Larks, Burros and Johnsons Highlight All-South-East Squad
With the Fillmore County Journal expanding its coverage to include Grand Meadow, Spring Grove, and LeRoy-Ostrander, the naming of the All South-East “East” sub-district team takes precedent. Seven of the teams in the sub-District fall under the “Journal 10” umbrella. Section title game foes GM and Lanesboro each get a league high five A-D picks. A pair of Johnson’s headline selections from the other five squads. Of the 32 “First Team” guys, 21 are seniors, 10 are juniors, with one freshman.
Nine-man Section 1 champion Lanesboro has a pair of repeat selections. Three other guys are first time A-D picks. Bodie Mayer (6’2” 230, Sr. OL/DE) and Seth Semmen (6’1” 190, Jr. QB/LB) both earn their second A-D honors. Mayer was a key lineman in Lanesboro’s three-back running game that tallied 2,286 yards (285 yards contest). Defensively, he had a team second-best 66 tackles plus 4 ½ sacks and an interception. He was in on four sacks in the section title game. Semmen was the leading tackler (39 assists, 74 total) on the District’s second best defense. He also quarterbacked the offense (13-44, 252 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INTs passing, 59-373 yards, 6 TDs rushing), amassing nine total TDs. Earning their first A-D nods are J.T. Rein (5’9” 185, Jr. RB/LB), Ben Snyder (6’1” 185, Sr. DE/TE), and Caden Anderson (5’9” 160, Sr. WR/S). Rein was the Burros’ best offensive weapon, rushing for over 1,000 yards in just eight games (140-1,022 yards, 12 TDs). He ran for 100 yards the first five games of the season, then notched a season-high 228 yards versus GM in the section title game. Rein scored in every game but one, including rushing for four TDs versus Southland. Snyder led Lanesboro with 8 ½ sacks and two fumble recoveries. He tallied at least a ½ sack in every game but one while authoring a team third-best 55 tackles. Anderson had two interceptions and was the team’s leading receiver (5-116 yards, TD). Making All-District Honorable Mention are Jake Gathje (5’10” 160, Sr. RB/CB) and Clay Schwichtenberg (5’10” 245, Jr. OL/NT). Gathje was a two-way starter, one of four Burro RBs to top 300 yards rushing (43-304 yards, 5 TDs). Schwichtenberg was a big clog in the middle of Lanesboro’s defense. Said players helped James Semmen’s team to a 7-1 season (seven straight wins), to bring home the Section 1 9-Man title trophy. It was a big turnaround after the Lanesboro went 3-6 in 2019. Coach Semmen was named the District’s “Coach of the Year” with GM’s Gary Sloan.
Gary Sloan’s Grand Meadow squad also gets five A-D picks. Leading the cast are multi-time selections Ben Kraft (6’2” 195, Sr. TE/DE), Dusty Copley (6’0” 167, Jr. RB/DB), and Cameron Sneed (5’11” 199, Sr. G/DT). Kraft, an anchor to GM’s o-line and defense, earned his third A-D honor. He had a team-high six sacks and a team third best 56 total tackles. Copley led the Larks in rushing and total TDs for a second straight year (75-558 yards, 11 TDs rushing; 11-94 yards, 3 TDs receiving). He had four 100 yard rushing games in six tries and three games of three-plus TDs. Copley added four interceptions and two fumble recoveries, helping GM go plus-20 takeaways on the season. Sneed used his wrestling leverage skills on the interior, getting named the District’s “Lineman of the Year.” He had 48 tackles, four sacks, two fumble recoveries, and an interception. Daniel Smith (6’0” 174, Sr. RB/LB) and Taylor Glynn (6’1” 184, Jr. TE/LB) earn their first A-D nods. Smith (81-400 yards, 7 TDs) was GM’s second leading rushing and a key inside linebacker (team second-best 68 tackles, three blocked kicks). Glynn, A-D HM in 2019, had passing (2-3, 34 yards), rushing (10-77 yards, TD), and receiving stats (12-117 yards, TD receiving). He was the Larks’ top tackler with 70. Evan Oehlke (6’0” 181, Sr. QB/DB) and Blake Ludemann (6’1” 176, Sr. WR/DB) made A-D HM. Oehlke was a dual threat at QB (34-74, 384 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs; 82-246 yards, 3 TDs rushing) who accounted for nine total TDs. Said players authored a magical season where the Larks leaped hurdle after hurdle as it pertained to opponents, running the regular season gamut undefeated (6-0). They technically could lay claim to the South-East District title (though teams played uneven schedules). GM gave up a District low 55 points (while authoring all those turnovers). Their worst foe was COVID, which robbed multiple players of a chance to play in the section title game. Coach Sloan was named “Coach of the Year” (with Lanesboro’s James Semmen).
Earning four A-D picks is Trevor Carrier’s LeRoy-Ostrander squad. Heading the cast is the District’s ‘Back of the Year’ Chase Johnson (5’6” 160, Jr. QB/DB). The Cardinals joy-stick QB accounted for 19 total TDs (54-124, 905 yards, 12 TDs, 6 INTs passing; 146-994 yards, 7 TDs rushing) while nearly passing for, and rushing for, 1,000 yards (in just seven games). He had four 100-yard rushing games and went over 250 yards of total offense on four occasions. Included were “fantasy” games versus M-C (345 total yards > 164 rushing, 181 passing) and Spring Grove (496 total yards > 287 rushing, 209 passing) in the playoffs. His unique abilities helped L-O put up the most total yards in the South-East District. The Cardinals racked up over 400 per game. Also repeating as A-D is senior Isaac Collier (5’11” 190, Sr. RB/LB). He was the bang to Johnson’s speedy juke, leading the team in rushing TDs (117-716 yards, 12 TDs rushing; 7-63 yards receiving). Collier topped the century mark four times while adding four sacks and a fumble return TD defensively. Juniors Tanner Olson (6’3” 215, TE/DE) and Gavin Sweeney (6’4” 200, OL/DE) earn their first A-D selections. The duo gave L-O a pair of strong defensive ends. Olson, A-D HM last year, was the team’s leading tackler with 71 including 8 ½ sacks. Sweeney was the third leading tackler with 50. He averaged 20-plus yards per reception (9-226 yards, 3 TDs). Making A-D HM are Andrew Lohuis (5’10” 160, Sr. WR/DB) and Memphiz Gomez (6’0” 200, Jr. OL/DL). L-O ran a lot behind Gomez, who added a team second-best 69 tackles. Lohuis had a team-high three interceptions. The Cardinals encore to a 2019 South-East District title was a good 5-2 campaign including dominating both play-off games.
It was an 11th straight winning record for third place Spring Grove (5-3), which earned four all-district selections – all seniors, including repeat honoree Caden Grinde (6’4” 170, WR/LB). After receiving honorable mention last year, Isaac Griffin (6’1” 1165, QB/S) is First Team this season, as are Tristan Hammel (5’11” 175, OL/DL) and Carson Gavin (6’0” 160, TE/LB). For a second consecutive season, Grinde shared the sub-district lead in receptions (29 in six regular season games) and was second in receiving yardage. For the season, he totaled 419 yards on 41 receptions with 3 TDs. He ranks third for SG in career receptions (119). Grinde led the Lions in total tackles (125) and solo stops (53), punted, and held for extra-point kicks. Triple-threat Griffin moved from receiver to quarterback for his senior season, where he led the league in both completions (71 in 6 games) and TD passes (10) while ranking second in passing yardage. He had a strong ratio with twice as many TD tosses as interceptions (league games). Griffin was also the Lions’ leading rusher (5.1 yards per carry) and while kicking 21 extra points, was also the team’s leading scorer. On defense, Griffin shared the league lead with four interceptions. Including play-offs, the senior (103-201, 1,258 yards, 13 TDs, 10 INTs passing; 88-445 yards, 5 TDs rushing) accounted for 18 TDs. Hammel (5’11”, 175 OL/DL) was undersized as a lineman, but excelled in the trenches as a three-time letter winner, two-year starter and now All-District. He was the lynchpin as the lone returning starter up front on both sides of the ball. Hammel ranks seventh on the Lion career sack chart (9.5). Gavin (6’0”, 160 TE/DE/LB) moved into the starting lineup where at tight end, he averaged 19 yards per catch. Despite missing two games, he still ranked second for SG in total tackles (83) and tackles for loss (8). Receiving honorable mention were two sophomores – Hunter Holland (5’8”, 155 RB/LB), who led the sub-district in kickoff return average (36.0) and Tysen Grinde (6’1”, 160, WR/CB) who shared the league lead with 4 TD receptions.
Getting three A-D picks is Mabel-Canton. Senior running back Gavin Johnson (6’0” 185, RB/LB) heads the Cougar cast, as he earns his third A-D selection. Johnson ran for a ‘Journal 10” best 1,272 yards on 239 carries with 18 rushing TDs. He was a hardened workhorse for Karl Urbaniak’s group. He had four contests where he simultaneously had 39-plus carries and over 200 yards (45 for 274 and 4 TDs vs. L/P, 39 for 250 and 4 TDs vs. Kingsland, 41 for 205 and 3 TDs vs. SG, and 48 for 258 and 5 TDs vs. L-O). He scored 130 of M-C’s 168 points. It was his third straight 1,000-yard season. He ran for 3,505 yards on 622 carries with 34 TDs the last three years, including 12 100-yard rushing efforts the past two. Randy Gerard (5’9” 240 Sr. OL/DL) and Cayden Tollefsrud (5’7” 140, Fr. RB/DB) each earn A-D for a first time. Tollefsrud had an impressive freshman campaign, using his elusiveness to rack up yardage (104-671 yards, 4 TDs rushing; 8-123 yards receiving). He was the only freshman or sophomore to make All-District. Johnson (52) and Tollefsrud (49) led the Cougars in tackles. Gerard, M-C’s top lineman, was A-D HM last season. He helped pave the way for the Johnson/Tollefsrud duo that ran for over 1,900 yards. M-C’s A-D HM picks are Alex Arneson (5’11” 180 Jr. OL/LB) and Robert Michels (5’9” 200, So. OL/DL). Arneson was the team’s third leading tackler (40) while intercepting a team-best three passes.
In Houston, Cody Hungerholt’s group gets three A-D picks, all new to the list. Isaac Heyer (6’1” 175, Jr. QB/DB), Caiden Olson (5’9” 160, Sr. RB/DB), and Colton Halverson (6’0” 260, Sr. OL/DL) make the cut. Heyer was the ‘Canes’ most explosive athlete. He was one of the South-East’s break-out players, more than quadrupling his rushing yards from sophomore to junior years. He ran for a team-best 842 yards on 140 carries with 7 TDs. A mostly running-threat QB, Heyer added another TD thru the air. The junior had a great span from week two through week five where he topped 100 yards rushing each game. Included was going over 175 yards rushing and scoring twice versus M-C, Kingsland, and L-O. Olson was more a grinder for Houston (106-712 yards, 7 TDs rushing), though the senior averaged nearly 7 yards per carry. He had three 100-yard, 2-TD games. Halverson was a key blocker in Houston’s mostly ground attack. Logan Rodriguez (5’9” 200, Sr. RB/DL) and Curtis Chapel (6’1” 250 Sr. OL/DL) earned A-D HM. Rodriguez (65-277 yards, 4 TDs rushing) was Houston’s third most used rusher. Said players helped Houston run for a South-East best 1,810 yards (regular season games only).
Rounding out the All-South-East District picks are guys from Kingsland. The Knights just have one pure A-D selection in James Howard (6’0” 160, Jr. RB/DE). Kingsland’s most explosive player led the team in total yards (75-374 yards, 6 TDs rushing; 6-122, 2 TDs receiving) and total TDs (8). Howard authored a pair of 100 yards rushing games, a pair of multiple-TD games. He was also the Knights second leading tackler. Making A-D HM for Matt Kolling’s group are Devin Carr (5’10” 158, Sr. WR/DB) and Nick Eickhoff (5’11” 140, Jr. Utility). Carr led Kingsland in tackles (48) while contributing as wide receiver (7-208 yards, 2 TDs receiving).
Gophers Get Four Selected All Southeast-White
After posting a 4-1 season where Chatfield wound up as Section 1AA champions, Jeff Johnson’s group gets five All-District picks. Heading the cast is repeat selection, the Southeast-White ‘Offensive Player of the Year’ Sam Backer (5’11” 180, RB/S). The sophomore picked up where he left off in 2019, mainly, being one of the area’s top running backs. Chatfield played five games and Backer was over 100 yards rushing in each contest. All told, he had 105 carries for 782 yards and 9 TDs rushing while adding a 10th TD via reception. He has gone over the century mark in 14 of 15 games played (adding to a 194-carry, 1,429 yards, 20 total TD freshman campaign). Also repeating as A-D is Austin Koenigs (6’2” 210 Sr. OL/DE), an imposing end who authored three sacks while blocking up front. Earning their first A-D nods are Reid Johnson (6’1” 180 Sr. QB), Tate Karver (5’9” 160 Sr. HB/LB), and Corey Ericson (5’10” 155, Sr. WR/DB). Johnson, Chatfield’s third-year starting QB, accounted for 9 total TDs (42-81, 499 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs passing, two rushing TDs). Karver had a pair of receiving TDs, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, and had an interception. Johnson and Ericson were A-D HM last season. Making A-D HM in 2020 for Chatfield are Seth Goetzinger (5’10” 160 Sr. OL/LB), Grady Schott (6’1” 185 Jr. LB/RB), Max Aug (5’10” 160 Sr. WR/DB), Masyn Remme (5’11” 160, Sr. WR/DB), Ben Roline (5’10” 170, Sr. RB/LB), Campbell Berge (6’0” 180, Jr. OL/LB), and Mason Clemens (5’11” 205, Jr. OL/DL). Goetzinger (42 total) and Schott (37 total) were the Gophers leading tacklers. Schott added a pair of blocked punts (one for a TD), a pair of sacks, a pair of forced fumbles, and an interception. Roline had a trio of fumble recoveries. Remme was purely A-D last season. Aug and Roline repeat as A-D HM. Eight of Chatfield’s 13 seniors were honored, as the entire talented group kept Chatfield football again strong. Coach Jeff Johnson was named the sub-District “Coach of the Year.”
Five Falcons and Trojans Named All MSE-Blue
Mid-Southeast Blue squads Rushford-Peterson and Fillmore Central each get five A-D picks.
For R-P, Kobe Lind (6’3” 180, Sr. WR/S), Malachi Bunke (6’0” 160, Jr. QB/DB), and Ben Wieser (6’5” 315, Sr. OL/DL) head the cast. Lind makes A-D for a third time. He added another solid receiving season (23-361, 5 TDs) to his three-year resume. Over that span, Lind caught 75 passes for 1,095 yards and 17 TDs. Bunke repeats as A-D after having another strong season under center (68-119, 1,187 yards, 13 TDs, 3 INTs passing; 299 yards, 3 TDs rushing). He threw multiple TDs in four of five games. Included was tossing six scores and posting a 140.85 QB-rating versus Cotter. Through two seasons, Bunke has 10 games with multiple TD passes. Wieser was the Trojans’ (the District’s) biggest hoss, anchoring the R-P lines. He was awarded the sub-district award for “Lineman of the Year.” Wieser was A-D HM last season. Also moving up from A-D HM to purely A-D are first-time selections Carson Thompson (5’11” 205, Jr. OL/DE) and Justin Ruberg (6’3” 215, Jr. TE/LB). Thompson, the son of Coach Davin Thompson, had a team-best 6 ½ sacks (nine total tackles for loss) and led R-P in tackles. Ruberg, a big red zone target, did work on both sides of the ball (23-189 yards, 6 TDs receiving; 3 ½ sacks). Alex Ronnenberg (5’8” 155, Jr. WR/DB) and Logan Skalet (5’10” 200, Jr. OL/DL) made A-D HM. Ronnenberg (16-349, 5 TDs receiving) had seven catches of 20+ yards and two return TDs (kick-off, interception). His seven total TDs went for a total of 333 yards (47 yards per score). Skalet was a dual lineman contributor who had 3 ½ sacks.
For Fillmore Central, seniors Carson Kiehne (5’8” 150, RB/LB), Zach Haugerud (6’1” 170, QB/LB), and Ajay Ristau (5’8” 160, Sr. LB/RB) head the cast. Kiehne earned his third A-D recognition. He again used his speed to gain ground, amassing 511 yards of offense in six games (22-310 yards, 2 TDs receiving; 39-191, 3 TDs rushing). His 50 total tackles was also second on the team. Over the last three years, he amassed over 2,000 yards of total offense with double-digit rushing and receiving TDs (75-1,396 yards, 12 TDs receiving; 137-681 yards, 10 TDs rushing). Kiehne averaged 9.8 yards per career reception/carry including 18.6 yards per catch. Haugerud, a repeat A-D pick, gave Coach Chris Mensink a dual threat QB. The senior compiled over 750 yards total offense with 8 total TDs (51-112, 629 yards, 5 TDs, 6 INTs passing; 76-139, 3 TDs rushing). He threw or ran for a TD in every game but one. Ristau earns his first A-D nod after being A-D HM last year. The play-making defender was FC’s leading tackler with 55. He led the Falcons in stops in four of six games, getting honored as the sub-district’s “Defensive Player of the Year.” Also earning their first A-D nods are Alec Sikkink (5’11” 182, Jr. RB/LB) and Trevor Hershberger (5’10” 145, Sr. WR/DB). Sikkink was the Falcons top rusher and second leading receiver (38-269, 4 TDs rushing, 11-189, 3 TDs receiving). He averaged 7.1 yards per carry and 17.2 yards per reception. Hershberger had a team-best three interceptions plus a forced fumble and had a fumble recovery. Making A-D HM for FC was Grant Kennedy (6’2” 180, Sr. WR/DB). He was purely All-District last year.