Football: All-Area Second TeamRepublican Eagle All-Area Second Team
By: R-E Sports Staff, The Republican Eagle
senior, Red Wing
Red Wing’s Chris Holm was a two-year starter at middle linebacker for the Wingers and he made significant improvements in his senior season, head coach Matt Schultz said.
“He played downhill and was the anchor of our defense when he was in the game,” he said. “Much like so many of our players this season, he missed significant time due to injury, but when he was in the game, he was an impact player.”
Holm was named all-conference honorable mention despite playing in just five games this season and averaged 12 tackles per game, Schultz said.
Kyle Drehmel was the other half of Goodhue’s running back tandem and he also made an impact as a wide receiver. Drehmel piled up 12 total touchdowns this season with more than 1,000 yards of total offense and was named all-conference honorable mention. He had 774 yards rushing and 244 yards receiving for the Wildcats while also tallying 41 tackles and two fumble recovering as a defensive back.
“Because of some key injuries we leaned on Kyle down the stretch,” Goodhue head coach Tony Poncelet said. “He really stepped up and had a great senior year.”
Goodhue’s Ryan Tipcke, a 5-foot-10, 250-pound lineman, was a pillar for the Wildcats on both sides of the ball. He was given 2012 HVL Gold All-Conference honors as an offensive lineman.
“Ryan has been an outstanding lineman for us on both sides of the ball,” Goodhue head coach Tony Poncelet said.
As a defensive lineman, Tipcke had 51 total tackles, seven for loss, to go along with a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a sack.
senior, Lake City
Senior running back and linebacker Mitch Kuchinka found the end zone 14 times during 2012 season.
As a starting running back for the Tigers, Kuchinka ran 119 times for 618 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, he had 31 tackles, one for loss, forced a fumble and had two interceptions. He brought back an interception for a touchdown in the Section 1AAA semifinals against Winona Cotter, and also had a return touchdown during the 2012 season.
senior, Lake City
Jake Griebenow makes his second consecutive appearance on the all-area team because of his success on both sides of the ball. A starting wide receiver and cornerback for Lake City, Griebenow was second on the team in receptions and third in tackles.
The senior finished with 17 receptions for 357 yards and four touchdowns and had 69 total tackles, including four tackles for loss, and forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and grabbed six interceptions.
Griebenow was selected to the HVL Gold All-Conference team.
senior, Cannon Falls
Every offense needs a productive offensive line and Austin Noble was the leader at left tackle for Cannon Falls this season. Noble did not allow a sack all season, protecting a scrambling quarterback in Hunter Johnson and a 1,000-yard rusher in Ian Althoff.
The Bombers made the Section 4AAA finals thanks in part to Noble, who averaged three pancake blocks per game.
“Austin is one of the best linemen around,” Cannon Falls head coach Josh Hofstedt said. “He will have options to play college football in the future.”
Noble was selected to the 2012 HVL Blue All-Conference team in his senior season.
junior, Cannon Falls
Cannon Falls quarterback Hunter Johnson stepped into the quarterback role and immediately made an impact this season. Johnson was effective through the air and with his feet. He finished with 83 rushes for 474 yards and four touchdowns while also throwing for 1,345 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“Hunter is a great leader, and competitor,” Cannon Falls head coach Josh Hofstedt said. “He had a great year for us and we look forward to his senior year.”
Johnson made 12 tackles on defense and had three interceptions as a free safety. He received all-conference honorable mention honors this year.
senior, Cannon Falls
Cannon Falls senior Andrew Anderson led the team in tackles this season from his middle linebacker position. Anderson had 80 total tackles, three sacks, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He also had a rushing touchdown as a blocking fullback for the Bombers.
“Andrew was a defensive leader this year for us,” Cannon Falls head coach Josh Hofstedt said. “He had the most tackles on the team. Offensively he was mainly a blocking fullback, not many stats for that but his importance were great.”
Anderson was named the Bombers’ Defensive Player of the Year, and also garnered all-conference honors.
junior, Cannon Falls
An athletic offensive lineman and a linebacker with a constant motor, Cannon Falls junior Clay Broze was named to the 2012 HVL Blue All-Conference Honorable Mention team. Broze ended the season with 63 total tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
“Clay is a great football player,” Cannon Falls head coach Josh Hofstedt said. “Very few young men have the drive to be great that he has. Clay is an unbelievable competitor and has huge upside next year for his senior year.”
Kevin Niebuhr, senior, Zumbrota-Mazeppa
Zumbrota-Mazeppa struggled mightily with injuries this season, but Cougars’ senior wide receiver/linebacker Kevin Niebuhr found a way to give Z-M production while fighting through a knee injury. Niebuhr was selected to the HVL Gold All-Conference team for the second consecutive year while tallying 33 catches for 411 yards and three touchdowns.
“He was our best receiver,” Z-M head coach Willie Rauen said. “When we needed a first down, we looked to throw to him as much as possible. He had the size, strength and speed that teams had a hard time defending.”
On defense, Niebuhr finished with 23 tackles, five for loss, and two fumble recoveries.
Ellsworth senior defensive end Matt Stoetzel finds himself on the all-area second team for his ability to get into the opposing backfield. Stoetzel finished with 30 total tackles, but made the most of those tackles with 11 tackles for loss and six sacks.
“Matt had a great year at defensive end,” Ellsworth head coach Clair Austin said. “He led by example as a hard-nose football players both during games and practices.”