2009 All-Area Football: NLS leads way with six players selected; Bauman named for third straight time

Six members of the New London-Spicer football team that will play in today's Class AAA state championship were named to the West Central Tribune All-Area team.

Six members of the New London-Spicer football team that will play in today's Class AAA state championship were named to the West Central Tribune All-Area team.

The Wildcats are currently 13-0 and moved one step ahead of last season's highest finish in school history. Willmar and Dawson-Boyd had four players each selected. BOLD, MACCRAY and Morris garnered three picks apiece; Litchfield, Minnewaska and Yellow Medicine East landed two players each; and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, Hancock, Lac qui Parle Valley and Montevideo each had one player named.

The team is selected by the sports editor and is picked by position, but not all players named are necessarily placed at their top position. Players are more often chosen to the team because of their all-around play, rather than just one position.

Coaches are asked to nominate players that they feel are worthy of selection. Several area and out of the area coaches and players were asked to name their top opposing players from the area.

Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg senior running back/linebacker Joel Bauman earned All-Area status for the third straight year. Other repeat selections are Hancock senior wide receiver/cornerback/return specialist Brendon Foss; Mason Hegna, a senior defensive end/slot back for Yellow Medicine East, Matt Anderson, a senior running back/defensive end from Dawson-Boyd, Cory Behm, a senior two-way lineman from MACCRAY; Caleb Hanson, a senior quarterback/outside linebacker from MACCRAY; and John Nething, a senior linebacker/fullback from New London-Spicer.


Also named from New London-Spicer is Jake Essler, a senior running back/cornerback/return specialist; Aaron Johnson, a senior guard/defensive tackle; Justin Zylstra, a senior defensive end/fullback; Luke Peterson, a senior free safety/tailback; and Erik Tengwall, a senior cornerback/wide receiver.

The four players chosen from Willmar are senior quarterback Mark Dunham, senior wide receiver/linebacker Taylor Filipek; junior punter/linebacker Nathaniel Swoyer and senior cornerback Derrick Loiselle.

Dawson-Boyd also landed senior wide receiv-er/cornerback/return specialist Andrew Roiger, senior quarterback/free safety/kicker/punter Ryan Swenson and junior guard/defensive tackler Jarrett Wager.

MACCRAY's other pick was senior wide receiver/-free safety Shaun Condon. From Morris, senior two-way lineman Jonathan Jallo, junior fullback/linebacker Eric Riley and junior linebacker Cody Hickman were chosen. BOLD picks are Brent O'Halloran, a junior fullback; Andrew Brooks, a junior tackle/defensive end; and Shawn Dollerschell, a senior guard/linebacker. Minnewaska placed senior safety/quarterback/return man Mike Whittemore and senior linebacker/offensive guard Brandon Manderschied. Litchfield's two selections were Nate Adams, a senior defensive end/tight end; and Eric Hulterstrum, a senior linebacker/fullback/kicker. 

Rounding out the team is Ryan Tostenson, a senior linebacker from Montevideo; Travis Winter, a senior linebacker from Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa; Ryan Hoium, a senior running back/return specialist from Lac qui Parle Valley; Derek McNeil, a senior defensive end from Buffalo Lake-Hector; and Tyler Sand, a senior running back/linebacker from Yellow Medicine East.






6-2, 180 senior

The left-hander put together consecutive standout seasons for the Wolverines, completing 55 percent of his passes (95-for-172) this season for 1,550 yards with 16 touchowns with only six interceptions for an area-best 102.13 rating. He also ran for 432 yards in 106 carries (4.1 average) and six touchdowns. In limited action on defense, Hanson made 12 tackles, including one sack.



6-1, 155 senior

Dunham had a busy season as the team implemented a spread offense, leading the area with 259 passing attempts. Dunham performed admirably with the extra workload, completing 155 passes (60 percent) for 1,930 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also gained 261 yards on the ground in 52 carries (5.0 average) and scored three times.

Running Backs




6-2, 190 senior

The fleet-footed Bauman became the area's career rushing leader this season and is second all-time in the state with 7,395 yards. He also scored 74 career touchdowns. After breaking the area's single-season rushing mark a year ago with 2,941 yards in 13 games, Bauman gained 1,294 in nine games this season playing behind a revamped line. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry and scored nine touchdowns. On defense, Bauman played linebacker and collected 22 solo and 43 assisted tackles, including two sacks.



6-1, 185 senior

Anderson was a scoring machine this season for the Blackjacks, reaching the end zone 29 times en route to leading the area with 174 points. He also rushed for an area-high 1,600 yards in 239 carries (6.7 average), helping the Blackjacks reach the Section 3A championship and finish 8-3. He also caught nine passes for 59 yards. On defense, he had 21 tackles, including 3.5 sacks, and had two fumble recoveries.




5-8, 170 junior

When O'Halloran found an opening, he generally made defenses pay for it, cracking off nine touchdowns of 30 yards or more this season for the Warriors. The Most Valuable Player in the West Central South Conference finished with 1,361 yards in only 169 carries (8.1 average), while scoring 20 touchdowns. He was second in the area in scoring with 120 points. He also had four receptions for 42 yards and had 21 tackles on kickoff coverage.


New London-Spicer

5-9, 175 senior

Essler was named the West Central North Conference Most Valuable Player. Currently, he has 1,080 yards rushing (6.4 average) and 14 touchdowns despite missing two games with a concussion. He also has caught five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. As a defensive back, he has 60 tackles, including nine for losses, and four interceptions. He averages 15.1 yards per punt return with three touchdowns and 24.9 yards per kickoff return with one score. He also serves as the team's long snapper. 


Wide Receivers



6-6, 215 senior

The agile Filipek was second in the area with 50 receptions. He amassed 563 receiving yards and five touchdowns. And he also ran for a 68-yard touchdown this season. Filipek was also invaluable on defense from his outside linebacker spot, registering 61 tackles, including a sack, and intercepting a team-high six passes, one of which he ran back for a touchdown.



6-4, 195 senior


Foss led the area in receptions each of the past two seasons. This season, he had 52 receptions for an area-best 1,005 yards and nine touchdowns despite seeing double coverage most of the time. On defense, the cornerback was second on the team with 87 tackles and had three fumble recoveries and a sack. With nine-man teams playing on an 80-yard field, Foss averaged 7.7 yards per punt return and 16.1 on kickoff returns. 



6-2, 180 senior

Condon was the Wolverines' "go-to" guy through the air this season, pulling in 37 catches for 537 yards (14.5 average) and nine touchdowns; leading the team in all three categories. He also completed 3-of-3 passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, Condon was credited with 28 tackles and also had five interceptions and a fumble recovery. 

Offensive Linemen


New London-Spicer

6-6 245 senior

Johnson helped paved the way for the Wildcats' running attack this season with his size, strength and physical play. NLS is averaging 208 yards per game running this season, many times running behind Johnson. He didn't play defense until later in the season to preserve him for the playoffs. He responded with 42 tackles, one sack and one interception.


Morris Area

5-9, 235 senior

The Tigers utilized Jallo's athleticism and excellent blocking techniques to record their first 1,000-yard running back in several seasons. The Tigers averaged 214 yards on the ground per game and another 80 per game through the air. On defense, Jallo recorded 40 tackles, including two for losses and one sack.



6-0, 195 senior

The Lakers had a well-balanced attack as Manderschied excelled in both run blocking and pass protection. Minnewaska averaged 131.7 yards per game rushing and another 134.5 per game passing. Manderschied also was one of the top defensive players for the Lakers, recording 96 tackles, including four for losses, and also intercepted four passes.



6-0, 225 junior

The Blackjacks showcased the area's top runner this season and Wager was a big reason why with his excellent blocking technique and ability to dominate defensive linemen. Dawson-Boyd averaged 229 yards per game on the ground and 117 yards passing. He also amassed 71 tackles, including four sacks.  



5-11, 195 senior

Dollerschell was named the West Central South Conference Lineman of the Year, paving the way for a pair of 1,000-yard running backs this season. The Warriors averaged 297 rushing yards per game this season. Dollerschell did not allow a sack all season. On defense, he made 78 tackles, including two sacks, and also recovered two fumbles.



6-3, 200 junior

Brooks also was instrumental in opening holes for BOLD's two 1,000-yard running backs this season. The Warriors averaged 5.7 yards per rushing attempt and 13.2 yards per passing attempt. Brooks also made his mark on defense with 47 tackles, including six sacks and a fumble recovery. 



5-11, 210 senior

Behm, a two-time All-Area selection, was a standout at run blocking and pass protecting this season for the Wolverines. The squad averaged 155.5 yards per game on the ground and 176.1 yards per game through the air. Defensively, Behm registered 58 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and four tackles for loss. 




Buffalo Lake-Hector

6-2 205 senior

A dominating lineman who was hard to block, McNeil penetrated enemy territory and recorded nine sacks in his first year playing defensive end. He finished with a team-high 79 tackles, including 37 solo stops, and also had an interception, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt. McNeil also was used in the backfield sparingly and gained 35 yards in 11 carries.


New London-Spicer

6-6 205 senior

Tall and rangy, Zylstra was named the Oustanding Linemen in the West Central North Conference. He dominated offensive linemen, leading the area this season with 14.5 sacks. He has 108 tackles to this point with 68 of them solo stops. He also recovered two fumbles. On offense, Zylstra is a lead blocker in the backfield that helped the team average 208 yards per game on the ground this season. 



6-3, 230 senior

Adams maintained his consistency this season after being selected All-Area as a junior. He led the team with eight sacks while finishing third on the team with 53 tackles. Adams also blocked three punts and one field goal and recovered two fumbles. A standout blocker as a tight end, he also caught seven passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.


Yellow Medicine East

6-1, 180 senior

For the second straight season, Hegna led the Sting in sacks. After recording 10 as a junior, he added seven more this season. He finished with 66 tackles for the Sting and also recovered three fumbles. On offense, Hegna carried the ball 32 times for 184 yards and a touchdown and caught 13 passes for 158 yards and five touchdowns.




6-0, 190 senior

Winter was a consistent performer all season, ranging from sideline to sideline to make tackles. He finished with a team-high 89 stops, including 40 solo tackles, 53 more tackles than anyone else on the team. He also had four tackles for loss, blocked two field goals and had a fumble recovery.


New London-Spicer

5-10, 190 senior

Nething is leading a tenacious Wildcats' defense this season in tackles with 148, including 95 solos. The blitzing linebacker has 33 tackles for losses, including six sacks. He also led the Wildcats in tackles as a junior. As a part-time fullback, Nething ran for 173 yards in 44 carries and two touchdowns and was also an outstanding blocker.



6-0, 175 senior

Tostenson did an outstanding job as a run-stopper, pressuring the quarterback or in pass coverage this season for the Thunder Hawks. He finished with 52 solo and 20 assisted tackles, including nine tackles for losses, and had two sacks. The two-year starter also intercepted one pass and had a fumble recovery. 


Morris Area

5-6, 165 junior

Hickman led the Tigers' defense this season in unassisted and assisted tackles, recording 50 solo stops and 94 assists. He averaged 14.4 tackles per game. Seven of his tackles resulted in a loss and he also had two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. He was also a force on special teams. 


Morris Area

6-0, 180 junior

Riley was an all-around standout this season on both sides of the ball for the Tigers. He registered 90 tackles, including nine for losses for the Tigers and he also had two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. As a fullback, he ran for 438 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, and scored four touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns and completed 4-of-7 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns.



5-8, 185 senior

Hulterstrum was a rangy linebacker who also served as one of the area's top kickers this season. Playing in a strong Wright County Conference, Hulterstrum led the Dragons with 69 tackles this season. He also had a sack and a fumble recovery. A blocking fullback, he ran for 42 yards and caught two passes. As a kicker, Hulterstrum booted field goals of 23, 25 and 20 yards.


Yellow Medicine East

5-11, 195 senior

Sand, a three-year starter, was honored as the Defensive Player of the Year in the West Central South Conference. He made plays all over the field, registering a team-high 86 solo tackles among his 129 total tackles. He also recorded two sacks, three pass break-ups and three fumble recoveries. Sand also rushed for 646 yards and seven touchdowns and caught three passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive Backs


Minnewaska Area

5-11, 165 senior

Whittemore was outstanding in pass coverage, rarely giving up a big play, and also was solid in run stopping. He was second on the team with 53 solo tackles and also second in total tackles with 75. He led the Lakers with nine pass break-ups and also had one interception. At quarterback, Whittemore threw for 1,170 yards and 16 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and also ran for 352 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 16.2 yards per punt return and 23.4 per kickoff return.



5-9, 160 senior

Loiselle excelled at cornerback for the Cardinals this season at both pass coverage and in run support in a strong Central Lakes Conference. He was second on the team this season with 66 total tackles and also finished with three interceptions and three pass break-ups as Willmar finished 5-5. 



6-1, 185 senior

Roiger was a standout on both sides of the ball for the Blackjacks. He had a team-high four interceptions, including one for a touchdown, and nine pass break-ups, while amassing 34 tackles. Roiger also led the team with 29 receptions for 600 yards and eight touchdowns. And he averaged 22 yards per punt return with a touchdown and 33 yards per kickoff return with a touchdown.


New London-Spicer

5-10, 165 senior

Peterson is a big-time hitter who always seems to be around the ball. He currently has 72 tackles for the Wildcats, including 51 solo stops. He also has picked off three passes and has three sacks to his credit. As a backup tailback, Peterson filled in admirably in two games when Essler was injured, going over 100 yards each time. For the season, he has 438 yards rushing in 74 carries, a 5.9 average per carry, and scored six touchdowns.


New London-Spicer

6-2, 170 senior

Tengwall is leading the Wildcats in interceptions this season with seven, while helping a stellar defense limit opposing teams to one touchdown or less nine times. The cornerback has also returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns and has amassed 55 tackles to date. On offense, the wide receiver has 11 receptions for 174 yards and four touchdowns.

Special Teams



6-1, 195 junior

Swoyer finished the season as the area punting leader with a 36.5 average in 36 attempts. On defense, Swoyer seemed to always be around the ball and came up with several goal-line stops this season. He was the Cardinals' leading tackler with 121 stops at linebacker and also had a fumble recovery.



5-11, 155 junior

In only his second season out for football, Swenson made enormous strides at four positions. The quarterback passed for 1,284 yards, completing 57 percent of his throws and had 11 touchdowns and six interceptions to finish third in the area in passing efficiency. He also ran for 156 yards and six touchdowns. As a free safety, Swenson had three interceptions and six pass break-ups, while making 48 tackles. He also made 43 of 49 extra points and averaged 34.3 yards per punt.


Lac qui Parle Valley

5-8, 165 senior

Hoium had an oustanding season returning punts and kickoffs. Utilizing his speed and elusiveness, Hoium averaged a robust 27.2 yards per punt return with two touchdowns and averaged 24.1 yards per kickoff return with one score. The running back also led the Eagles with 577 yards rushing in 119 attempts (4.8 average) and two touchdowns and caught seven passes for 97 yards and a touchdown.

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