeyer’s super stars, Hirsch rushed for over 1,000 yards (Exact totals aren’t confirmed) and scored 102 points in leading Wausau to their first of six champions of the 40’s.


1941…John Strzykaski…Milwaukee South Division…Running Back/Linebacker…. John was a devastating tackler who used brute force to bring down opponents. Known as the most complete player for 1941. His nick name was “Johnny Strike” for his fierce play. On offense he was a power runner. Played at Marquette for one season, joined the Army for military service during World War II and played service ball where he was spotted by the Green Bay Packers. John was their first-round pick in the 1946 draft but played for seven years with the San Francisco 49’ers as a halfback and then lead blocker for future HOF player Joe Perry. A reporter for the 49’ers said the only thing tougher than Strzykaski was pronouncing his name. He earned honorable mention on the 1993 Milwaukee Journal All-Century Team.


1943…Earl “Jug” Girard…Marinette…Running Back/Kicker…Named to the second team of the 1993 Milwaukee Journal All-Century Team as a punter. Only 5’9”, 145 pounds, Girard passed for 6 td’s as well as scoring 13 td’s and 13 extra points as a tailback on offense. He played at Wisconsin and for ten seasons with the Packers, Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers. College was interrupted for several years due to World War II and he starred in the 1947 game vs Iowa when he returned two punts, 63 and 85 yards for touchdowns. In the NFL he played quarterback, halfback and punted.


Kevin Askeland already has printed his 1944 and Shorewood’s quarterback Stan Heath was named to the third team. The 1945 All-American Teams on his web site was also posted… Archive - High School Sports History (substack.com). One great player from Wisconsin was left off of the 1945 squad and that was:

1945…Robert “Red” Wilson…Milwaukee Washington…Center… Robert “Red” Wilson would also earn First Team AP All-State. He went on to play at Wisconsin and was a two-time All-Big Ten player and later played major league baseball. Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Coach Lisle Blackbourn called Wilson the best lineman he had as a high school coach. Blackbourn would later become the Green Bay Packers third head coach. Wilson was named to the second team of the 1993 Milwaukee Journal All-Century Team.


1946…Ken Huxhold…Kenosha…Tackle…Huxhold was 6’1. 225 and played tackle for Kenosha. He was named to the All-State team and like others, was a standout on both sides of the ball. Ken moved on to Madison. where he was moved to guard, a position he played in the NFL.


1946…Bob Petruska…Lake Mills…Quarterback/Punter…Played tailback and earned All-State honors in 1945 and 1946. As a senior, 194, he rushed for more than 1,400 yards at a 14.2 average and completed 75% of his passes. Reportedly punted for a 54-yard average on 18 kicks in 1946. Played three seasons at Wisconsin and became a successful high school coach after college.


1947…Pat O’Donahue…Eau Claire St. Patrick’s…End… O’Donahue was a star football, basketball, and baseball player at St. Patrick’s. He was a fine receiver and an outstanding defensive end. In 1947 he earned AP All-State honors and would be named to the 1993 Milwaukee Journal All-Century First Team. When I did my 1940’s all-decade team I placed Pat as a lineman because of his great blocking and defensive line play. I found it hard to leave one of the other ends off the first team (1949’s Don Penza and 1946’s Albert Treichel).


1947…Bob Kennedy…Rhinelander…Guard/Tackle…All-state guard and all-state tackle. Only player in Wisconsin Valley Conference history to be named All-Conference four straight years. The first two-time AP All-State member when teams were 11-man squads. Bob was named 1993 Milwaukee Journal All-Century second Team.


1948…Harland Carl…Greenwood…Running Back… First team All-state despite playing for a small school. Had breakaway speed that he displayed in one game when he scored on a 90-yard kickoff return, a 66-yard touchdown run from scrimmage and returned an interception 95 yards for a score. In 1993, Carl was named to the Milwaukee Journal All-Century Wisconsin High School Second Team. Started for three years at Wisconsin.


As I mentioned earlier, while I mention some post-high school efforts by some of the players on the lists, it is their high school performance’s that I think should be the focus. Lots of guy’s had greater college or NFL careers but, in the end, it is high school here.

These are the best. Your thoughts?


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