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All-Area Football: Brainerd's seven leads all-area team

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Brainerd nabbed seven spots, with Crosby-Ironton, Pierz and Pillager each collecting three spots to highlight this year’s Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Football Team.

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The Verndale Pirates and Little Falls Flyers also had multiple selections to the team.

Players for the all-area team are nominated by their coaches and then selected by the Brainerd Dispatch sports department.

All-area first team

Peter Zasmeta, Aitkin

Senior, WR-CB

The two-time All-Great Polar Alliance selection finished with 528 yards on 100 carries for a 5.3 yards-per-carry average. He caught 13 passes for 336 yards for a 25.8 yards-per-catch average. He returned two punts for touchdowns and finished with more than 1,100 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns.

Defensively, he finished with 16 solo tackles and 31 total tackles with 1.5 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and three interceptions.

Jon Asprey, Brainerd

Senior, OL-DL

The All-Central Lakes Conference player helped Brainerd rush for 2,289 yards and pass for 836. He added 13 tackles one forced fumble and one sack.

■ Billy Desrocher, Brainerd

Junior, C

The All-Central Lakes Conference player helped Brainerd rush for 2,289 yards and pass for 836. He added three tackles.

■ Luke Boran, Brainerd

Senior, QB

The All-Central Lakes Conference selection passed for 749 yards and six touchdowns on 51.3-percent passing.

He rushed for 714 yards and eight touchdowns on 135 attempts (5.3 average).

He also was an academic all-state player.

■ Conor Gessell, Brainerd

Junior, RB-DB

The All-Central Lakes Conference player rushed for 1,033 yards and 12 touchdowns on 161 carries (6.4 average).

He caught seven passes for 98 yards (14.0 average) and a touchdown.

He returned 12 kicks for 299 (24.9 average) and a touchdown.

■ Cole Smith, Brainerd

Junior, DB-WR

The All-Central Lakes Conference player led Brainerd with 119 tackles to go with one fumble recovery, five pass breakups, two interceptions and one blocked extra point.

He caught 17 passes for 231 yards (13.6 average) and two touchdowns.

He returned nine punts for 88 yards (9.8 average) and two kickoffs for 102 yards (51.0 average).

■ Grant Reuer, Brainerd

Junior, DB-WR

The All-Central Lakes Conference player finished with 59 tackles, six pass breakups, six interceptions, one forced fumble and recovered a fumble.

He caught 12 passes for 161 yards (13.4 average) and a touchdown.

■ Chris Bowman, Brainerd

Senior, DL

The All-Central Lakes Conference player finished with 59 tackles, one pass breakup, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and six sacks.

Dylan Wasserzieher,

Crosby-Ironton

Senior, RB-OLB

The All-Great Polar Alliance selection rushed for 933 yards and seven touchdowns on 130 carries for a 7.2 yards-per-carry average. He caught four passes for 100 yards.

Collected 70 unassisted tackles and 134 total. He added two sacks, one interception returned for a touchdown and three passes defended.

Daniel Hudrlik,

Crosby-Ironton

Sophomore, WR-DB

The All-Great Polar Alliance selection rushed for 691 yards and 13 touchdowns on 90 carries (7.7 average). He caught 17 passes for 223 yards (13.1 average) and six touchdowns.

Punted 13 times for a 53.3 average. He returned 18 punts for 300 yards (16.7 average) and two touchdowns and eight kickoffs for 240 yards (30.0) and another score.

Collected 58 solo tackles and 106 total. He added four interceptions, returning one for a score and nine pass defenses.

Matt Lambert,

Crosby-Ironton

Senior, G-MLB

The All-Great Polar Alliance selection, All-Section 6-2A and all-state academic player finished with 90 unassisted tackles and 130 total. He added 1.5 sacks, one interception and a pass breakup.

He helped C-I rush for 2,716 yards and throw for 566 and average 328.2 yards per game.

Collin Eckman, Little Falls

Senior, WR-DB

The All-Granite Ridge Conference and GRC special teams player of the year finished with 37 catches for 415 yards (11.2 yards per catch) and five touchdowns. On 12 kickoffs, he averaged 23.1 yards and scored one touchdown.

He averaged 31 yards on punts.

He collected nine solo tackles and 20 total. He added four pass breakups, two interceptions and a forced fumble.

■ Jalen Wuchko, Little Falls

Junior, RB

The All-Granite Ridge Conference and team most valuable player carried the ball 156 times for 1,177 yards (7.5 per carry) and 11 touchdowns.

He added four solo tackles and 11 total.

Josh Lanners, Pierz

Senior, RB-DB

The three-time All-Central Minnesota Conference, and two-time CMC running back of the year finished with 1,508 yards and 24 touchdowns on 212 carries (7.1 per carry). He caught 16 passes for 198 yards (12.4) and a touchdown.

He finished with 46 solo tackles and 68 total tackles. He added one sack, two interceptions, five pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

Travis Johnson, Pierz

Senior, OT-NG

The Central Minnesota Conference offensive lineman of the year, and all-conference selection, helped Pierz rush for 3,244 yard and pass for 753 yards.

Finished with 9 solo tackles and 21 total tackles.

He made 28 extra points and was 1-for-1 on field goals.

Nick Lochner, Pierz

Senior, center-DE

The All-Central Minnesota Conference selection helped Pierz rush for 3,244 yards and pass for 753. He did not have a bad snap in two years on offense, punts or extra points.

He finished with 12 solo tackles and 28 total. He added six sacks and two pass breakups.

Travis Richards, Pillager

Senior, RB-DE

The All-North Star Conference and All-Section 6-1A selection rushed for 1,188 yards and 21 touchdowns on 132 carries (9.0 average). He caught six passes for 95 yards.

He finished with 51 tackles, six sacks and two fumble recoveries.

Devin Strack, Pillager

Senior, RB-DB

The All-North Star Conference and All-Section 6-1A selection rushed for 717 yards and 13 touchdowns on 61 carries (11.8 average). He caught 14 passes for 244 yards and a score. He also threw one pass for 43 yards.

He added 16 tackles, one interception and one pass breakup.

Mike Pettit, Pillager

Senior, OL-DE

The All-North Star Conference, conference lineman of the year, All-Section 6-1A and academic all-state selection helped Pillager rush for 3,567 yards and throw for 795.

He added 15 tackles, three rumble recoveries and two blocked kicks.

Beau Howard,

Pine River-Backus

Senior, QB-FS

The All-North Star Conference and All-Section 6-1A selection passed for 1,046 yards and 13 touchdowns on 63-of-118 passing.

He rushed for 257 yards and five touchdowns on 85 carries (3.0 average).

He collected 10 solo tackles, 18 total, and added a fumble recovery.

He was the long snapper on all special teams.

Dallas Ehrmantraut,

Verndale

Senior, WR-DB

The All-Pheasant Conference and academic all-state player finished with 20 receptions for 312 yards (15.6 average) and 12 touchdowns. He rushed for 229 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries (6.7 average).

He led the Pirates with 61 solo tackles and 129 total to go with one sack, three interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Dillon Card, Verndale

Sophomore, QB-DE

He threw for 834 yards and 13 touchdowns on 57-percent passing. He rushed for 1,091 yards and 17 touchdowns on 234 carries (4.7 average).

He added 28 solo tackles and 77 total tackles along with one interception, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries.

Honorable mention

Adam Bast, Aitkin

Senior, LB

Finished with 19 solo tackles and 66 total tackles. He added 2.5 sacks, three tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and an interception.

Brandon Hatchen, Aitkin

Senior, C

Hatchen helped Aitkin rush for 916 yards and throw for 733 yards.

He added one solo tackle and 17 total tackles.

Isaac Collins, Aitkin

Senior, G-DL

Collins helped Aitkin rush for 916 yards and throw for 733 yards.

He collected 12 solo tackles and 60 total tackles. He added 0.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles.

Lyle Nyberg, Aitkin

Senior, LB-S

Nyberg finished with 33 solo tackles and 72 total tackles to go with six tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and two interceptions.

He added one catch for 37 yards on offense.

Brian Wold, Aitkin

Senior, ILB

Wold finished with 79 tackles and one tackle for loss.

Dan Bender, Aitkin

Junior, RB-LB

Bender carried the ball 26 times for 56 yards and a touchdown. He caught two passes for 27 yards.

He collected 30 solo tackles and 68 total tackles to go with one sack, 10 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

■ TJ Graumann, Brainerd

Junior, LB

The All-Central Lakes Conference honorable mention recipient finished with 100 tackles, five pass breakups, two sacks, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and one interception.

■ Alex DeRosier, Brainerd

Junior, OL

The All-Central Lakes Conference honorable mention player helped Brainerd rush for 2,289 yards and pass for 836.

■ Isaiah Smith, Brainerd

Junior, WR

The All-Central Lakes Conference honorable mention player caught 15 passes for 216 yards (14.4 average) and two touchdowns.

He added two tackles and a fumble recovery.

Zack Olander,

Crosby-Ironton

Senior, FB-DE

The All-Great Polar Alliance and All-Section 6-2A selection rushed for 963 yards and 10 touchdowns on 148 carries (6.5 average).

Added seven punts for a 30.0 average.

Collected 47 solo tackles, 76 total, and two sacks.

Jared Bundy,

Crosby-Ironton

Senior, OLB

The All-Great Polar Alliance honorable mention selection finished with 65 solo tackles and 114 total. He added two sacks.

Tyler Jordan,

Crosby-Ironton

Senior, T-DE

The All-Great Polar Alliance honorable mention and All-Section 6-2A selection helped C-I rush for 2,716 yards and throw for 566 and average 328.2 yards per game.

Collected 54 solo tackles and 108 total tackles. He added five sacks.

Brady Tesdahl,

Crosby-Ironton

Sophomore, TE-MLB

The All-Great Polar Alliance honorable mention selection finished with 11 catches for 99 yards (9.0 average) and three touchdowns.

Collected 65 solo tackles and 122 total tackles. He added one interception.

Trysten Ross, Little Falls

Junior, TE-LB

The All-Granite Ridge Conference player finished with 76 solo tackles and 123 total, 15 tackles for loss, one sack, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

He added 85 yards on 25 carries (3.4 average). He caught five passes for 29 yards. 

Jeff Redmond, Pequot Lakes

Senior, QB

The All-Heart O’ Lakes Conference player threw for 1,011 yards and 10 touchdowns on 68-of-186 passing (37 percent).

He rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries (3.5 average).

He added 11 solo tackles and 13 total tackles on defense.

Ben Boser, Pierz

Senior, QB-DB

The All-Central Minnesota Conference selection threw for 753 yards and three touchdowns. He was 54-of-112 passing (48 percent).

He rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.

He finished with 11 solo tackles and 21 total. He added four interceptions, five pass breakups and recovered a fumble.

Mitch Hasert, Pierz

Senior, OG-DT

The All-Central Minnesota Conference selection helped Pierz rush for 3,244 yards and pass for 753 yards.

He finished with 14 solo tackles and 41 total tackles.

Ben Ramsey, Pillager

Senior, DL

The All-North Star Conference and All-Section 6-1A selection helped Pillager rush for 3,567 yards and throw for 795.

He finished with 37 tackles, one sack and four fumble recoveries.

Mitch Leifermann, Pillager

Senior, DL

The All-North Star Conference selection led the Huskies with 81 tackles. He added four sacks and four fumble recoveries.

Jeff Flickinger, Pillager

Senior, RB-DB

The All-North Star Conference selection rushed for 834 yards and 16 touchdowns on 102 carries (8.2 average). He caught two passes for 47 yards.

He added 16 tackles, one interception, six pass breakups.

Drey Loge,

Pine River-Backus

Senior, RB-LB

The All-North Star Conference, conference special teams player of the year and All-Section 6-1A selection rushed for 784 yards and nine touchdowns on 135 carries (5.8 average). He caught 13 passes for 168 yards and two scores.

He finished with 45 solo tackles and 68 total. He added one fumble recovery.

He returned two kicks and one punt for touchdowns, averaging 19.1 yards on punts, and 28.5 yards on kick returns.

Jared Adkins,

Pine River-Backus

Senior, FB-LB

The All-North Star Conference and All-Section 6-1A selection finished with 41 solo tackles, 73 total tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

He rushed for 337 yards and three touchdowns on 83 carries (4.1 average) and caught seven passes for 70 yards.

Jordan Wick, Staples-Motley

Senior, LB/TE

The All-Heart O’Lakes Conference selection and team most valuable player finished with a conference- and team-high 82.5 tackles.

He added seven catches for 140 yards.

Alex Walsvik, Verndale

Senior, TE-DE

He finished with 17 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown (12.5 average).

He added 18 solo tackles and 54 total to go with two sacks and one fumble recovery.

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

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Jermey Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
(218) 855-5856
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