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Male Area Athlete of the Week: Klefsaas’s big game on the ground helps S-M over W-DC

Staples-Motley's Sivert Klefsaas is the male area athlete of the week

Sivert-Klefsaas.jpg
Sivert Klefsaas.

Sivert Klefsaas is primed for a stellar senior season.

The Staples-Motley running back got off to a great start last week with 170 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Cardinals 22-16 win over Wadena-Deer Creek Thursday, Sept. 2.

“It was a great scheme by coach (Nick) Schultz,” Klefsaas said. “We were able to pound it ahead with the guys up front and opened up a lot of holes for me.”

Klefsaas is no stranger to carrying the load for the Cardinals. As a junior, he rushed for 855 yards and seven touchdowns in seven games. He averaged 6.06 yards per carry and 122.14 yards per game. He also caught 11 passes for 54 yards. He earned Dispatch All-Area first team as a junior and as a sophomore.

“It’s his senior year and we challenged him in owning that and trying to run hard,” Staples-Motley head coach Chris Kappler said. “We saw him use his speed last year, but this year he ran with a purpose and he feels good. It was a lot of fun to see what he can do.”

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Klefsaas feels he’s grown a lot in his third season playing Friday nights. As a sophomore, he ran for 868 yards and 12 touchdowns on 112 carries.

“I feel like my game preparation has gotten better as I’ve gotten older,” Klefsaas said. “Sophomore year you’re kind of the younger guy and all the older guys are telling you you’re going to be good, but now I focus on my sleep, my eating, I really stretch full out. I think game recovery I’ve really improved too.”

Klefsaas was named captain of the football team as a senior. A position that he learned from those who came before him.

“I had great leaders in front of me — Max Strickland, Cade Schmidt, Logan Weite — all great guys to lead me along,” Klefsaas said. “It’s hard for me to be a vocal leader. I’m definitely more of a lead-by-example guy, but one of my coaches told me that’s not enough you need to be a vocal leader, so it’s just been my development there and having people lead me along the way.”

As a running back, Kappler really wants to see more of what Klefsaas did last week against WDC.

“We are going to keep pushing him to make that next step,” Kappler said. “He just has to keep working hard. We’ve always enjoyed his speed and he’s really committed himself to the weight room. He’s gotten stronger and stronger. So this year he’s worked hard to develop the skills he has.”

Kappler described Klefsaas as coachable and although he’s known for his speed he’ll lay his shoulder into defenders to make his presence felt.

“He is a great kid overall,” Kappler said. “He’s our captain and we lean on him to be one of the bar setters for our team and set the tone for how we want to practice and be on the field. We want him to be our emotional leader and vocal leader.”

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According to Kappler, Klefsaas also excels in the classroom as a straight-A student.

Klefsaas also plays linebacker on the defensive side of the ball for SM. Last season, he recorded 49 tackles and one sack.

This year, Klefsaas likes how fast-paced the Cardinals played in their first game. It’s a trend he hopes they continue throughout the season.

“We are running plays at a high speed,” Klefsaas said. “It’s so fun and an exciting way to play football.”

Klefsaas hopes to play football in college next year.

“I have schools recruiting me and that’s a fun process and I really appreciate that,” he said. “I really can’t say what the future holds for me, but I hope I can play football in college.”

Other notable performances:
Football: Jacob Williams, Aitkin, rushed for 91 yards on six carries for two touchdowns against Crosby-Ironton
Kirby Fishcer, Pierz, rushed for 70 yards and two touchdowns against Holdingford.

Sivert Klefsaas

Year: Senior

School: Staples-Motley

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Sport: Football

Position: running back

Highlights: He rushed for 170 yards and three touchdowns against Wadena-Deer Creek.

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