MADISON — In central Wisconsin, there’s a small little town with just a few more than 1,000 people in it. They may be small, but when cheering on their alumni, who now sport the Wisconsin Motion W on Saturdays, they make their presence felt. Amherst, Wisconsin is home to two current Badger football players: Tyler Biadasz and Garrett Groshek. The former Falcons are now preparing to enter their second year with the Badgers, and are looking to fine tune some of their skills during spring practices and also learn a new position.
Many people don’t get to experience the special closeness that growing up in a small town provides, and that closeness is one of the things Garrett Groshek loved most about growing up in Amherst.
“There are a lot of great people there for how small of a community it is. And how tight of a community it is,” said Groshek. “Not a lot of people get to experience how close knit a small town like Amherst is.”
His best memories are “the guys and being able to grow up with the same guys from kindergarten all the way through high school and playing with them and hanging out with them.” Of course, winning two state championships are memories that won’t be forgotten, but Tyler Biadasz says that his best memories come from having the opportunity to play with his brother, who he says taught him how to play sports growing up.
But their biggest asset in adjusting to Madison has been each other. Their friendship seems to extend off the field too, as Biadasz says it’s nice having someone from your school and community.
“Garrett is a great person to talk to about the playbook, or school, or anything in life,” added Biadasz. Groshek says that it is like having a scapegoat with Tyler around because he is someone he has known his whole life. “A lot of guys in our class thought it was weird… [but] it’s nice having someone that you know and to keep growing that friendship.”
And although they still miss their mom and dad’s cooking, trips to King Kone, and seeing their family and other community members they are both grateful for the opportunity to represent the Wisconsin Badgers.
“It’s awesome,” said Biadasz. “You get to represent your hometown, community, state, awesome university. It’s pretty cool to represent.”
Groshek couldn’t stress enough how thankful he was for all of the support he and Tyler got from back home.
“It means a lot, not even just for a small town but for me and Ty from central Wisconsin, a lot of people that we played against. It’s nice to have a lot of support, especially in Central Wisconsin.”
Groshek noted that a lot of former rivals are supporting him and Tyler from surrounding communities.
Although they both acknowledged the support from the whole Amherst community, they knew that they wouldn’t be here without their parents.
“Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to spend as much time going to camps and stuff like that, trying to get some exposure,” said Groshek. “They’ve really given me everything that I’ve asked for then more.”
Tyler said that he was thankful that his parents gave him the opportunity to go out and play. Biadasz thanked his former football coach, Mark Lusic, who he said gave him a lot of opportunities, [told him] where to go and what to do.
“He kind of just looked out for me a lot,” Biadasz said. He sees a lot of similarities between Coach Chryst and Coach Lusic in that they both love execution, strive to perfection, and have practices with a lot of energy.
Garrett Groshek might be having a few flashbacks from middle school football, before he even got to Coach Lusic, as he has switched positions from quarterback to running back.
“It’s been fun,” said Groshek. “Little different, I haven’t played running back since 7th grade. But it is definitely fun and I definitely enjoy it.”
Groshek was recruited as a quarterback and said he didn’t put a lot of focus into the whole recruiting process until he was done with high school football.
“I kind of just was in the moment with my high school career and wanted to make sure I got everything accomplished there first before I worried about college,” said Groshek.
He always pictured himself wearing the Motion W on the helmet, and always knew that he wanted to play college football, he just wasn’t sure where. Once Madison contacted him, he tried keeping an open mind but once he came to visit it was pretty much a done deal. He also noted that Wisconsin ended up being the best place for him.
Tyler Biadasz’s recruiting process went a little differently. “It was my junior year in May when Coach Herring came down and he told me that I had a shot to something really special,” told Biadasz. “I went to camp and showed them what I had and then a week later they offered me a scholarship.” Chryst offered him the scholarship in his office and told him to take his time and to make sure that this was the right decision. “I kinda knew inside me that this was it,” said Biadasz. “This was what I was working towards my whole life.” 48 hours later, Biadasz called Coach Chryst and officially committed.
On advice they would give to people who one day want to represent Wisconsin, it was quite simple: Work hard in the weight room and in the classroom, find new ways to get better, keep grinding, help out younger guys, be accountable, and carry yourself high.
From Falcons to Badgers, these two haven’t seemed to lose sense of where they come from. Amherst certainly hasn’t forgotten about them either. When the season finally rolls around, they will hear the Amherst faithful cheering them on every time they step on the field.