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‘I’m a Warhawk now’: Evan Lewandowski is back in the WIAC

Lewandoski is coming off a record-setting season at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, but he will have to wait a year before he can try to top it. (Photo: Jim Lund/UW-La Crosse Athletics)

WHITEWATER, Wis. (BVM) — After his sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, quarterback Evan Lewandowski decided it was time to transfer. He was looking to take his game to the next level, wanting to finish out his career playing Division I football. 

“It’s the growth of my game from freshman to sophomore year,” Lewandowsk said. “I just feel a lot more confident.”

Lewandowski appeared in eight games for the Eagles as a freshman in 2018. Those appearances were mostly to help acclimate Lewandowski to college football and the competitive Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“I think the big part was watching film,” Lewandowski said. “The mental part of the game is probably more than half the game for me as a quarterback. I think just getting used to the speed of the game from high school to college. The college level is very fast.”

The entire UWL football team was ready to turn heads during the 2019 season.

“From day one with that team starting at fall camp we just felt like we were going to do something special,” Lewandowski said. 

They did. The Eagles went 7-3 (5-2 in the WIAC) for the second year in a row. For Lewandowski, it was a record-setting season.

The sophomore was named first-team All-WIAC. He broke the UW-La Crosse’s single-season records for passing yards (2,804) and touchdowns (28). He also tied a NCAA Division III record for touchdown passes thrown in a game (nine) and in a quarter (five) when he went up against UW-River Falls. Both of those broke WIAC records. His 591 yards in the game broke a school record as well.

With a season like this under his belt, Lewandowski was getting interest from multiple schools as he looked for a good place to transfer. On May 1, he announced that he would be transferring to the University of Maryland once he was able to. 

However, his time as a Terrapin was short-lived. After Lewandowski’s announcement, another quarterback transferred to Maryland, Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Now with four quarterbacks on Maryland’s roster, Lewandowski was looking for another option.

“I decided to reach out to coach Jennings,” Lewandowski said. “I’m very thankful for coach Jennings and coach Bullis as well for staying in contact because if not, I don’t know where I’d be right now.”

Peter Jennings is the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Kevin Bullis is the head coach. They had been in communication with Lewandowski through the entire process. That’s why on July 6, Lewandowski tweeted his intentions to transfer to UW-Whitewater to finish his collegiate career.

Lewandowski is back in the WIAC, and even though he will have to wait a year to play, he’s joining a perennial powerhouse in Division III football.

“Seems like they’re in the semifinals or the championship almost every year that stands out to you,” Lewandowski said. “Also the coaching staff, just how they run their program it’s just eye-opening and I’m glad I get to be a part of it.”

The Warhawks are coming off a national runner-up season and won five national championships in a six year span from 2009 to 2014. They have not won a championship since, but the addition of Lewandowski may help them end that drought.

“Going undefeated is always my goal,” Lewandowski said. 

He will have to wait for the 2021 season, but when his opportunity comes, he will be ready for it. The rest of the WIAC can only hope that they are ready too.

“That helps a lot knowing the teams,” Lewandowski said, “and the first thing that comes to mind was Platteville because I threw a few picks in that game so I hope to get back at them.”

Until then, he will be in the film room, helping his team any way he can until he can finally get back on the field and finish what he started last season.

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