Smith, Bauman named All-State
Joel Bauman, the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg junior running back who set the area single-season record for rushing yards, and Jordan Smith, the Willmar senior defensive back/wide receiver/punter who was the Cardinals' biggest threat in all three phases of the game, were rewarded for their outstanding seasons by being named to The Associated Press All-State first team Monday.
Bauman ran for 2,941 yards and scored 31 touchdowns in 14 games this year and led the Fighting Saints to the state Class A championship Friday with a 33-22 win over Royalton. He also set a Prep Bowl record with 44 carries.
Smith earned first-team accolades as a defensive back. He recorded five interceptions, including four in one game, had 34 tackles and six pass breakups.
He also earned honorable mention as a wide receiver with 39 catches for 547 yards and five touchdowns, and as a punter, leading the area with a 40.8-yard average. He accomplished all of this despite missing two games.
Two other area football players were named to the second team: Jeff Jerve, a senior offensive lineman from Montevideo, and Deron Buboltz a senior defensive end from Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. Both were also named as honorable mentions with Jerve being selected on the defensive line and Buboltz as a running back.
Also earning honorable mentions were: Steve Hendrickson, a senior running back from Litchfield; Kurtis Huisman, a senior running back from ACGC; Nic Johnson, a senior running back from Litchfield; Josh Vosika, a senior offensive lineman and linebacker from BOLD; Taylor Freetly, a senior tight end and linebacker from KMS; and Eric Tengwall, a junior defensive back from New London-Spicer.
The Associated Press Player of the Year was Blaine senior quarterback James Peterson, who led the Bengals to the Class AAAAA championship game this season. He passed for a school-record 2,448 yards and rushed for another 811.