Waukau plays in WFCA All-Star Game

Menominee Indian standout enjoys final high school game

Leader file photo Meshaen Waukau represented Menominee Indian High School one final time at the WFCA All-Star Game.

Menominee Indian standout Meshaen Waukau had an incredible high school career on the football field, racking up numerous awards and records.

In his senior season alone, Waukau was named to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) All-State Team as an offensive back after rushing for 1,937 yards and 18 touchdowns. Waukau, who was named the co-player of the year in the MONLPC, left Menominee Indian as the program’s all-time leading rusher.

One of Waukau’s most memorable moments on the gridiron came a week ago, when he joined the 8-man South team in the WFCA All-Star Game at UW-Oshkosh’s Titan Stadium.

Even though the North team picked up a 36-18 victory, Waukau had a blast donning his high school jersey one final time.

“It was really nice and a blessing to be selected for the All-Star Game,” he said. “It’s a beauty to see your work pay off for the things you love. It was nice to be able to rep that blue helmet and my tribe.”

In the game, Waukau received one carry and contributed on the defensive side of the ball by tallying three tackles.

After the South team got on the scoreboard with an early field goal, the North responded by outscoring the South 24-8 until halftime. The North padded its lead with a touchdown in the third quarter before an early score in the fourth. The South scored on a passing touchdown midway through the final quarter for the game’s final score.

Playing against some of the state’s top 8-man players was a big motivational factor for Waukau throughout the week of preparation for the All-Star Game.

“It was awesome to be in the same uniform with the other great football players I went against,” he said. “Knowing how much talent we had was exciting and had energy running through me all week.”

The All-Star Game also acts as a charity for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Athletes are nominated for the game and in return are asked to raise at least $750. This year, over $400,000 was raised.

Working with the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin was especially meaningful to Waukau.

“I have a brother and he goes there every once in awhile to get treated and to hear those stories it hit home because I know what them parents had to go through,” he said. “Looking back, I’m always going to remember that day we met those kids. I’ll keep that day with me forever.”

Following the 8-man game, athletes formed the North and South teams for the Small School All-Star Game.

After the North rattled off the game’s first 15 points, the South scored 12 straight points to cut its deficit to just three at halftime. The North grabbed a nine-point lead with a touchdown in the third quarter before the South scored 10 fourth quarter points, capped by Victor Ponterio’s 40-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to claim a thrilling 22-21 win.

Athletes from larger high schools capped the day’s trio of games in the Large School All-Star Game.

After the teams traded early touchdowns, the South scored 20 unanswered points to ease to a 27-7 win. Whitefish Bay’s Cade Garcia tossed three touchdowns to lead to South.

Shawano’s Dakota Maltbey was selected to the North team but did not play. Maltbey, this year’s Bay Conference’s offensive lineman of the year, was unanimously selected to the all-conference first team.