Archive for DEL Sports

2021 All-Area Baseball Team

ALL-AREA BASEBALL FIRST TEAM

Riley Heimerl (Lester Prairie)

The senior did a bit of everything for the Bulldogs in their final season as MCAA members. He was named All-Conference putting up a hitting line of .361 with 18 RBI and 13 runs scored, along with 12 stolen bases. Heimerl pitched in all the big games and gave opposing lineups everything he had, finishing 4-3 with a 2.18 ERA.

“Riley was a senior leader and consistently our best hitter and pitcher,” head coach Ben Machemehl said.

Sam Dennis (Mayer Lutheran)

A collective slow start for the Crusaders ramped up to a Section 4A final appearance by the end of the year, and a big reason for that was Sam Dennis at the plate.

The junior hit a home run with 20 RBI and a .410 batting average, and was as tough an out as there is; he struck out just six times in 61 at-bats. He also put himself in scoring position with seven doubles, including two big ones in the section playoffs against Legacy Christian.

Oran Hinkle (Delano)

When looking for a quality third baseman, impactful hitting and consistent defense are high on the checklist. Delano junior Oran Hinkle brought both along with a strong attitude for the Tigers.

“Oran was a team captain that gave us excellent leadership,” head coach Jeff Olson said. “He was a great offensive player for us, getting a lot of big hits in big situations.”

Hinkle led the team in batting average (.356), homers (2) and RBI (21), cleaning up the on-base efforts of his teammates in clutch moments. And he was no impatient hitter either, putting together a quality at-bat 59 percent of the time.

Jacob Niemela (Dassel-Cokato)

There’s a comfort in knowing that you have a chance to win every time a pitcher takes the mound — Jacob Niemela provided that in his senior season for the Chargers.

Tossing 70 innings, striking out 90 hitters and walking just 18 with an earned run average sitting around 2.00, Niemela’s efforts on the hill gave the offense confidence to make plays of their own.

“Jacob was the best pitcher I’ve coached in many years,” head coach Cole Flick said. “He had a plan of attack for every game and batter. His low ERA allowed us to stay in every game he pitched. His 3-4 record was impressive as no other player on our team had any previous varsity experience prior to this season.”

Niemela tallied huge wins over Holy Family and Providence Academy, the latter of which was a first-round upset in the Section 5AA playoffs. He also tossed a 10-inning shutout of Rockford, using his curveball and slider to fan hitters.

AJ Rasmussen (Delano)

The sophomore took on a big burden as a go-to starter for the Tigers and followed through with an impressive first varsity season. His fastball was hard to keep up with and he struck out 59 batters in 44 and two-thirds innings.

Rasmussen’s 2.21 ERA and 1.42 WHIP led the Delano pitching staff and it all started with his mindset.

“AJ stepped in as a sophomore and led our pitching staff from the start of the season,” head coach Jeff Olson said. “He’s got great stuff and an even better mental approach to the game. He’s mature beyond his years and has been elected as a team captain for next season.”

ALL-AREA BASEBALL SECOND TEAM

Bennett Anderson (HLWW)

Leadoff hitters are relied on to reach base. Relief pitchers are relied on to hold leads or prevent them from getting out of hand. Bennett Anderson did both with a can-do attitude and the Lakers benefited greatly from his versatility.

“He is an ultimate team guy and will do anything to help the team win,” head coach Tyler Maher said. “Very even keel, and worries about the things he can control.”

Anderson scored 30 runs from the leadoff spot and tallied a .342 average along with a .490 on-base percentage. He also was 3-3 on the mound with two saves and a 3.96 ERA, striking out 32 in 40 and two-thirds innings.

Elliott Maas (Watertown-Mayer)

Maas stepped up as a timely and consistent hitter for the Royals this season, leading the team in average at .355. Named the team MVP, he was also 2-2 on the mound hurling 22 and two-thirds innings.

He scored 10 runs and drove in nine for a team that was up and down offensively, but put up a couple big games. Starting the season near the bottom of the order, he worked his way up, eventually becoming the team’s most reliable leadoff man that got on base regularly.

Ty Hoese (Mayer Lutheran)

Steady and sure-handed at shortstop, on the bump and at the plate, Mayer Lutheran’s Ty Hoese checked all the boxes for a Crusader team that needed consistency in all three areas.

The junior hit .292 with 11 RBI and led the team with 20 runs scored, often finding his way on the base paths by hustling out close plays or putting the ball where the fielders weren’t. That was good enough for a .434 on-base percentage.

Hoese also managed to put up a 5-3 record on the mound, pulling out strong performances that ate up innings and kept the damage at a minimum. His 4.13 ERA was second on the team, and he recorded 40 punchouts compared to 18 walks in 40 and two-thirds innings.

Logan Bullock (Watertown-Mayer)

Bullock probably wasn’t expecting to be such an influential piece of the Watertown-Mayer pitching staff so quickly, but he developed into the top run-saver in the rotation, tossing a team-high 35 and one-thirds innings with a 1.98 earned run average and a 1.13 WHIP.

When on the mound, he forced hitters to beat him with the bat, not with walks or free passes to first base. Bullock struck out 35 batters and walked just nine all season.

David Dorsey (Delano)

There were a plethora of quality leadoff hitters in the area this season, but few did their job as quietly — yet efficiently — as Delano second baseman David Dorsey.

The Wright County All-Conference pick hit .324 and posted a team-high .448 on-base percentage, scoring 26 runs to lead the team and swiping 12 bases.

His maturity at the plate shined brightly by only striking out seven times in 89 plate appearances, and cleanup hitters Robbie Knight, Oran Hinkle, Ty Weiman and Gunnar Paulson combined for 72 RBI this season in large part because of his quick starts as the leadoff man.

2021 All-Area Girls Golf Team

Ava Reierson (Delano) – Girls Golfer of The Year

DELANO – Ava Reierson could have thrown in the towel and had her season end early. Instead, she battled back from an ankle injury and not only played well at the Section 5AA meet for the Tigers, but also reached the Class AA state tournament for the first time in her career.

At the Class AA state tournament, Reierson dealt with nerves in her first round. She settled down in round two, posting an impressive score of 88, shaving 11 strokes off her first-round score.

Reierson finished in 45th place at the state tournament as a sophomore.

ALL-AREA GIRLS GOLF TEAM

Emilie Empting (Watertown-Mayer)

A strong season for Watertown-Mayer’s Emilie Empting helped lead a successful season for the Royals. A leader for Watertown-Mayer in almost every meet, Empting had an impressive season for the Royals.

Empting played well at the Section 5AA meet for the Royals. She nearly qualified for the second round, missing the cut by just one stroke.

“Emilie was an All-Conference performer and led our team in most meets,” Royals coach Tyler Finkelson said.   “Her scoring average was 47 and she missed out on going to the second day of sections by one stroke.”

Maddy Tax (Watertown-Mayer)

There might not be an athlete in the area who’s gone through more over the past year and change than Watertown-Mayer’s Maddy Tax. Through all her challenges, Tax delivered this spring with an impressive season for the Royals out on the course.

With a season average of 51, Tax was the No. 2 golfer all season long for the Royals. She just missed being All-Conference by one stroke but earned All-Conference Honorable Mention.

“Maddy has overcome a lot in the last year and a half,” Finkelson said. “Her wonderful attitude helped her beat cancer.”

Amelia Lueck     (HLWW)

A state meet appearance has been a goal for Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted’s Amelia Lueck for a while. The junior nearly reached that goal by playing well at the Section 5AA meet this season.

Lueck missed qualifying for state by just one stroke but led the way all season long for the Lakers. She earned medalist honors at the Glencoe-Silver Lake Conference meet and finished fourth in the conference overall.

“Amelia finished in the top 10 of all her meets this year, including sections,” HLWW coach Bernie Lueck said. “She was a captain and student-athlete leader, and Team MVP. Amelia is competing through the summer in MN JR PGA events throughout the state.”

Candance Krumwiede (HLWW)

A key No. 2 golfer for the Lakers this season, HLWW’s Candace Krumwiede gave the Lakers some depth this season as she played well throughout the year.

Krumwiede finished in the top-10 in five different conference meets this season for the Lakers. She was a captain this season and finished 12th in Wright County Conference standings. She was also voted the team’s Most Improved Player.

“Candace was a leader and role model, not only to her teammates but also to the other teams and coaches,” Lueck said. “Other coaches noticed her ability to lead and how players from everywhere responded to her.”

Payton Amundson (Dassel-Cokato)

A senior and key leader for the Dassel-Cokato girls golf team this season, Payton Amundson played some of her best golf for the Chargers when she needed to most.

A strong performance in conference play where she earned All-Conference Honorable Mention carried over to the Section 5AA Meet. Amundson played well for the Chargers at the section meet, qualifying for the second round.

Payton was the captain of the team this year and was a consistent performer all season long,” D-C coach Jon Ring said. “She led by example and worked hard throughout the season to improve. This culminated in her lowest score ever, a 95, at day one of the sections and thus became a qualifier for day two.”

Brooke Harmala (Dassel-Cokato)

There’s nothing better than playing your best when it’s needed. That’s what Dassel-Cokato’s Brooke Harmala did at the end of this season.

A senior, Harmala finished her high school golf career on a high note. She played some of her best golf at the Section 5AA meet, and also earned medalist honors for D-C at the Charger Invitational this year.

Brooke started this season late and steadily improved,” Ring said. “She qualified for day two of sections and played well both days missing the cut for state by five strokes.”

2021 All-Area Softball Team

ALL-AREA SOFTBALL FIRST TEAM

Tanna Peterson (Delano)

The only way to describe Delano’s Tanna Peterson is she’s a gamer.

When the Tigers need a big performance in the circle, Peterson always seemed to deliver. With an ability to elevate her game when needed, Peterson became the go-to pitcher for Delano throughout their exciting season.

On the season, Peterson threw 100 innings in which she posted an ERA of 3.64. She finished with 10 wins on the season while racking up 94 strikeouts.

In the Section 6AAA semifinals, Peterson flirted with perfection as she retired the first 11 batters she faced in the matchup with Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

Peterson was also a force to be reckoned with at the plate. She had a .363 batting average in which she posted six doubles, one home run, 15 RBI, and 32 runs scored.

Sydney Stansberry (Delano)

When Delano needed a clutch hit or to start a rally, senior Sydney Stansberry had a knack for delivering. A tough out at the plate and a good glove at third base, Stansberry was a huge piece of the success for the Delano softball team this year.

Stansberry had a batting average of .505 on the season in which she had 11 doubles, five triples, and 27 RBI. She also scored 36 runs and struck out just five times in 101 plate appearances.

Abby Otterness (Watertown-Mayer)

After not having a season last spring, Watertown-Mayer’s Abby Otterness was thrown into things right from the start for the Royals as a sophomore. She took that challenge head-on and finished the year with an impressive season for the Royals.

Despite a shoulder issue limiting her in the circle, Otterness made her presence felt with the bat and in the field. She held down the shortstop position when not pitching, and her bat became one of the most dangerous in the lineup for the Royals.

“Abby started the season on the mound with a solid performance before dealing with shoulder issues,” Royals coach Bethany Leuthner said. “This caused a pause to her pitching but she remained a game-changer in the lineup and as our starting shortstop.”

Offensively, Otterness finished the season with a batting average of .419. She also scored 30 runs, had 19 RBI, eight doubles, four triples, and two home runs. On the rubber, she racked up 74 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched.

“Abby is the ultimate team player and is willing to do whatever it takes for the good of the team,” Loether said. “

Chloe Kirt (Mayer Lutheran)

Mayer Lutheran’s Chloe Kirt carried a heavy load for the Crusaders this season. Whether in the circle or in the batter’s box, Kirt delivered time and time again for Mayer Lutheran.

An All-Conference selection for the second time in her career, Kirt finished the season with an average of .424 with four doubles, four home runs, and 14 RBI. She was also the go-to pitcher for the Crusaders all season long.

“Chloe led us in nearly every offensive category, while also being our number one pitcher for the season,” Mayer Lutheran coach Kris Gustin said.  “Chloe’s bat in our lineup was a huge key to our success.  She pitched extremely well over the course of the season but offensively is where she truly shined.  Her presence made our lineup better top to bottom.”

Evelyn O’Brien  (Dassel-Cokato)

Dassel-Cokato’s Evelyn O’Brien was a busy girl for the Chargers softball team this season. At the plate, on the rubber, or in the field, O’Brien was a big piece of D-C’s plan this season.

A force to be reckoned with at the plate. O’Brien was one of the top hitters for the Chargers this season. She was just as good on the mound as she racked up the innings for D-C.

O’Brien’s best game of the season this year may have come against the Delano Tigers. With Delano having one of the best offenses in the area, O’Brien did what few pitchers were able to do to the Tigers this year. She held Delano to just two earned runs off six hits in seven innings of work as she struck out 13 to help the Chargers pick up an impressive 4-3 win.

ALL-AREA SOFTBALL SECOND TEAM

Kaylie Scanlon (Delano)

The catcher position sometimes gets overlooked in the game of softball. It’s hard to overlook Delano’s Kaylie Scanlon after the season she had.

Scanlon brought a big bat to an already potent lineup for the Delano Tigers this season. She finished second on the team in home runs with eight to go along with 29 RBI and 27 runs scored.

In the Section 6AAA Tournament, Scanlon delivered a clutch two-run home run against DeLaSalle to give the Tigers the lead in the bottom of the sixth.

Lexie Decker (HLWW)

As one of the more experienced players on the roster this season, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted’s Lexie Decker took on a big leadership role this season. Besides becoming a leader, Decker became the everyday catcher for HLWW, a new position for her than years past.

All those changes didn’t stop Decker from having another strong season. In the leadoff spot, she set the tone for the Lakers as one of their best hitters again.

Behind the plate, Decker held runners in check when on base. She also gave guidance to a flurry of different pitchers as the Lakers used many arms throughout the season.

Decker finished the season with a .413 batting average. She led the team in hits (26), doubles (7), and runs (20). She was also second on the team in RBI with 12.

Lexie Langenfeld (Lester Prairie)

After not having a season last year, Lester Prairie’s Lexie Langenfeld was forced to carry the load in the circle for the Bulldogs this season.

Langenfeld nearly pitched every inning for the Bulldogs this year. She picked up nine wins on the season, finding her groove in the midpoint of the season.

She was also relied on to get the offense rolling. Out of the leadoff spot, Langenfeld set the tone for the Bulldogs with a young lineup behind her.

Rosie Unglaub (Watertown-Mayer)

A senior taking on a leadership role in her first season as a go-to player, Watertown-Mayer’s Rosie Unglaub did it all with a smile. That smile ultimately led to a successful season for the Royals out of the leadoff spot.

As the leader, Unglaub finished the season with a .400 batting average and an on-base percentage of .522.  A leader of the defense in center field too, Unglaub was a big piece of everything for W-M this season.

“Rosie has great speed that came in handy both in center field and as our leadoff batter and left-handed slapper,” Royals coach Bethany Loether said. “She was able to create a baserunner for us during most at-bats and with her speed, she could move around the bases.”

Rylee Noerenberg (Mayer Lutheran)

Energizer, spark plug, and leader. Those are just a few words to describe Mayer Lutheran’s Rylee Noerenberg. A crucial part of the success of the Crusaders this season. Noerenberg did whatever she could to help the team.

“Her bat and speed at the top of our lineup helped set the plate for Chloe and others,” Mayer Lutheran coach Kris Gustin said. “Rylee also was our number two pitcher, giving us valuable innings over the course of the season.”

On the season, Noerenberg finished with a batting average of .345. she had six RBI out of the leadoff spot and scored runs. Defensively, she had a fielding of 95.2 percent.

“Rylee’s leadership and competitive drive pushed her and her teammates to be their best,” Gustin said.

Stowman’s monster season earns her Softball Player of The Year

DELANO – Junior Louisa Stowman was in an elite company this season for the Delano softball team. At the plate, on the bases, or in the field, Stowman showed she’s one of the best as her monster season for the Tigers earns her the All-Area Softball Player of The Year.

“Louisa Stowman provided a remarkable season performance for us,” Tigers coach Jim VanCura said.

Stowman’s numbers were unreal the entire season for Delano. Not only did she have at least one hit in every game this season (24 games), she led the state in hits (55) and RBI (58). She was also second in the state with 13 home runs and scored 58 runs which ranked third in the entire state.

Stowman was nearly an impossible out for opposing teams as she finished with a batting average of .561. In 109 plate appearances, Stowman struck out just six times.

With impressive stats like that, Stowman racked up the awards this season. She was earned All-Conference for the Wright County Conference as well as being named First Team All-State and was selected to the Star Tribune’s All-Metro Team.

“In addition to her awesome softball statistics, Louisa effectively-balanced confidence with humility, competitiveness with sportsmanship, and passion with coachability,” VanCura said. “With her success and her character, Louisa is a perfect choice for Player of the Year.”

2021 All-Area Girls Track and Field Team

ALL-AREA GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD TEAM

Addison Hoof (Lester Prairie)

Those who watched Hoof speed past defenders on the fast break during basketball season shouldn’t be surprised at her success on the track this year. She swept every 400 meter dash she participated in this year leading up to the state meet — and she took an impressive fifth place on the biggest stage. Remember, she’s just an eighth-grader.

If not for a false start in the section 200 meter dash, it’s likely she would have qualified for state in that event too, but her numbers throughout the year in those sprints were equally good. She set a PR in the 200 at the sub-section meet with a 26.65 time.

Her best 400 time came at sub-sections as well, recording a 58.45 for first place in that event.

Brooke Baumann (HLWW)

The junior hurdler came out of Section 5A with a top-two time in the 300s, then posted a PR of 47.65 to take seventh in the state meet. She won the event three times this season, and had a strong run in the 100 hurdles as well.

A member of the 4×400 relay team, Baumann’s jumping ability wasn’t the only valuable part of her track prowess. The relay team took fourth at the section meet, just barely missing state qualifications.

Grace Jostock (Delano)

Jostock’s endurance was even-keel all season, often running both the 1600 and 3200 races in the same day. That takes a special kind of physical shape and mental bandwidth, and she had it every time, finishing no worse than third in the 1600 and no worse than fifth in the 3200.

She came in third place in the 1600 at the Section 2AA championships, coming very close to a state berth.

Cherish Jorgensen (Dassel-Cokato)

If Kezia Lee’s success in hurdles wasn’t enough for you, Jorgensen kept it up right behind her. The various top five finishes in 100 and 300 hurdles helped D-C’s team scores greatly and also showed that she’s ready to take the mantle as a senior next season.

Jorgensen finished outside the top four twice in 15 total hurdle races this season. Her consistency right behind Lee made for some fun intrasquad competition. She also put up personal bests at the section meets in both 100 and 300 hurdles.

Ellie Horn (HLWW)

Horn’s strength in throwing events this season made her a force to be reckoned with. She finished either first or second in the discus at every meet this season, setting a personal best of 114’2” at the Section 5A meet and taking 10th in state.

Her shot put scores were also right around the top five in each meet this season, coming up sixth at sections.

Anika Jilek (Mayer Lutheran)

There’s a pattern of elite jumpers on this All-Area list, and it would be a mistake to not put Jilek with them. She finished in the top two of the 300 hurdles each time she participated this season, and was fifth with a season-best 51.89 seconds at the Section 2A meet.

She won the long jump at sub-sections with a 15’1” jump and placed 11th at the section meet in that event. Her triple jumps were routinely in the top seven scores during MRC meets.

Rebecca Fasching (HLWW)

On the other side of Laker throwing events, Fasching was at the top of her game all season in shot put. She won four meets in the event and put up a personal best 34’11” at the section championships, which was good enough for a state appearance.

She also posted several top 10 landings in discus throughout the season.

Jessa Heimerl (Lester Prairie)

Just a freshman, Heimerl gave some stellar performances by the end of the season in several diverse events. She won multiple MCAA high jump meets and made it to the section championship where she placed fourth with a 5’0” height. She won three 1600 meter runs this season and was always in the top five of 100 meter hurdles in conference action.

Anja Gilbert (Watertown-Mayer)

Though she had to miss the Section 2A meet because of the ACT, Gilbert’s season did not go to waste. She won three hurdle events over the course of the year and placed top-five in nearly all the rest of them. She was also on pace to show well at the triple jump, where she hadn’t placed lower than fourth all year.

Erica Kazin (Delano)

Another distance runner that was always in the mix, Kazin kept great pace with teammate Grace Jostock and they often finished 1-2 in conference meets for 1600 or 3200 meter races.

Kazin’s lowest finishes came at the Section 2AA meet in both the mile and two-mile, but she dropped 11 seconds at the 3200 in sections for a personal best. She’s a freshman with a bright future ahead on the track.

Laina Aho (Dassel-Cokato)

The Chargers were super deep in hurdles this year and Aho was a big part of that depth. She finished in the top-five every time she competed in the 100 hurdles, but had to scratch from the section championships which would have been a fun race to watch. Her PR of 17.13 came in the final race she ran this season. But don’t worry, that depth returns next season as she’s a freshman as well.

Julia Carns (Mayer Lutheran)

Carbs was as versatile as they come this season, competing regularly in the 100 meter dash, high jump and 4×100 relay. Her 100 dash finishes were always in the top-10, and she won a pair of high jump meets as well, culminating in a 10th-place spot at the sub-section meet. The Crusader 4×100 relay was impressive this season, taking no worse than second in the regular season and finishing seventh at the Section 2A championships.

Adia LaFromboise (Delano)

As another elite hurdler is added to the All-Area list, LaFromboise’s resume speaks for itself. She finished top four in every 100 hurdle race (including three victories) leading up to sections, where she took sixth. Her 300 hurdles performances were very similar, winning once and finishing top five four other times.

Maris Heun (Watertown-Mayer)

It’s the year of jumpers. Heun was all over the place as a hurdler, high jumper, triple jumper and long jumper for the Royals this spring, taking second place in three of the four events at one point. She set a personal best in every one of these events as well, including a 32’8” triple jump that qualified for the Section 2A meet.

CLASS AA STATE TRACK AND FIELD: Delano’s Schmidt shines at Class AA state meet

ST. MICHAEL – History was made by Delano sophomore Cole Schmidt at the Class AA state meet this past weekend. Competing in his first state meet, Schmidt finished in sixth place for the Tigers with a time of 40.40 seconds, the highest finish for any Delano boys hurdler.

“I’m happy with it, but at the same time I’m not,” Schmidt said after the race. “I stood right out of the blocks and I think I could have gotten top four if I didn’t. I’m still happy with the result as a sophomore.”

Schmidt has been working on his craft all season long and it paid off on the state’s biggest stage.

“Cole is an outstanding athlete who knows how to prepare in practice and on competition days,” Delano coach Mitch Rue said. “Being able to place sixth among the largest schools in Minnesota in his event is an amazing accomplishment. It is the highest place finish for a boy hurdler in Delano history, including the years when we were in the small class. He is a role model for our younger athletes, a tremendous student, and a great teammate.”

Competing with the big schools didn’t bother Schmidt. Instead of being worried or complaining about it, he welcomed that challenge.

“I like it,” Schmidt said. “I think it’s a great challenge. I’m kind of mad that a lot of the big schools are going up a class next year. That means I won’t get to run against them in the future.”

Fueled by competition, Schmidt set himself apart at the state meet in his first appearance. Despite being his first taste of the meet, he’s already looking to get back next year and improve even more.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “I just love the competition. It’s so fun to talk with everybody and there are some really fast runners here.  It makes me want to work so hard to get back here. I want to be back.”

Getting to the state meet as a sophomore is impressive enough. Doing so after not having a freshman season is even more so.

“There’s been a lot of improvement over the year,” Schmidt said. “It was a challenge not having a season last year, but everybody had to deal with that. There’s not much you can do about it.”

Class AA state Meet

Saturday, June 19
at STMA High School

Class A State Boys Meet

300-Meter Hurdles

1. Sam Duffing (Hopkins), 39.15

2. Jack Kocher (Lakeville North), 39.45

3. Ren Hamann (STMA), 39.79

4. Sam May (Willmar), 39.86

5. Nathan Genereau (Cloquet), 40.19

6. Cole Schmidt (Delano), 40.40

7. Seth Reicks (St. Peter), 40.60

8. Jeff Odamtten (White Bear Lake), 41.34

9. Ben Howlett (Mounds View), 41.36

10. Nathaniel Otis (Roseville), 41.38