Editor’s note: The following information was provided by UW-Whitewater.
Mackenzie Balanganayi, a native of Whitewater, WI, was one of four members of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team who have been selected to D3football.com’s 2021 Preseason All-America team.
Senior offensive linemen Kyle Gannon (Waukesha, Wis./West) and senior defensive lineman Mackenzie Balanganayi (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) garnered first team accolades. Senior defensive back Mark McGrath (Lisle, Ill./Lisle) and senior running back Alex Peete (Ringwood, Ill./Johnsburg) earned second team honors.
All four players helped the Warhawks finish with a 13-2 record in 2019, including a 6-1 mark in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The team won the WIAC championship for the 37th time and reached the Stagg Bowl (NCAA Division III national championship game) for the 10th time in program history.
Gannon helped the Warhawks average 30.1 points per game and a conference-leading 195.7 rushing yards per game in 2019. He collected second team D3football.com All-West Region and first team All-WIAC recognition. In 2020-21, Gannon was selected second team Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Balanganayi, the 2019 WIAC Defensive Player of the Year and D3football.com West Region Defensive Player of the Year, totaled 42 tackles, including nine sacks. He finished the year as a second team D3football.com All-American. In 2020-21, he was named a National Strength and Conditioing Association All-American for his commitment to strength and conditioning.
McGrath joined Balanganayi on the All-America second team in 2019 with 59 tackles and three blocked kicks. Peete, a 2018 D3football.com second team All-American and 2019 first team All-WIAC and D3football.com All-West Region running back, tallied 14 rushing touchdowns and rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the second straight year in 2019.
UW-Whitewater’s 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gannon, Balanganayi and McGrath were each named 2020 Preseason All-Americans, and were joined by linebacker Kaleb Kaminski offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz.
The Warhawks’ 2021 campaign kicks off Saturday, Sept. 4, at Perkins Stadium against Carthage.