Area Notebook: Schnichels, Kern, Thein selected to All-State team

Willmar junior, BBE senior and MACCRAY junior named to state volleyball coaches association squad. Also: Football Academic All-State team includes Willmar, BOLD players, college commitments and high school bowling.

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Willmar junior Sydney Schnichels readies a serve during the Section 2AAA championship match Nov. 4 against Marshall at Marshall High School. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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Three West Central Tribune area athletes have been named to the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association All-State team.

Wilmar’s Sydney Schnichels, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa’s Emily Kern and MACCRAY’s Sydney Thein are all-staters.

Schnichels is one of five juniors on the 18-player Class AAA All-State team. She’s an outside hitter who helped lead the Cardinals to a Central Lakes Conference championship and a runner-up finish in Section 2AAA.Schnichels, 6-foot-4, is a University of Minnesota volleyball recruit.

Kern and Thein made the 18-player Class A team. Kern is a senior libero who helped BBE to a Central Minnesota Conference championship and a runner-up finish in Section 6A. She has signed with Division II St. Cloud State to continue her volleyball career.

Thein is one of five juniors on the Class A All-State team. The outside hitter and setter helped lead MACCRAY to the Camden Conference North Division championship and a 20-8 record.


All-State teams are released in all four classes and selected by the coaches’ association.

All-state academic

The Minnesota Football Coaches Association has announced its All-State Academic teams.

Willmar quarterback Alex Schramm made the Class AAAA team. There are 17 Class AAAA members. Schramm has committed to Division II Minnesota-Duluth to continue his football career.

Minnewaska’s Nathan Rankin and Morris/Chokio-Alberta’s Ethan Lebrija are on the 16-member Class AAA All-State Academic team.

In Class A, BOLD’s Connor Plumley is on the 14-member Class A All-State Academic squad, as is YME’s Patrick Hoernemann.

In Class 3A, Montevideo and Morris/Chokio-Alberta earned team Gold Medal designations. Montevideo, led by coach Kyle Goslee, had a 3.42 grade-point average. Morris/CA, coached by Kevin Pope, had a 3.27 GPA.

Minnewaska earned a Silver Medal rating. Coach Jeremy Christensen’s team had a 3.07 GPA.

In Class A, Yellow Medicine East received a Gold Medal rating. Sting head coach Dave Schueler’s squad had a 3.32 GPA.


Gold medals are awarded to teams with a 3.26 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale. Silver goes to teams in the 3.00 to 3.25 range.

Individuals selected must be a senior and a starter. They must have outstanding football and leadership ability plus academic excellence. The player must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA in his sophomore and junior years, plus the first quarter of his senior year. Players cannot have any eligibility penalties or infractions on their record.

For the team award, squads must use all team members on their official home roster for Grades 10-12. Freshmen are not included.

College commitments

  • Montevideo girls basketball star Avery Koenen has committed to North Dakota State to continue her career. Koenen, a 6-foot-1 junior post, was a Class AA All-State honorable-mention last season. Koenen averaged 22 points,l 11.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game for the Thunder Hawks last season, leading Montevideo to a 14-5 record. She was also named the West Central Conference’s Most Valuable Player and already has more than 1,000 career points.

  • Heading to Augustana for men’s basketball: Morris/Chokio-Alberta’s Jackson Loge. A 6-foot-8 senior, Loge averaged 22.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game as a junior. He helped Morris/CA to a 19-3 record and a state tournament berth. He has been a starter since ninth grade and is the son of former Minnesota Gopher men’s basketball player Kevin Loge.

NLS wins bowling playoff

New London-Spicer beat Willmar 367-357 in the West Central High School Bowling Conference Nov. 6 at Alley on Ash in New London. In the other playoff semifinal, Alexandria defeated Yellow Medicine East.

In the championship, NLS beat Alexandria 380-350 to win the conference championship.

Willmar bowlers selected to the all-conference team are Kadin Brabender, Kerlan Darger and Quinton Hauck.


All-conference players NLS include Brayden Hansen. Alexandria’s Marcus Teaser and Reed Teisdorf also were selected.

The all-honors team included Andrew Sharp from NLS, Reed Reisdorf from Alexandria, Ashton Tolifson from Benson and Brabender and Hauck from Willmar.

Brabender, Reisdorf and Hansen have been selected to participate in the state tournament. Also qualifying for state is Willmar’s Hannah Molash.

NLS moves into regional play Nov. 20.

The Class A tournament is in Brainerd.

Willmar and Alexandria have a chance to advance to the regional Class AA meet in Ramsey based upon their conference win-loss percentage, according to Willmar head coach Chuck Loso.

Loso said an announcement on who qualifies for the regional is forthcoming.
“We’ll know by Sunday,” he said.

The top 40 teams in the state advance to regional competition.

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Willmar senior Alex Schram runs near the sideline during the fourth quarter of a Section 2AAAA semifinal game against Faribault on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Hodapp Field in Willmar. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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