In an offense designed to not necessarily have one player stand out, Manitowoc Lincoln senior running back Ethan Just did just that en route to being named HTR Media’s 2013 All-Area Football Player of the Year.
Just was honored as the Fox River Classic Conference running back/wide receiver of the year along and was first-team all-FRCC running back and kick returner after rushing for 1,143 yards and 18 touchdowns and returning two kickoffs for touchdowns.
“Very very seldom have I had a situation with these type of running backs,” said Lincoln coach John Dixon in reference to his stable of running backs in Just, Drew Dixon and Cameron Jaeger. “Having a 1,000-yard rusher in a three or four back offense is rare. They might try to stop Ethan but he accepted the role of knowing he had help.”
Among the other accomplishments Just had was a 7.5 yards par carry average and an area-best 103.9 yards per game while fumbling only twice on 152 carries, or just over one percent of the time. He was also named an honorable mention all-state selection by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association.
“Ethan is a very talented young man,” Dixon added. “He’s contributed tremendously to our team but it’s been nice to see him develop from someone who didn’t play football until about the eighth grade into an all-state selection.
“He’s not someone you’ll replace. You can’t say someone else is going to fill his shoes. We’ll just have to change how to we doings a little bit.”
When all is said and done, Just’s time with the Ships made his coaches job a little bit easier.
“It was fun calling plays knowing you have someone like Ethan who can outrun everyone else on the field.”
HTR Media All-Area Football Team
Quarterback — Dexter Smith, sr., Two Rivers; Running backs — Ethan Just, sr., Manitowoc Lincoln (Player of the Year); Drew Dixon, sr., Manitowoc Lincoln; Joey Macdonald, sr., Roncalli; Wide receivers — Ethan Willman, jr., Two Rivers; Jeffrey Stueck, sr., Mishicot; Tight end — Bobby Geiger, sr., Two Rivers; Offensive lineman — Wesley Lodel, sr., Lincoln; Justin Meinnert, sr., Lincoln; Jordan Steckler, jr., Two Rivers; Bryce Wenzel, sr., Reedsville; Spencer Fricke, sr., Roncalli
Defensive line — Matt Halverson, sr., Kiel; Nathan Miller, sr., Roncalli; Kyle Staudt, jr., Lutheran; Austin Schneider, sr., Roncalli; Linebackers — Scott Skornicka, sr., Two Rivers; Brandon LaChappelle, so., Two Rivers; Alex Deets, sr., Roncalli; Isaac Pethan, so., Lincoln; Defensive backs — Hunter Saubert, so., Lincoln; Alec Salutz, sr., Roncalli; Cody Schamburek, sr., Reedsville (1st)
Kick returner — Will Kleinert, sr., Lutheran; Punt returner — Brock Gilsdorf, sr., Reedsville; Kicker
— Joel Leifer, sr., Lincoln; Punter — Aaron Field, sr., Kiel
Player of the Year — Ethan Just, Manitowoc Lincoln
Coach of the Year — Ray Baranczyk, Roncalli
Players could only appear at one position. Position placement was made with the goal of maximizing the overall talent of the team, not necessarily to place players at their best position.