Four Blugold players receive state recognition following season play

WIAC names All-Conference players after regular season games conclude

More stories from Elizabeth Gosling



With a season record of 18-8 and WIAC record of 8-6, the Blugolds have four men represented on the WIAC All-Conference list. WIAC is deemed to be one of the more difficult collegiate leagues in the nation.

Competition can be tough, but hard work can pay off, whether it is on the court or off.

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) named four Blugold men’s basketball players as part of the WIAC All-Conference list for the 2016-2017 basketball season. George Diekelman and Josh Weix made the First Team All-WIAC, while Jack Martinek received an Honorable Mention and Jared Schneidermann was recognized on the All-Defensive Team.

The 10-player roster came out last Tuesday, after the conference compiled all of the coaches’ decisions. Each coach in the conference submitted their nominations to the state. The categories include First Team All-WIAC, Honorable Mention, All-Defensive team and All-Sportsmanship Team. There are 10 people on the First Team as well as the Honorable Mention list, five on the All-Defensive team and eight on the All-Sportsmanship Team.  

Last year, only three Blugolds made the list of All-Conference, including Martinek, Diekelman and Schneidermann, who all made the list again this season. Weix was recognized in his first season in the WIAC, after transferring to Eau Claire last year.

Diekelman, a junior finance student, said the recognition was a goal of his, but the season was still disappointing. The team wanted to make the NCAA Division III tournament but fell short in conference games.

“It’s (WIAC) considered one of the best conferences in the nation for Division 3, so there is a lot of good players and to be considered in the top 10 is a big honor,” Diekelman said.

Diekelman said there is no secret recipe to success and recognition. He said by playing hard, being consistent and knowing what he was going to get into led to personal and team success.

Coach Matt Siverling said, of the four men named on the list, all were deserving of the awards. He voted on the players he thought should receive recognition.

“You get players recognized on the league, that says a lot about your team and about your program and hopefully that will be shown from that in recruiting will continue to allow our program to be a place that kids want to come to school to play basketball,” Siverling said. “I think it motivates our younger guys to continue to improve, and it kind of sets the bar high … something that they will try to accomplish.”

In comparison with other UW System D3 programs, Eau Claire had two men on the First Team as well as UW-Oshkosh. UW-River Falls had two men on the Honorable Mention list, and UW-Whitewater had three while the Blugolds had one.

The WIAC also had a list of players on the All-Sportsmanship Team, which had no players from Eau Claire.

Jared Schneidermann received a spot on the All-Defensive Team, which only includes five players. He said defense can be overlooked because they might not be scoring as many points. However, the best defensive team is often the game’s victor.

“I just took pride in being that kind of anchor for us and I knew that was my job and my role, so I just accepted it and took it on,” Schneidermann said.

He said the team has a big role in the award as well because all the players focus on defense and work together.

As a senior, Schneidermann said he hopes to have left a mark on the program. He acknowledges the younger guys know that it is a lot of hard work, but if they do it, they can receive recognition.

The Blugolds ended with a record of 18-8 overall and 8-6 in WIAC play.