Prep football: All-Area football team named
Hills-Beaver Creek A second-year starter, Gehrke, a 6-0, 175-pound senior, was a firm commander of the H-BC offense. Though shoulder and ankle injuries limited him most of the 2013 year, he still managed to complete 111 of 194 passes (57.2 percent) for 1,450 yards and 19 touchdowns, with only three interceptions. Ran 40 times for 384 yards with nine rushing TDs. A dual threat with exceptional mechanics, he finished his career with 2,767 yards passing and 37 TDs.Boyer BoumanQuarterbackPipestone AreaFriends and rivals could say: “How Bouman goes, so goes the Arrows.” And so it was. The junior signal caller completed 115 of 221 aerials for 1,325 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2013. He also rushed 57 times for 266 yards and five scores. He completed 23 passes in a game against arch-rival Southwest Conference opponent Luverne, a single-game school record. Injuries held down his numbers in the second half of the season, but when on the field his ability shone bright. A safety on defense.Brett SwenhaugenQuarterbackTracy-Milroy-BalatonThough only a sophomore, the 6-foot, 175-pound Swenhaugen showed off his natural ability and leadership skills by leading the Panthers to a state Class A tournament berth. Completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,764 yards and 17 touchdowns. Rushed 181 times for 884 yards and 10 touchdowns. Had 35 solo tackles and 14 unassisted from his defensive position at outside linebacker. Also a punter, he averaged 33.5 yards per punt and holds the school record for longest punt — 66 yards against Russell-Tyler-Ruthton.Brady Van IperenQuarterbackHarris-Lake ParkPut him anywhere on offense, and Van Iperen will excel. The junior connected on 61 of 109 passes for 880 yards and 16 touchdowns, with only four interceptions. Rushed 156 times for 997 yards and 17 touchdowns. Caught 19 passes for 220 yards. Returned kicks for 296 yards and a touchdown. Returned punts for 194 yards and a touchdown.Andrew HempeckRunning backMountain Lake AreaA 6-1, 175-pound senior, Hempeck helped fuel an explosive MLA outfit in 2013. Rushed 97 times for 795 yards (8.2 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns. Caught 29 passes for 516 yards and seven more scores. Also threw for a touchdown. Has 1,861 career yards with 28 touchdowns and 61 receptions for 929 yards and 12 TDs. A linebacker on defense, he had 52 tackles and seven interceptions in his senior campaign.Tyler KurraschRunning backEdgerton/EllsworthThe Flying Dutchmen’s sterling running back/middle linebacker was outstanding on both sides of the football in his junior year. Kurrasch, at 6-0, 200 pounds, gained 976 yards rushing for a 7.6 yards-per-carry average, with 12 touchdowns. He had 230 yards receiving. Defensively, Kurrasch averaged 13 tackles a game and was credited with nine quarterback sacks.Jordan DingmannRunning backAdrianThe senior 5-9, 155-pounder is not big in size, but was huge in contributions to the Dragons football team over his four years. Amassed 2,480 yards rushing in his career and made 150 tackles defensively at linebacker. In 2013 he carried 168 times for 1,093 yards for 109.3 yards per game and a 6.5 per-carry average. Rushed for 17 touchdowns and scored 132 points. Also an outstanding return man, he brought back three for touchdowns. Played in four consecutive section championship games.Hunter McDonaldRunning backSheldonRushed for 1,018 yards and 14 touchdowns while catching eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown in his senior season. A first-team Class 2A District 1 selection at running back, McDonald also had 52 tackles. He finished his career with 2,404 yards and 33 TDs rushing. Also ran back a kickoff 81 yards for a score.Nolan HohensteinLinemanJackson County CentralIf you had to start from scratch to make an offensive lineman, you’d want to make him exactly like Hohenstein. A 6-3, 270-pounder, the senior Hohenstein used tremendous size and strength and excellent footwork to dominate opponents. The left guard is a great puller on the sweep and a strong pass protector. Helped JCC win games in the Southwest Conference this year by an average of 26 points per game.Ned KnoblochLinemanCentral Lyon/George-Little RockLeader of an offensive line that rushed for 2,236 yards and passed for 1,003. Well-built at 6-2, 205 pounds, the senior Knobloch also performed well on defense as an end.Cody RofshusLinemanLuverneA senior 6-3, 270-pounder, Rofshus can run block and pass block with the best of them. A three-year starter as an offensive lineman. Called by Luverne head coach Todd Oye the “heart of our offensive line, which relied heavily on running behind him.”Andy CooperLinemanSheldonVery big, very strong and very athletic, the 6-6, 298-pound Cooper earned first-team All-District 1, Class 2A status as a junior. Led the way on Sheldon’s offensive line.Braden EllingsonWide receiverHills-Beaver CreekAn explosive, dependable pass-catcher, the 6-0, 175-pound Ellingson helped make the Patriots a threat to score from anywhere on the field in 2013. Caught 63 passes in his junior campaign for 735 yards for an 11.7 per-catch average. Found the end zone 11 times.Cole BosmaWide receiverHarris-Lake ParkCaught 44 balls for 661 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2013. The 6-2, 160-pound senior also filled in due to injury at tailback and rushed for two TDs. An outstanding leader and one of the Wolves’ hardest workers. Exceptional at making receptions in traffic. Had 56 tackles with an interception at his safety position on defense.
Austin MertensLinemanEdgerton/EllsworthVoted the Lineman of the Year in the West Southern Confederacy Conference for the second consecutive year, Mertens goes to defense on the All-Area team after being named to the offensive team a year ago. The 6-4, 250-pound offensive guard/defensive tackle had eight sacks this year and 63 tackles despite being constantly double-teamed. The player the E/E offense ran behind, he was named this year to the Minnesota Vikings and National Guard All-State squad. The powerful, versatile senior is a three-time all-conference selection.Jesse SlaterLinemanAdrianA varsity performer since his freshman year, Slater is not very big for an interior lineman at 6-0, 180 pounds, but using quickness and speed he was a defensive leader with 92 total tackles in his senior campaign, with eight quarterback sacks and 15 tackles for loss. Had one interception and one fumble recovery. Forced three fumbles. Offensively, Slater’s speed and quickness helped provide the push the Dragons needed to be an outstanding rushing team.Josh GrevLinemanMountain Lake AreaThe West Southern Confederacy Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Grev led his team in tackles in his senior year. Produced 91 tackles for the Wolverines with five sacks and 21 tackles for loss. A 6-0, 195-pound defensive end and center, he finished with 268 tackles, 20 sacks and 57 tackles for loss during his career.Matt SchmitLinemanJackson County CentralExplosively quick, Schmidt — a 6-4, 225-pound left tackle on offense and end on defense, runs a 4.7 forty and bench presses well above 300 pounds. A great puller on sweeps. Says his coach, Tom Schuller: “We’ve never seen a kid block linebackers as hard as Matt has blocked linebackers this year.” Defensively, the senior Schmit can beat you with quickness or with strength. Described by his coach as “a relentless pursuer of the ball when it’s away from him.”Levi BuntingLinemanWestbrook-Walnut GroveA senior tight end/defensive end, Bunting showed a knack for getting to the opposing quarterback. Had 15 sacks in his senior campaign and 25 for his career. He collected 76 tackles and three fumble recoveries as a senior. On offense, Bunting was a primary threat at tight end and wide receiver, finishing the year with 22 receptions and two touchdowns.Brady BosLinebackerPipestone AreaBos is an outstanding wrestler in the winter season who punishes opponents on defense during the fall. The Arrows’ outside linebacker had 54 total tackles in his senior year, including 39 unassisted. Also returned kicks. On offense as a running back/wide receiver, Bos carried 107 times for 475 yards while catching 22 passes for 131 yards.Jordan SchroepferLinebackerRed Rock CentralA very prolific player on both sides of the football, Schroepfer accounted for 73 solo tackles and 52 assists from his defensive position at linebacker. The junior had one sack and eight tackles for loss, with one interception and two forced fumbles. Offensively at running back, he carried 173 times for 786 yards with seven TDs. He caught six passes for 43 yards and another TD. Punted 46 times for a 32.7 average.Rick JorgensonLinebackerTracy-Milroy-BalatonA physical presence, the 6-0, 185-pound senior battled through injuries that sidelined him for significant portions of his sophomore and junior years, but he stayed on the field as a senior where he had 38 solo tackles and 34 unassisted from his middle linebacker spot. Had three sacks, one forced fumble and an interception. Offensively as a fullback he rushed for 103 yards with a pair of touchdowns and caught six passes for 91 yards.Will DudleyLinebackerWorthingtonA three-year starter and leader for the Trojans for the past two seasons, the 6-3, 180-pound Dudley had 51 solo tackles, 15 assists and six tackles for loss playing an outside linebacker position in his senior year. He deflected two passes, intercepted a pass and caused one fumble. On the other side of the ball, he started at running back and switched to quarterback to help the WHS offense run more smoothly.Logan NormanDefensive backLuverneEnjoyed a strong senior season both offensively and defensively. As a wide receiver he led the Cardinals with 25 receptions and made many tough catches in traffic while displaying very soft hands. As a cornerback, he was locked up in man-to-man coverage most of the time and became the team’s lock-down corner.Shadrach WackerDefensive backJackson County CentralThe Huskies allowed only 208 yards per game in 2013, and Wacker was an important reason why. He was placed in one-on-one coverage that allowed teammates do have more freedom. Intercepted two passes. Why not more? “Because nobody threw toward him,” said JCC head coach Tom Schuller. Offensively, at quarterback, Wacker completed 57 of 107 passes for 934 yards and four touchdowns. Rushed 67 times for 296 yards and five touchdowns.Jesse HenrichsDefensive backCentral Lyon/George-Little RockA senior 5-10, 175-pounder, Henrichs did many things well for the Lions at running back and defensive back and as a return specialist. Ran from scrimmage 113 times for 815 yards for a 7.2 per-carry average, with 10 touchdowns. Caught 10 passes for 214 yards and four scores. Had 56 tackles. Returned 10 kicks for 219 yards and two punts for 54 yards.Logan KluisDefensive backMurray County CentralThe leading tackler in the Little Sioux Conference, Kluis, a 5-11, 170-pound junior cornerback/linebacker/wide receiver, had 102 total tackles (63 assisted and 39 unassisted) for the Rebels. Rushed 22 times for 80 yards and caught seven passes for 64. Returned 14 kicks for an average of 17.1 yards.Jesse GuerraSafetyWorthingtonA cornerback last year, the 5-8, 150-pound Guerra made a smooth transition to safety in his senior year. Led the team in “hammer hits.” Intercepted two passes, and one of them was returned for a touchdown. Excellent against the run, he made 38 solo tackles with 22 assists. A hard worker, a hard player.Tanner Ver SteegDefensive back/Kick returnCentral Lyon/George-Little RockThe 5-11, 175-pound senior split end/defensive back/return specialist displayed the kind of versatility his team could have confidence in. Caught 11 passes for 214 yards for 19.5 yards per catch and four touchdowns. Returned seven punts for 184 yards and one TD. Averaged 26.3 yards per return.