Football: Lake City leads All-Area team with 7 selectionsRepublican-Eagle All-Area First Team
By: R-E Sports Staff, The Republican Eagle
Coleman Sweeney, senior, Lake City
Lake City senior wide receiver/safety Coleman Sweeney was a force on both sides of the ball for the Tigers this season. Sweeney helped Lake City get to the Section 1AAA finals against Rochester Lourdes, but was injured on the second play of the game as the Tigers fell by less than a touchdown to the state runners-up.
He finished with 18 receptions for 554 yards, good for 30.8 yards per reception, and 10 touchdown catches.
As a defensive back, Sweeney racked up 39 solo tackles, 24 assisted tackles and one tackle for loss. He also had four interceptions and was named to the 2012 HVL Gold All-Conference team.
Will Balow, junior, Lake City
Lake City junior Will Balow quarterbacked the Tigers’ defense as the middle linebacker and found his way to the ball carrier frequently. Balow ended the season with 102 total tackles, second on the team behind Christian Custer (see Player of the Year), nine tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and one interception.
He also made his presence felt as Lake City’s starting fullback. Balow carried the ball 110 times for 641 yards and had eight touchdowns.
Balow was honored on the HVL Gold All-Conference team, and this is his second consecutive selection to the Republican Eagle All-Area Team.
Elliot Cox, junior, Lake City
Lake City’s Elliot Cox was the Tigers’ silver bullet this season. Anytime Lake City needed a big play, the Tigers could count on the junior running back.
Cox averaged nearly 10 yards per carry, running for 795 yards on 83 carries and 16 touchdowns. He also had 12 catches for 238 yards and two touchdowns. He added a punt return touchdown to run up his total touchdowns to 19 for the year.
On defense, Cox wrapped up 41 solo tackles, 18 assisted tackles, six tackles for loss and one sack from his linebacker position.
Cox received 2012 HVL Gold All-Conference honors.
Ian Althoff, senior, Cannon Falls
Ian Althoff was a crucial part of Cannon Falls’ run to the Section 4AAA finals against top-seeded St. Croix Lutheran, and was the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Bombers since 2005.
Althoff finished with 1,151 yards rushing on 207 carries and tallied seven rushing touchdowns. He also made 46 tackles and had a sack as a starting cornerback.
“Ian really stepped up in his senior year,” Cannon Falls head coach Josh Hofstedt said.
Althoff was named to the 2012 HVL Blue All-Conference team and was the Bombers’ 2012 Offensive Player of the Year.
Jordan Lundell, junior, Cannon Falls
Mr. Do-It-All, Jordan Lundell made plays all over the field for Cannon Falls this season and was named the Bombers’ 2012 team Most Valuable Player. He also received 2012 HVL Blue All-Conference honors.
“Jordan is a great athlete with a great work ethic,” Cannon Falls head coach Josh Hofstedt said. “When you combine those two things, that makes a special player. He can run the ball, catch the ball and is a shut-down cornerback for us.”
Lundell finished with 214 yards rushing, two rushing touchdowns, 585 yards receiving and six receiving touchdowns.
He added 18 tackles and four interceptions on defense while returning two kicks and two punts for touchdowns.
Ben Schramski, senior, Lake City
Lake City’s prolific offense, ranked first in scoring heading into the Section 1AAA final, was run by senior quarterback Ben Schramski. Schramski handed the ball off to three running backs with more than 600 yards rushing, but he also did damage through the air. Schramski threw for 1,427 yards and 17 touchdowns to just five interceptions.
In the section final, Schramski ran for two touchdowns and had top-seeded Rochester Lourdes aiming to stop the senior’s running ability. He ended the year with three rushing touchdowns.
As a starting cornerback for the Tigers, Schramski had 22 solo tackles, one fumble recovery and seven interceptions.
He was named to the HVL Gold All-Conference team.
senior, Red Wing
Red Wing senior Andre Page showed why he was the Wingers’ top offensive threat as he gained nearly 1,000 total yards despite the team’s securing one victory this season. Page had 89 carries for 485 yards and also notched 28 receptions for 480 yards. He tallied five total touchdowns.
“He was our most dangerous offensive threat,” Red Wing head coach Matt Schultz said.
Page also filled in at cornerback for Red Wing after injuries decimated the Wingers. He held Chanhassen’s Jared Lea, a Missota Conference nominee for Mr. Football who finished with 14 touchdown receptions, to two catches for 30 yards and no touchdowns in the regular season finale.
Alex Campbell, senior, Ellsworth
The best cornerbacks keep teams from throwing their way and that’s what Ellsworth’s Alex Campbell did this season.
Campbell finished with 29 tackles and one interception, but those low numbers were a result of team’s staying away from the senior’s side of the field.
“Alex is very athletic and it shows on the football field,” Ellsworth head coach Clair Austin said. “He led our team on offense and was a shutdown corner on defense.”
Campbell was named an all-conference wide receiver and defensive back in the Middle Border Conference.
He led the Panthers with 23 catches for 411 yards and eight touchdowns. In his career, Campbell accounted for 178 points, eight interceptions and 1,317 yards receiving.
This is Campbell’s second consecutive selection to the All-Area team.
Nathan Bennett, senior, Zumbrota-Mazeppa
Zumbrota-Mazeppa senior linebacker/guard was named to the HVL Gold All-Conference team for the second consecutive year and was honored as team Defensive MVP for the second year in a row.
For his work on the defensive side of the ball before going down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, Bennett makes his first appearance on the All-Area first team.
“He was our middle linebacker who made all the calls for our defense,” Z-M head coach Willie Rauen said. “He was our best defensive player for two straight years.”
Bennett made 35 solo tackles and 34 assisted tackles while recovery a fumble and finished four tackles for loss.
“He missed the last two games with a torn ACL and our defense wasn’t the same without him,” Rauen said. “He was a very sure tackler.”
Dillon Huemann, senior, Goodhue
Goodhue senior Dillon Huemann had big shoes to fill after the graduation of two all-area running backs from the Wildcats last season. But the senior found his own success en route to an HVL Gold All-Conference selection.
“Dillon was one of the leading rushers in the HVL until an ankle injury in week No. 7,” Goodhue head coach Tony Poncelet said. “He was a leader on both sides of the ball.”
Huemann run for 814 yards on 144 carries and had six catches for 33 yards. He found the end zone 11 times for the Wildcats.
On defense, Huemann had 30 total tackles and two fumble recoveries as a defensive back.