Northwestern's Kaufman named WIAA Scholar Athlete

A total of 32 students were selected from more than 840 nominees statewide.

Northwestern’s Tanner Kaufman (6) stiff arms Ashland’s Marcus Kruzan (22) on his way to the end zone
Northwestern’s Tanner Kaufman (6) stiff-arms Ashland’s Marcus Kruzan (22) on his way to the end zone in the second quarter of the Tigers' season opener at Gordon L. Nelson Field in Maple on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. The Northwestern senior was named a 2023 WIAA Scholar Athlete.
Jed Carlson / 2022 File / Superior Telegram

MAPLE — Northwestern High School senior Tanner Kaufman is one of 32 students from across the state selected to receive to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association's 2023 Scholar Athlete Award.

More than 840 student athletes were nominated for the 2023 award, according to a news release from the WIAA. A total of 16 boys and 16 girls will be recognized during an awards ceremony on Sunday, May 7 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau.

Kaufman earned eight varsity letters in football, wrestling and track and field, while maintaining a 3.75 grade-point average.

In Minnesota Section 7AAAA, Duluth East pulled another postseason upset at Blaine.
St. Croix Central came away 4-2 winners.
In Division 5, Northwood/Solon Springs routed the top seed and will play for its own berth to state.
Northwood/Solon Springs advanced, but top-seeded Northwestern got upset in Division 3.

During his senior wrestling season, Kaufman was the WIAA Division 2 state runner-up at 170 pounds. He was also selected to the Superior Telegram's All-Area Football Teams both in 2021 and 2022.

As for additional extracurricular activities, Kaufman was part of Northwestern's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Student Athletic Leadership Team (SALT) and on the student council for three years. Furthermore, he spent two years in the "N" Club and one year in Tiger Manufacturing.


In his essay, Kaufman wrote about several lessons he learned from participating in school sports, including leadership.

"Being a captain put a whole new perspective on leadership for me. I learned how to work with every kid on the team no matter what our differences were," he wrote. "I learned how to balance helping struggling kids improve, while also improving myself. These leadership positions helped me gain a better understanding of how to work with others and lead my peers through different situations."

Kaufman plans to study economics and play football at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten is the regional editor for Duluth Media Group, overseeing the Cloquet Pine Journal and the Superior Telegram.
What To Read Next
Get Local