Herald Staff Report
A pair of 1,000-yard rushers from area Three Rivers Conference schools have been named to the Illinois Football Coaches Association all-state teams.
Fulton's Austin Regenwether was one of 18 players selected for the honor in Class 1A, and Erie/Prophetstown's Nick Williams was selected to the 18-player Class 3A squad.
"It's a great honor; we're all very proud of him and feel he's very deserving of it," Fulton coach Patrick Lower said of the honor for Regenwether, a senior fullback/linebacker.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Regenwether rushed for 1,233 yards on 198 carries, scored 18 touchdowns and was a unanimous first-team all-conference pick on offense. He also had a team-high 118 tackles and earned first-team honors on defense for the Steamers (5-4).
"We were hoping and counting on him to have a big year, and he did," Lower said. "Especially with the injury to our quarterback (Ethan Jones), we knew he'd be the focus of other teams and he still gained 1,000 yards and had 18 touchdowns and had just two fumbles. When we gave him the ball we knew he was going to get at least four yards."
Williams, a 5-10, 185-pound senior, was named the Most Valuable Player in the Three Rivers North Division. He was a unanimous pick at running back after rushing for 2,097 yards and 24 touchdowns.
"It was fun to watch him," Erie/Prophetstown coach Chuck Milem said. "He was a physical runner but had the finesse to make the spin move and show all the features of a running back."
Lower said the all-state players were selected by regional and class representatives after being nominated by their coaches.
"You think about all the schools that are 1A, and for him to be among the elite of the good players, it's pretty special," Lower said of Regenwether. "He has done nothing but work as hard as he can to achieve this, yet he'd probably say he'd give it up in a second to make the playoffs."
Regenwether and Williams will be honored with the other selections during each of their classes' state championship games Friday in DeKalb.