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Players of the Fall

Fri, Nov 25th, 2011
Posted in Sports


The 2011 volleyball season saw four of the six county schools have good or very good years. That means there were a number of good or very good players. Stealing an adage from a volleyball coach (via an announcer) the Fillmore County Journal presents the Players of the Fall; first six and second six (plus some). The list is quite sophomore-laden, meaning the future is bright for a number of schools.

1st Six

OH Belle Sand (5'6" Sophomore, Mabel-Canton) > Crazy a 5'6" girl could do what she could do at the net (and otherwise). Jumping jack Belle led the Coug's in kills (388 or 4/game), digs (416 or 4.3/game); was second with 71 aces. Doing so for a 30-4 team got her voted SEC All-Conference, SEC Player of the Year, and Class A All-State Honorable Mention, as a sophomore: not bad, not bad at all.

OH Kenzie Lind (5'10" Senior, Rushford-Peterson) > Fully capable of powering, or softly tipping her kills down, led 3-Rivers with 476, or 5.1 per game. Had a season high 29 spikes in a four-game match versus Southland and a two-game combined string of 50 kills (Southland and Spring Grove). Was second for Trojans with 288 digs and 55 ace serves. Career not done; Kenzie has signed to play at Minnesota State-Mankato. Three Rivers All-Conference.

OH Alex Peterson (5'11" Senior, Fillmore Central) > Three Rivers was chopped full of heavy hitters (Cale's Maria Fruechte & Emma Lange, W-K's Katie Cavalco, L-A's Jenny Mundt, R-P's Lind), Peterson's name is in that group. Led 24-7 Falcons (was 4th in 3-Rivers) with 381 kills (4.4 per). Second on team in digs (198). All-Conference.

OH Taylor Case (5'11" Sophomore, FC) > Was FC's second go-to-hitter behind Peterson. Notched 309 kills, second on team (8th in conference). Led team in digs with 301, or 103 better than second best FC defender. Second in 3-Rivers in serving percent (98.3). Missed on just seven of 429 attempts. Top Falcon in ace serves (44). All Conference.

S Carly McCabe (5'4" Sophomore, M-C) > Softly set table 912 times (assists) for 30-win Cougars. Was also 4th on team in digs with 224. Served with 96% efficiency also (best of M-C's high volume servers). Scored 81 kills from setter position. SEC All-Conference.

Libero Alex Duxbury (5'5" Sophomore, Chatfield) > Wore the odd colored jersey extremely well: led Three Rivers in digs with a gaudy 528 (or 5.8 per game). Alex had more digs than her next two teammates combined, plus 100. Was also one of the most prolific ace-servers in the conference, registering a team high 64. One in five of her serves came up yahtzee. So good defensively, earned 1st team AA All-State (to go with All Conference).

2nd Six

OH Amy Todd (5'9" Junior, R-P) > Finished second for R-P (fifth in 3-Rivers) with 352 kills. Led R-P with 39 ace blocks. A serving dynamo, nearly ¼ of hers came up yahtzee. Had 96 aces, or one per game (tops in the conference). Really dialed it in late; tallied 36 aces over the final 6 matches. Was third for R-P with 270 digs. All-Conference.

OH Lydia Geving (5'8" Sophomore, M-C) > Played Robin-girl to Ms. Sand's Batgirl; was second on Cougars behind Belle with 250 kills and 311 digs. Didn't play sidekick serving; led M-C with 119 aces.

SEC All-Conference.

OH Kenna Moechnig (6'2" Senior, Chatfield) > Was the most imposing of Chatfield's attackers; led Gophers in kills with 189. Also blocked well; led team with 55 ace blocks. All-Conference.

OH Erin Kammer (5'7" Senior, Chatfield) > Did a little bit of everything for the Goph's. Served well (at a 94 percent clip, though that was only fourth best on a great serving Goph squad). Attacked well, finishing second among maroon and whiter's with 144 kills. Defended well too; was third on team with 201 digs. Honorable Mention AC.

S Morgan Malley (5'6" Freshmen, FC) > Notched 763 assists, fourth most in 3-Rivers. Second for Falcons with 33 aces (95% server). Had 36 kills and 9.5 ace blocks as a setter. Honorable Mention AC.

Libero Kendra Crawford (5'6" Sophomore, R-P) > Defensive specialist notched 388 digs for R-P, or 100 better than her next teammate. She was third in Three Rivers in that category. Had a four-game string late with a combined 92 digs. Was third on team with 35 aces. Honorable Mention AC.

The Mentionable List

Other All Three Rivers Players: MH Cheyenne Losey (5'11" Junior, Kingsland), OH Lindsay Tart (5'8" Senior, Kingsland).

Other Honorable Mention All 3-Rivers Players: S Emily Culhane (5'8" Senior, R-P), OH Maddy Kammer (5'9" Freshmen, Chatfield), OH Jessi Kaster (5'9" Junior, Kingsland), DS Kirsten Keefe (5'5" Freshmen, Chatfield), S Emily Schlitter (5'7" Senior, Kingsland).

Additional All SEC Players: MH Christy Welscher (5'9" Junior, M-C), Bryn Harmon OH (5'8" Senior, Lanesboro).

Other Honorable Mentions

All SEC: RH Kristina Mengis (6'0" Junior, M-C), MH Katarina Miehlisch (5'9" Senior, Lanesboro)

*Special thanks to Bill Bentson, and to the various county coaches, for the stats.

Players of the Fall: Football

Fillmore Central headlined football in the county for most of the year. Chatfield, Lanesboro, and Mabel-Canton all finished above .500. R-P and Kingsland found things difficult. There wasn't as many flashy players as in volleyball, but there were certainly a number of good ones, particularly RB's. The Journal presents, the 2011 Fillmore County Football Players of the Fall.


RB Tyler Eickhoff (5'10 164, Senior): One can only wonder what would've happened had he not broken his ankle against Caledonia in week seven. He was leading Three Rivers in rushing (786 yards on 111 carries, or seven yards per, with eight TD's). He almost single-handedly (offensively) led FC to win over Southland in week six (29-160-TD, 2-41 receiving). Ran hard, with speed, was elusive, and could catch (6 receptions, 91 yards, TD). He was FC's heart and soul offensively. They weren't the same without him.

QB Andy Todd (6'1" 150 Senior) > Captained Falcon team that started 6-0 and briefly held #5 ranking in state. Tossed for 1,223 yards, 17 TD's, with only 5 INT's. Ran for three more scores. Very accurate.

WR Mitch Johnson (6'0" 177 Senior) > Speedster led Falcons in receiving (33-542-7 TD's). Had KOR-TD and intercepted four passes (three in one game), returning one for another score.

WR/RB Tanner Ristau (5'11" 170 Senior) > FC's second burner caught 26 for 325 and 5 TD's, had 40 carries for 199 and 3 TD's in relief of Eickhoff.

FB/MLB Zach Olstad (5'10" 196 Senior) > Carried ball 112 times for 496 yards and 5 rushing TD's. Added a receiving TD. Led Falcons defensively in tackles (163) and total points. Had two INT's; returned one for six.


TB/CB Jake Neis (5'9" 150 Sophomore) > Finished season with over 800 yards rushing and eight total TDs; pretty good for a sophomore and considering he notched three games of two or less carries (played WR rather than TB). Had two 250-yard games. Isn't necessarily a speed demon. Is very elusive (a jock-strap guy; opponents supporters are left in his wake). Notched three interceptions on defense too.

FB/LB Justin Viss (6'2" 205 Junior) > Made the most of his carries from FB position; tallied over 600 yards on the ground (with 2 TD's). Spearheaded the Gopher defense from his middle linebacker spot. Wrestler tough.

WR/S Jesse Julian (6'2" 185 Senior) > Was Gophers best option when they took to the sky. Caught 19 passes for around 350 yards and 5 TDs. Was opponent's worst option when they took the sky; registered 6 INT's.

RB/WR Jake Peterson (5'9" 170 Senior) > Found end zone 8 times for and chalked up 450 all-purpose yards.


RB Gabe Lind (5'8" 150 Senior) > What's that adage; big things sometimes come in little packages? Lind lived up to that. He sort of just got lost in the line on his runs, often emerging on the second and third level for big gainers. How big? Lind ran for 1205 yards and 21 TD's in the Cougars' 10 games. He topped the century mark in 7 of 10 games and never ran for less than 70 in a contest.

RB Jesse Amdahl (5'9" 150 Senior) > Lind's backfield mate, compliment, and body double, depending upon how you look at it, Jesse racked up 881 yards on 160 carries. He only scored three times, but had 70 or more yards rushing in 8 of 10 games.

QB Jacoby Bigalk (5'9" 150 Senior) > Tossed for modest 642 yards. Accounted for 10 total TDs (4 pass, 6 rush).


RB/LB Niko Anderson (5'9" 165 Sophomore) > Coming off a highly publicized freshmen year, speedy and shifty Niko only responded as a sophomore. He was Burros top offensive asset, tallying 1281 yards and 19 TD's on the ground while adding another hundo and two TD's in the air. He was also team's second leading tackler on 'D'.

RB/LB Brandon Hongerholt (6'2" 250 Junior) > While Niko sprinted and darted, Brandon bulled, to the tone of 625 yards and 6 TD's. Also pulled double-duty, he was team's third leading tackler and collected three sacks.

QB Braden Hanson (6'2" 185 Senor) > Threw for 434, rushed for 341, accounted for 13 TD's (5 pass, 8 rush).


RB Sam Eberle (6'1" 170 Senior) > Was Lion's share of Knights offense. Led team with over 800 yards rushing, had another buck-fifty receiving. Ran for seven scores, caught three, and threw one.


RB Chris Boehmke (5'11" 165 Senior) > Led the Trojans in rushing with 487 yards. Scored 4 TD's (3 rushing, 1 kick-off return). Led Trojans in all-purpose yards (487 rushing, 362 kick return, 36 punt return, 27 Interception return).

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