A fivesome of former Chatfield Gopher football players are among those playing at the collegiate level. Having big years in the NSIC were nationally ranked Division II squads MSU-Mankato and Winona State. The Mavericks (7-0) won the NCIS South over the Warriors (6-1) on the strength of a 27-6 win in Mankato on October 28. Both made the 28-team Division II play-offs. MSU (12-0), ranked #1 in last AFCA coach’s poll, beat #20 Colorado State-Pueblo 16-13 in OT in the first round. The Mavericks are set to face #5 Midwestern State in the round of 16. Chatfield graduate Jayme LaPlante (2014) is a defensive end for the team. The 6’4” 245-pound red-shirt junior has started all 12 games. He has registered 36 tackles, 3 sacks, and 3 ½ tackles for loss. Winona State, ranked #12, and in its first NCAA play-off game since 2007, lost to #8 Texas A&M Commerce 20-6. Three former county players helped the Warriors. Chatfield graduate (2016) Carter Duxbury, a 6’2” 230-pound red-shirt freshmen defensive end, played in ten games. He recorded 35 tackles, 3 ½ sacks (tied for second on team), two forced fumbles, and fumble recovery. R-P graduate (2014) Cale Stensgard was another defensive end. The 6’0” 250-pound red-shirt junior played in nine games, recording 24 tackles, three tackles for loss, and a sack. Fillmore Central grad (2012) Zach Olstad was an offensive contributor. The 5’10” 240-pound fullback played in all 12 games, catching five passes for 44 yards. For his career, he had 28 receptions for 218 yards and a TD. Olstad red-shirted his first year on campus (2012) and sat out his fourth (2015) per injury. WSU finished the year 10-2. Nate Skare, a 2014 Chatfield graduate, wrapped up his fourth year at Upper Iowa University. The 6’2” 215-pound punter was named All-NCIS South Division Second Team for a second time (sophomore year). During his senior year, Skare had 73 punts for 2,910 yards, or 39.9 yards per boot (the fourth best average in the NSIC). He had ten kicks longer than 50 yards (including a 62-yarder) and put the ball inside the 20-yard line 22 times. Skare also earned his second CoSIDA Academic All-District Honor. He was one of 24 (football and volleyball) from Super Region 4 to be honored for his academic and athletic prowess. His four-year career saw him punt 269 times for 10,298 yards (38.3 yard average). He had 28 kicks longer than 50 yards and pinned opponents inside the 20-yardline 70 times. Lanesboro grad (2013) Isaac Freese was a teammate. Freese also completed his (red-shirt) senior year. The 6’3” 260-pound defensive lineman played in all 11 games, registering 35 tackles, a team-high four sacks plus 6 ½ tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. He finished his four-year career with 10 ½ sacks. The Peacocks went 6-5 in the NCIS/overall. At UW-Eau Claire, Chatfield graduates Justin Viss (2013) and Drew Hurley (2015) were key contributors. Hurley, a 6’1” 205-pound junior safety, played in all ten games, finishing third on the team in tackles (50). He added two interceptions. Viss, a 6’3” 260-pound red-shirt senior defensive lineman played in all ten games. He recorded 27 total tackles, 2 ½ sacks, and 3 ½ tackles for loss. Eau Claire had a tough year in the WIAC, going 0-7 in league, 1-9 overall.
About Paul Trende