2019 Herald Journal All-Area Football First Team
Another year of prep football in the area is in the books. Once again, there was no shortage of talent in the area.
Between the four schools, each team had an abundance of talent on the roster, with at least one player selected to the All-Area team. Below is a look at the All-Area Football First Team.
Noah Bush (HLWW)
For teams going up against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, finding No. 2 for the Lakers is always a key. Noah Bush, a junior who can line up just about anywhere on the field for the Lakers, was another big play threat for his team this season. Whether lined up in the back field or out wide, Bush was a threat to score each time the ball was put in his hands.
For the season, Bush finished with 800 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns. He carried the ball 80 times for 289 yards, while also hauling in 22 passes for 511 yards.
Making big plays was Bush’s game. He averaged 23.2 yards per catch this past season, and had four touchdowns of 35 yards or more in the regular season. Bush continued the big plays into the postseason as he hauled in a 78-yard touchdown against St. Agnes in the Section 4AA semifinals.
“Noah is a very versatile player,” HLWW coach Ben Anderson said, “Not only does he make plays himself, but the attention he draws often sets up many other of our plays offensively. His speed and athleticism allows us to have big play potential.”
Tanner Scheevel (LP/HT)
The Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Bulldogs lost one Scheevel from last season. They just replaced him with a younger version. Freshman Tanner Scheevel, who saw some time at the varsity level last year, became one of the best players for the Bulldogs this season, as he simply did it all.
Scheevel led the Bulldogs in rushing, nearly hitting 1,000 yards for the season. He finished with 934 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 160 carries. He also had two receiving touchdowns.
Scheevel also was one of the top tacklers for the Bulldogs, finishing with 74 total tackles, four sacks, and three interceptions.
“Tanner had a very successful freshman year,” LP/HT coach Joe Scoblic said. “He is already a two-time letter winner. He was voted the Most Valuable Back on the team by his teammates, and made the All-District Team.”
Zach Jackson (LP/HT)
In his first year as starting quarterback for the Bulldogs, junior Zach Jackson was the leader LP/HT needed. Whether throwing passes or keeping it and running, Jackson gave the Bulldogs a little bit of everything.
He threw for 511 yards and three touchdowns, to go along with 346 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Jackson played both ways for LP/HT, often tasked with defending the opposing team’s best receiver.
“Zach was definitely a leader on this team,” Scoblic said. “On defense, he was usually put on the oppposition’s No. 1 receiver.”
Ty Hoese (Mayer Lutheran)
Mayer Lutheran head coach Dean Aurich has been around for a long time. He’s not used to seeing a young player lead the way under center. That’s what he got this season in sophomore Ty Hoese, who was more than up to the challenge.
In his first year as starting quarterback, Hoese threw for 1,389 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also ran it 44 times for 223 yards.
Hoese’s strong season has him poised for a big season next year as he returns for his junior year.
“Ty is only the second sophomore to start at quarterback in my coaching career,” Aurich said. “His leadership and game demeanor were equal to most senior quarterbacks, and he had an exceptional year.”
Teigan Martin (Mayer Lutheran)
While the Crusaders had one sophomore under center, their leading receiver was another young talent. Sophomore Teigan Martin burst onto the scene this year, leading Mayer Lutheran in receptions (22), receiving yards (636), and touchdowns (8).
Martin was a big play waiting to happen, as he averaged almost 30 yards per catch this season. With both Hoese and Martin back for two more years, the Crusaders have a dynamic duo to build off in the passing game going forward.
“Teigan, another sophomore, has great height and makes most catches look easy,” Aurich said. “He has great hands and catches the ball well in a crowd.”
2019 Herald Journal All-Area Football Second Team
The talent in the area continues for the 2019 prep football season. At the high school level, several players are called upon to play both sides of the ball. The members of the 2019 Herald Journal All-Area Second Team feature some players who can do it all on both sides of the ball.
Bennett Paulson (HLWW)
The Lakers had a new quarterback under center this season in Bennett Paulson. Although Paulson started a few games last season, it was his job to keep in his junior season.
Paulson didn’t disappoint in his first year as starting quarterback for the Lakers. He helped the Lakers snap an 18-game losing streak this season with an upset win over No. 2 Concordia Academy in the Section 4AA quarterfinals.
For the season, Paulson threw more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. He also ran for 74 yards and one touchdown. With Paulson back for his senior year next seasons, look for him to take a big step forward for HLWW.
“Bennett throws a great deep ball,” HLWW coach Ben Anderson said. “He does a nice job of calling audibles at the line when the defensive front is not favorable for the play that was called. He knows the offense inside and out.”
Carter Serna (LP/HT)
The Bulldogs had plenty of defensive players who could make a play, but one in particular stood a part. Senior defensive lineman Carter Serna was a playmaker all season long for LP/HT.
Although undersized to play on the line, Serna found ways to make plays. For the season, Serna had 43 tackles and three sacks. Each game, Serna would find himself in a different spot, but would use his relentless attitude to make plays.
“Carter had a good motor on him, which allowed him to create some havoc on defense,” LP/HT coach Joe Scoblic said. “We moved him around a bit this year for what we felt were our best matchups against an opponent. Sometimes he rushed from the inside at defensive tackle, and other times he rushed from the outside at defensive end.”
Ethan Tang (Watertown-Mayer)
The one constant for the Watertown-Mayer football team this year was senior Ethan Tang. When the Royals needed a big play or conversion, Tang was almost always the go-to guy.
On the season, Tang finished with 44 receptions for 600 yards and four touchdowns in his senior year. Defensively, Tang had 30 tackles, one interception, and one fumble recovery.
“Ethan is a product of his own work,” W-M coach Andrew Phillips said. “Ethan received this recognition because of the work he put in during the off season. He transformed his body to be physically ready to play, he also put in the time during our summer sessions to understand our offense and defense, and be ready to help us on both sides of the ball this season. Ethan was a member of our receiving group that set school records this season for completions, and yardage. Ethan came to practice everyday with the plan of getting himself better, but also to get our team better.”
Whether playing offense or defense, Tang was a crucial part of what the Royals wanted to do. He would give it all he had, not matter what the score might be.
“Offensively this season, Ethan was a guy who, if we needed a big catch, we could count on him to give us his best effort,” Phillips said. “Defensively, Ethan improved his game each week, as we went through our season game planning, his name was constantly coming up as a versatile athlete who we moved in different spots and what our game plan was.”
As a senior, the Royals will need to replace Tang next season. That will be easier said than done.
“Ethan provided a tremendous amount of leadership for our younger players and his work ethic in the weight room will be greatly missed,” Phillips said. “Ethan hopes to play football in college next year. We will miss his joy of the game of football, his leadership for our team, and his accountability both on and off the field.”
Austin Crown (Mayer Lutheran)
Austin Crown is a player who can do many things. That’s why he will be a tough player to replace next season for the Crusaders.
Whether he’s asked to block for the running game or run routes, Crown is as effective as they come. Whether he’s asked to rush the passer or defend against the run, Crown does it all.
“Austin has played tight end and the slot positions and has ability to be a great possession receiver,” Aurich said. “We designed numerous plays to sneak him out into the flat, and he was a big play receiver for us. He was also an outstanding defensive end the past two seasons.”
For the season, Crown hauled in 15 catches for 327 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 21.8 yards per catch, which was the second-highest on the team.
Cody Bonk (Mayer Lutheran)
It’s no secret that Mayer Lutheran’s strength this season was their running game. Senior Cody Bonk was a big reason why.
The senior lineman seemed to come up with the big blocks on every big run for the Crusaders. If that’s not enough, he played both ways, as he was also one of their top defensive lineman, as well. Bonk finished with 51 tackles and 4.5 sacks in his senior season.
“Cody was one of our best pulling linemen and sure tacklers on the team,” Aurich said. “His motor was always running and worked hard until the whistle blew.”