Hengstler-Ranweiler Awards: Here are your male nominees
Athletes from ACGC, BBE, CMCS, KMS, MACCRAY and Willmar are finalists for the 62nd annual award.
WILLMAR — This year's male nominees for the 62nd Hengstler-Ranweiler Award are an eclectic bunch.
All were dominant at their respective programs. All stood out in their respective sports.
Whether it was Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City's Landon Blom rushing for 1,397 yards and going to state in multiple events in track and field, or Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa's Blaine Fischer helping lead the Jaguars to state tournaments in football and wrestling, it was a fine year for all involved.
The Hengstler-Ranweiler Award recognizes outstanding three-sport athletes in the West Central Tribune area and is selected by the sports department. Activities directors from area schools are contacted and asked for nominations.
It's a tough award to earn. This year's male athlete of the year will be announced Saturday.
Here's a look at this year's nominees:
Landon Blom, ACGC
Sports: Football, basketball, wrestling, track and field
Fall: A four-time letterwinner and two-time all-district selection, he was a team captain who was named Central Minnesota Conference Athlete of the Week. He tied two school records, one for most touchdowns in a game with five and one for most points scored in a game with 32. The running back/linebacker was a four-time all-conference academic selection who rushed for 1,389 yards rushing with 17 touchdowns and 28 tackles with four sacks and one interception his senior year.
Winter: He lettered in basketball and wrestling once, making contributions to both programs, playing basketball his senior year and helping a young Falcons team to a 9-17 record after being part of ACGC's perennially tough wrestling program.
Spring: A three-time letterwinner and two-time all-conference selection who was voted the CMC Male Athlete of the Year, also earning all-conference academic honors three straight years. He was the conference champion in 110-meter high hurdles, the 300 hurdles and the high jump. Qualified for state in the 110 and 300 hurdles and the high jump.
Alex Call, KMS
Sports: Football, basketball, baseball
Fall: A four-year starter at quarterback and defensive back, he was a three-time all-district selection who was a captain and three-time West Central Tribune All-Area section. He finished his career with 3,167 passing yards, completing 216 of 439 passes, with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also had seven rushing touchdowns and made 102 tackles with five interceptions defensively.
Winter: A three-year starter and three-time All-Camden Conference North selection, he averaged 15.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 3.4 apg his senior year, finishing with 1,175 career points. He also had 32 steals and six blocks and finished with a 1.33 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Spring: A three-year starter and three-time conference MVP, he was a Lions All-Star Series selection and received all-state academic honors. His senior year, he batted .397 with a .494 on-base percentage and a 1.066 OPS with 19 RBI, 16 runs and five stolen bases. On the mound, he was 8-0 with a 0.00 ERA, striking out 119 and walking nine in 47-1/3 innings. He finished his career with a 24-2 record and 0.53 ERA, striking out 314 in 152 innings. He also batted .381 with 63 RBI, 60 runs and 27 stolen bases.
Blaine Fischer, BBE
Sports: Football, wrestling and baseball
Fall: Standout two-way player at running back and linebacker, he helped lead BBE to the state playoffs for the first time. On defense, he made 87 tackles with three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two defensive TDs. On offense, he rushed 5r6 times for 392 yards with five TDs and caught 31 passes for 397 yards and four TDs. He was an all-district selection and the team's MVP, winning the Coach Dennis Weimerskirch Award.
Winter: A five-time all-conference selection who finished with a 210-60 career record. He placed five times at state, including winning a state title as a junior and placing fifth as a senior, four as a sophomore, third as a freshman and sixth as an eighth-grader. Led the Jaguars to a section championship and the state meet his senior year.
Spring: A three-year starter and two-time all-conference selection who was a two-time captain and BBE's defensive player of the year as a senior, he finished his career with a .300 batting average, .340 on-base percentage, 40 runs and 36 RBIs. He was never caught stealing and played catcher, pitcher, second base and outfield.
Gavin Husman, MACCRAY
Sports: Football, basketball and baseball
Fall: A three-year starter and all-district member, he started both ways, compiling 492 receiving yards and three touchdowns on offense and three interceptions and three sacks on defense.
Winter: A three-year letterwinner and two-year starter, he averaged 12.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.3 apg and 1.3 spg as a point guard and shooting guard, finishing with 490 career points, 86 rebounds, 172 assists and 43 steals.
Spring: A three-year starter, he was a captain who earned all-conference honors his senior year as well as helping lead MACCRAY to the state tournament. The center fielder finished with a .412 batting average. He also played two years of golf, qualifying for state. He finished tied for 35th at the state meet.
Alex Schramm, Willmar
Sports: Football, basketball and baseball
Fall: A three-year letterwinner and two-year starter at quarterback who also played defensive back. He completed 56 of 124 passes for 890 yards and 11 TDs sis senior year, rushing 130 times for 732 yards and eight TDs. He finished with 1,513 passing yards and 15 TDs with 1,79a rushing yards and 21 TDs. He made the all-state academic team and earned All-District White honors.
Winter: A three-time letterwinner and two-year starter who was voted team defensive MVP as a senior, earning all-conference honorable-mention. He averaged 9.3 ppg, 3 rpg, 1 apg and 1 spg his senior year, finishing with 438 career points. He shot 37% from the field and 64% from the free-throw line.
Spring: A two-year starter and two-time all-conference pick at center field and right field, he was part of Willmar's state tournament team in 2021. H e finish his career with a .281 average, 28 RBI, 34 runs and 16 stolen bases. "Alex is an elite defensive outfielder with incredible range and a strong arm," head coach Tom DeBoer said. "In two seasons, he committed one error."
Ben Van Eps, CMCS
Sports: Soccer, basketball, track and field
Fall: A three-year starter and four-time letterwinner, the center midfielder had four goals and three assists his senior year, finishing with 12 career goals. "Ben was a four-year varsity soccer player who consistently pushed himself and his team to get better," head coach Scott Butelyn said. "He was a leader in his work ethic in practices and matches."
Winter: A four-year letterwinner and two-year starter who won all-conference honors twice, he finished with 1,103 career points and helped Central Minnesota Christian to a state tournament appearance in 2021. He averaged 18.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg and 3.0 apg after averaging 15 ppg, 5 rpg and 3 apg as a junior.
Spring: A four-year varsity letter who qualified for the state meet in five events, he finished seventh in state in the triple jump and also made state in 800-meter run and the 4x800 relay. His all-time best in the triple jump is 43-feet, 1/2-inch, 2:01.54 in the 800 and 55.48 in the 400.