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Nick Kizorek commits to UW-Stevens Point football

T-Bird will also participate in All-Star Game in July

April 17, 2020 by Brett LaBore

Playing both offense and defense for the Lakeland football team during the fall 2019 season, Nick Kizorek will return to the field in a different uniform next season.

On Feb. 11, Kizorek committed to UW-Stevens Point to play football, a sport he excelled at for the Lakeland Thunderbirds.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “I love their atmosphere — it reminds me of our atmosphere here at Lakeland.”

Last season, Kizorek played both the offensive and defensive line, accumulating all-conference honors in both.

“Nick has been a great player for us and has done everything asked of him,” LUHS football coach Dan Barutha said. “Nick has played varsity since his second-to-last game in October 2016. He has played varsity football ever since.”

In 2019, he was a unanimous Great Northern Conference first team selection for offensive line. He was a second team selection for DE/OLB. In 2018, he was honorable mention for both offensive line and DE/OLB.

As a defender, Kizorek totaled 28 tackles, 21 solo, nine tackles for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He was top five in all of those categories on the team and led the team in tackles for loss and sacks. He named defensive end as one of his best positions.

“I think defensive end because of how quick I am and getting off the edge and pressuring the quarterback,” he said.

He also was a huge part of the offensive line, paving the way for runners like Michael Ouimette, Zach Hayes and Erik Albertus. 

“Seventy-five percent of our runs were to the left side,” Barutha said. “Nick was down blocking, setting the edge for us in the run game and pivotal in our attack.”

At UW-Stevens Point, Kizorek plans to play mostly defensive end, with a little offense potentially.

“We’ve talked about me playing offensive line and possibly tight end, too,” he said.

One of the highlights for the Lakeland Thunderbirds football last season was their 35-33 win at Cudahy on Aug. 23, 2019. Kizorek remembers the ending to that game quite well.

“I remember defending the last two point play to win the game for us,” he said. “That was a big moment for us, got the season off to a great start.”

And then on Oct. 11, 2019, Kizorek helped Lakeland to their first playoff birth since 2009 when they defeated Ashland 32-6.

“It was great doing it in front of our fans, really emotional for all of us to make the playoffs after not being in it for 10 years,” he said.

Kizorek walks away from his time at Lakeland knowing he was a part of something special.

“We had to work as a group. And having the good relationship with the younger classmen helped us a lot,” he said.

His commitment to UW-Stevens Point wasn’t the only highlight of 2020 so far. Over the last week, Lakeland head football coach Dan Barutha nominated him to be a part of the WFCA All-Star Game for the North Large. 

“Nick is a true football player,” Barutha said. “It doesn’t matter where you put him — offense or defense. He’s a force to be reckoned with.” 

It became official on Wednesday, March 25. Kizorek will join team North Large this summer. The game is set for Saturday, July 18 at Titan Stadium on the campus of UW-Oshkosh. He’ll play the offensive line and possibly defensive line as well.

“I’m very excited,” Kizorek said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

UW-Stevens Point football finished 3-7 overall, 2-5 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) during the 2019 campaign. 

As a member of the Pointers, Kizorek will be giving it everything he’s got, just like he did for his Lakeland family.

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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