Spring Grove senior Caden Grinde was voted both Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year – both for the second straight season by his 2020 Lion football teammates. Senior Tristan Hammel was the choice for Lineman of the Year while senior Isaac Griffin was voted Outstanding Leader.
Sophomore Tysen Grinde was selected Rookie of the Year, and sophomore Caleb Griffin was the choice for Scout Team Player of the Year.
(Caden) Grinde (6-4, 170, sr. WR/LB) led the Lions in four statistical categories – tackles (125), solo tackles (53), pass receptions (41) and receiving yards (419). After leading the sub-district in receptions as a junior, he often faced double-team coverage as a senior in 2020. However, he still shared the league lead in receptions and again was second in receiving yardage.
Grinde moved up to third on the Lion all-time reception chart (with 119, one of only three to surpass 100) and graduates fifth in career yardage (1,450). His 13 receptions against Houston in 2019 is the second-best, single-game total in the record book.
Although not drawing as much attention as he did with his receiving achievements, Grinde was equally outstanding on defense. He made the Post Bulletin All-Area Second Team Defense. For the second season, he surpassed 100 tackles and graduates tied for 18th on the career tackle list (257). In addition to being a two-year Lion Most Valuable and Defensive Player of the Year honoree, Grinde has also been All-District for the past two seasons.
Grinde averaged 31.5 yards while punting and 15.3 yards while returning kickoffs in addition to holding for extra-point kicks.
Hammel (Lineman of the Year) anchored the Lion line as the lone returning starter in the trenches on both offense (guard) and defense (end/nose guard). At 5-11, 175, the senior was named to All-Area Second Team Offenseafter earning All-District honors. Hammel ranked third this season with 4.5 tackles-for-loss and finished his exceptional career ranked seventh on the Lion all-time sack list (9.5 career sacks).
(Isaac) Griffin (Outstanding Leader), after a stellar junior season as a receiver in 2019, became the starting quarterback as a senior and admirably responded with the eighth-best single season in the record book for total offense with 1,703 yards (1,258 passing, 445 rushing). On defense at safety, he picked off a sub-district-best four enemy passes, which elevated him to seventh on the Lion all-time list with eight career interceptions. He ranked third this season in tackles with 73
Even with a new starting signal-caller, Spring Grove had a rare season with more yards passing than with rushing with Griffin completing 103 passes (the eighth best single season) for 1,258 yards (11th best season) for 13 touchdowns (12th best season).
He led the sub-district with 10 of those TD tosses coming during district play. Among 10 sub-district quarterbacks, Griffin was one of only three with more aerial TDs than interceptions. He threw 81 passes, including six for touchdowns, before the first interception. In the Lion record book, Griffin ranks ninth with a .517 career passing completion percentage.
The triple-threat led Spring Grove scoring for the second consecutive season, this year with 51 points while going 21-for-23 while kicking extra points.
(Tysen) Grinde (Rookie of the Year) had a breakout varsity season while earning starting roles as a sophomore wide receiver and cornerback. At 6-1, 160, he led the Lions in TD receptions (4) and ranked second in both reception yardage (219) and yards per catch (15.6). Grinde was the third leading scorer with 24 points.
He had two TD receptions versus Houston in his first varsity start. An especially clutch catch also came against the Hurricanes with the score tied late in the section quarterfinal. On a fourth down-and-2, when a run was expected, Grinde went deep for a gutsy 34-yard grab at the Houston 21 yard-line with only 1:38 to play. That saved a 93-yard drive that ended with the winning touchdown.
On defense, Grinde led Spring Grove in fumble recoveries (3) and was in on 2.5 tackles for loss.
(Caleb) Griffin (Scout Team Player of the Year) was honored for his role as a reserve challenging the varsity starters during practice sessions. The 5-9, 145-pound sophomore letter winner saw most extended playing time during the five B-team games where he led the Lion attack in both rushing yards (222), rushing touchdowns (3), receiving yards (180) and receiving TDs (2).
On special teams, Griffin punted and also led the B-team in kickoff return yards (160). As a defensive back, Griffin led the B-boys in solo tackles (19), was second in total tackles (31) and intercepted a pass in the end zone.
Hammel and Caden Grinde earned their third varsity letters while second letters went to seniors Carson Gavin, Isaac Griffin and Mitchell Reynolds along with junior Reid Bjerke plus sophomores Ty Cleven and Hunter Holland.
First-year letter winners were junior Camron Kraus as well as sophomores Cooper Olson, Noah Blackburn, Caleb Griffin, Logan Brumm and Tysen Grinde along with freshmen Ethan Crouch, Elijah Solum and Jacob Olerud.
A dozen of the 17 letter winners retain eligibility, including eight with starting experience. In addition to the five graduating seniors, there were 2 juniors, 7 sophomores and 7 freshmen in high school uniforms plus a half-dozen eighth graders who saw action in both B-team and junior high games. The undefeated junior high Lions featured 12 eighth graders and another dozen seventh graders.
Rushing: Isaac Griffin 88 carries-445 yards, 5 TD; Hunter Holland 51-316, 4 TD; Mitchell Reynolds 39-233, 3 TD.
Receiving: Caden Grinde 41-419 yards, 3 TD; Tysen Grinde 14-219, 4 TD; Carson Gavin 11-209, 2 TD; Reid Bjerke 16-204, 3 TD; Hunter Holland 10-132, TD.
Tackles: Caden Grinde 125, Carson Gavin 83, Isaac Griffin 73, Hunter Holland 65, Tristan Hammel 64, Elijah Solum 48.
Sacks: Hunter Holland 2.0, Tristan Hammel 1.5, Elijah Solum 1.0, Carson Gavin 0.5
Interceptions: Isaac Griffin 4, Elijah Solum 2, Reid Bjerke 1, Tysen Grinde 1
Fumbles forced: Elijah Solum 2. Fumbles recovered: Tysen Grinde 3