College Football: Former Warrior honored
Former Brainerd Warriors graduate and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Cole Spieker was named the 2019 Wisconsin Intercollegeaite Atheltic Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
It is his fourth career all-league honor, including second first-team selection. He was named to the 2018 All-WIAC First Team Offense and 2018 Honorable Mention Special Teams. Spieker was a 2017 all-conference second-team choice on offense.
He is the first player in school history to be named the WIAC Offensive Player of the Year after the league started the award in 2014. Spieker led UWL in receptions (83), yards (1,216) and touchdowns (12) while starting all 10 contests. He also had one rushing touchdown. Along with leading the WIAC in receptions, yards and touchdowns, Spieker is first in the conference in receptions per game (8.30) and receiving yards per game (121.6). He is tied for first in scoring (78 points) and points per game (7.8) while ranking second in all-purpose yards (1,287) and all-purpose yards per game (128.7).
Breaking Nick Holcomb's single-season record of 80 catches in 2017, Spieker had five games with at least nine receptions in 2019. He finished with a school-record 17 catches against UW-Eau Claire on November 9, breaking the single-game school record of 15 set by Joel Oxton (vs. UW-Platteville on November 12, 2016) and Holcomb (vs. UW-Oshkosh on October 21, 2017). He was named the WIAC Kwik Trip Offensive Player of the Week after his performance against the Blugolds. Spieker finished with 14 receptions for 183 yards and three touchdowns in UWL's 40-22 win over UW-Stout on October 12. He had eight catches for a career-high 209 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles' 63-49 win at UW-River Falls October 19. The three touchdown catches are both career-highs and tied for fourth in school history.
Spieker's 1,216 receiving yards in 2019 ranks second in school history behind Holcomb's school-record 1,401 yards in 2017. He finishes his career second in school history in receiving yards (2,338), third in touchdown catches (26) and fourth in receptions (144). Scott Burnoski (2001-04) is UWL's all-time leader in career receptions (195), yards (3,004) and touchdowns (30). Spieker had nine career 100-yard receiving games.