E/E’s Menning goes out an all-starST. CLOUD — You know you’re a man of few words when your mother warns a reporter that they will have to work to get some quotes out of you.
ST. CLOUD — You know you’re a man of few words when your mother warns a reporter that they will have to work to get some quotes out of you.
When you lead Edgerton/Ellsworth to a perfect season and a state championship, while breaking the career sack record, like Johnny Menning, nothing really needs to be said.
The numbers say it all.
Menning officially closed the book on his seven-year football career June 30 at Husky Stadium on the campus of St. Cloud State University playing with and against the best high school seniors in the state of Minnesota at the 39th annual Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game.
“It was nice that I got to play again,” Menning said. “The state championship wasn’t my last game playing with a team full of great players.”
Menning was the Southern Confederacy Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year this season, along with earning a spot on the Associated Press first team all-state squad as a defensive lineman. Menning had 23 sacks, giving him 45 for his career, 89 tackles, 51 of which were solo and 11 of which were behind the line of scrimmage, in his final campaign.
When Menning was not taking down quarterbacks, he was blocking for one, as the best offensive lineman on the Flying Dutchmen, while hauling in 23 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns as a tight end.
Put this together and you get to add Daily Globe All-Area Captain for 2011 to the list of accolades.
“Johnny is the best defensive player that I have ever coached during my time at Edgerton,” said E/E coach Andrew Fleischman, who got to serve as a coach at the all-star game. “He was very consistent in all aspects of the game and rarely left the field. He is truly deserving of all of the awards that he has received and will be missed by our football team next year.”
Not bad for a career that started in sixth grade as neither an offensive or defensive lineman or a tight end.
“I started as a fullback,” Menning said. “My dad signed me up and I just liked it.
“It’s a team sport and you want to work together. You can’t just blame it on one spot.”
The all-star game took Menning back to his younger years, but not for the best reasons.
“I felt kind of like a little kid again because everyone else was so big from these 5A schools compared to the 9-man kids we played,” Menning said with a laugh. “It was neat to play with kids who were your rivals.”
Menning played three series at tight end and stepped off the field for the final time. He has no want to play in college nor does he see himself coaching in the future. Just as he’s always been, whether he’s on the football field, working for a farmer from 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, as he does over the summer, and how he’ll probably be studying civil engineering at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, Menning finished his career with a quiet dignity and let the scoreboard talk.
The South All-Stars beat the North All-Stars and Menning did what he had done his entire senior season. Win.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Menning said.
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy may be reached at 376-7328.