Amherst football trio commits on National Signing Day
After helping the Amherst High School football team win the
WIAA Division 5 State Title last fall, seniors Tyler Biadasz, Garrett Groshek
and Ben Gutschow made their college choices official Wednesday, Feb. 3.
As part of National Signing Day, Biadasz signed a National
Letter of Intent to play football at the NCAA Division 1 University of
Wisconsin, Gutschow will play at NCAA
Division II St. Cloud State (Minn.) and Groshek will walk-on for the
University of Wisconsin football team.
“It’s been a great ride,” said Amherst football head coach
Mark Lusic. “I’m excited about being able to watch these guys play for four or
five more years.
“It’s very exciting for the community and myself, and I’ve
had a lot of people tell me ‘congratulations,’ but they get all of the credit,”
he said. “They put the time in, they’ve worked their tails off, and I’m so
happy that they get to continue to play football and continue to chase an
In November, the Falcons beat Spencer/Columbus (13-1) 42-0
in the WIAA Division 5 State Championship Game to cap a 14-0 season and a
four-year run that saw the team go 51-3, with two State Titles, a State
Runner-up finish and four consecutive trips to the State Semifinals.
Biadasz (offensive line and defensive end) and Groshek
(defensive end) broke into the starting lineup as freshmen on Amherst’s 2012
WIAA Division 5 State Championship team that finished 13-0.
Biadasz earned Honorable Mention All-Central Wisconsin
Conference-8 (CWC-8) at defensive end as a freshman, and was named First Team
All-CWC-8 on the offensive and defensive lines as a sophomore, before he was
named the CWC-8 Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-CWC-8 on offense
and defense, First Team All-State at defensive end and Honorable Mention
All-State as an offensive lineman by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association
(WFCA) as a junior.
Last summer, before his senior season, he verbally committed
to play football at the University of Wisconsin, after he also considered
Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois State.
process was a little odd, with all of these coaches coming in every day and
wanting to see him, but Tyler did a great job of dealing with it,” said Lusic.
“He listened to every coach, no matter where they were from, from DIII all the
way to D1, he listened to everybody.
“But when Wisconsin showed interest, he was real excited,
and I was real happy that’s where he could go,” he said. “There’s only one D1
school in the state, and Wisconsin only gave out four scholarships to kids from
Wisconsin this year and he got one of them, so it’s pretty impressive when you
start looking at the numbers.”
“Once I got the (Wisconsin) offer, everything narrowed
down,” said Biadasz. “Then it was Minnesota and Wisconsin, and I went to the
Minnesota camp and it wasn’t a fit for me, and I was already above and beyond
with Wisconsin anyway.
“So I knew Wisconsin was the place, I just took a week to
decide,” he said.
As a senior, Biadasz was named the CWC-8 Defensive Player of
the Year, First Team All-CWC-8 on offense and defense, First Team All-State at
defensive end and Honorable Mention All-State as an offensive lineman by the
WFCA, and was the recipient of the Tim Krumrie Award, given to the top senior
defensive lineman in the state by the Wisconsin Sports Network.
“A dominant player,” said Lusic. “Every time he got
announced (as a freshman), I’d look at (defensive coordinator Doug) Spadoni and
he’d always be like, ‘freshman,’ and I’d be like, ‘yeah, freshman.’ And the sad
thing is, when he got announced as a senior this year, it was like, ‘man, four
years goes by so fast.’
“His career, two-time All-State and (CWC-8) Player of the
Year, Tim Krumrie Award and all of the accolades, but he’s still a great kid
and very grounded and wants to work,” he said. “He’ll be a tremendous player at
the next level.”
Gutschow earned a starting role at safety as a sophomore in
2013, and was named First Team All-CWC-8 at safety as both a junior and a
senior, when he led the Falcons in tackles (79) and had four interceptions.
“Obviously you couldn’t really ask for a better high school
career with all of the games we won, the coaches we had, the teammates,” said
Gutschow. “It taught me how to play football the right way, and I learned a
“It was a great experience,” he said.
“He worked hard this off-season, and had a great season,”
said Lusic. “He had a great career at Amherst, he really did. He was the
leading tackler this year and he was second last year.
“We’re going to miss him in the safety spot, more in just
his leadership on the defensive end of the ball,” he said. “He’s a very smart
player and he’s a physical player.”
While looking at colleges, Gutschow also received interest
from NCAA Division II schools Winona State (Minn.) and Minnesota State Mankato
and NCAA Division III schools St. Norbert, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point,
before he chose St. Cloud State, where
he will play safety.
“I really liked the campus, the people that I met there were
really nice people, and it seemed like a good atmosphere,” said Gutschow. “It
just felt like a place I could call home.”
Groshek took over as the Falcons’ starting quarterback as a
sophomore in 2013 and was named First Team All-CWC-8, while he was the CWC-8
Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-CWC-8 selection at
quarterback as a junior, when Amherst finished as the State Runner-up.
Last season as a senior, Groshek repeated as the CWC-8
Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-CWC-8 selection at
quarterback, while he was named First Team All-State at quarterback and the
State Offensive Player of the Year by the WFCA.
He also received the Dave Krieg Award as the state’s top
senior quarterback after he finished the season with 1,432 yards rushing and 16
touchdowns on 115 carries (12.5 yards per carry) and completed 128-of-186
passes (68.8 percent) for 2,398 yards, with a state-best 41 touchdowns and
“We never expected to play him as a freshman, and he came in
and he earned that spot, he took it from other players, he never let up, and we
had the utmost confidence in him as a freshman,” said Lusic. “And as a
sophomore he went back to quarterback and he led this program for the last three
years, the (State) Semifinals three years in a row, a Gold Ball, a Silver Ball,
and two Conference Titles.
“And he really made us go, he was a difference-maker in a
lot of those games, and he put a lot of effort in,” he said. “With the weight
room, and he was gone all of the time at camps this year.”
While weighing offers from colleges, Groshek also considered
NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) North Dakota State
University, which has won five consecutive FCS National Titles, and NCAA Division
II Winona State, before he decided to take the offer to walk-on at Wisconsin.
“It was about three weeks ago they offered me the walk-on
and the official visit,” said Groshek. “I went down there and hung out with
Tyler Johnson, who played quarterback at Menasha, a State Champ (in 2014) and
now he’s playing a different position, so it was a good host for me and really
similar to me, and it just kind of felt like that’s where I want to be for the
next five years.
“I was looking at NDSU probably the second most, I had a
great relationship with their coaches, and that’s a place that I’d been to
three, four times in the last three years, so I was definitely comfortable
there,” he said. “Winona State offered me to play quarterback, so quarterback’s
intriguing, but I really wanted to be able to prove myself at the highest
level. So Madison was the place to go.”
Groshek will be tried out at running back, wide receiver,
linebacker and defensive back, while he is excited to be able to team up with
Biadasz again at the next level.
“You definitely always want to be on a team with somebody
that has that work ethic and the drive that he has to push himself and push
others to be better than what they might be without him there,” said Groshek.
“I called him last night because I heard he committed, it
was like 12 at night, and I was just like, ‘congratulations,’” said Biadasz.
“And then he was just like, ‘are you going to the weight room tomorrow?’
“He’s like a brother to me, I always can go to him whenever
I need something, and the same for him with me,” he said. “It’s been a journey
for both of us, and I can’t believe we’re going to the same school, and I’m
glad I’m going with him.”
Groshek thanked his parents Wayne and Jill for all of their
help over the years, while Gutschow also thanked his parents Gregg and Barb.
“They taught me hard work and discipline from the beginning,
so that definitely helped through this recruiting process,” said Gutschow.
“They helped me out with filling out questionnaires, I know it kind of gets
overwhelming with some of the stuff that gets sent, but they helped me through
all of it.”
“A lot of money into gas, and a lot of money into camps,”
said Groshek. “That’s something that I hopefully can repay them in the future.
“But without them, there’s no way I get the exposure that I
did, or really have a chance to be exposed to a lot of the bigger colleges,” he
Biadasz wanted to thank everybody that supported him along
the way, including his older brother Joey, who was a senior during his freshman
year, as well as his parents Dave and Lori.
“Joey has been a really big factor in my athletic skills, I remember when I was in elementary school and I
couldn’t catch a ball and he taught me how to catch, back in the Pop Warner
days,” said Biadasz. “And how even though our positions may have changed
through the way, he still helped me, he still looked stuff up on how to balance
your technique and how to get off blocks and become better, and going into the
weight room and showing me better ways to increase muscle growth and everything
like that. But he’s been a really big motivator for me to get better, and he’s
always been there in my life.
“And same with my parents, I give them all of the credit,
and it’s truly a blessing to have them too,” he said. “And with my family,
always just supporting me and saying, ‘you can do it, just keep working at it.’
It’s awesome to have them with me on the ride, and I hope they enjoy it as much
as I do.”