Male Area Athlete of the Week: Neu’s big game gets Flyers 1st win

Little Falls senior earns athlete of the week

Austin Neu.

Austin Neu let it all air out.

The Little Falls senior quarterback threw for 351 yards and five touchdowns to help the Flyers notch their first win of the season 41-18 over Milaca last week.

“We were all clicking,” Neu said. “The line was doing a fantastic job. I only got hit once and it was a late hit. The receivers were catching everything. Running perfect routes. It was kind of a combination of everyone coming together.”

Flyers head coach Joe Bartos called Neu a high-character person and a player he trusted with the ball.

“One of the things he showed us consistently over the last couple years is the ability to make good decisions on and off the football field,” Bartos said. “He’s a natural leader.”


His main target in the win against Milaca was Louis Sobiech who caught nine passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns from Neu.

“Louis is a fast guy — he’s fast as heck,” Neu said. “We are great buddies on and off the field. I love throwing the ball to him. He’s fast and it’s fun watching him run and break tackles. We have a lot of stellar receivers, but especially Louis. He can just about outrun everybody, so I’m looking for him as the first option more often than not.”

Sobiech finished the season with 773 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns as Neu’s No. 1 target.

“Last year, we had Luke Kush and we thought he would be our No. 1 wide receiver, but he got hurt Week One, so (the Neu-Sobiech) relationship really started after that first game last year,” Bartos said. “They knew that they were going to have to be on the same page for us to move the ball. And those guys have really worked on route running and timing of throws and you can tell Austin knows where Louis is going to go.”

The Flyers lost to St. Cloud Apollo in the opening round of the Section 8-4A playoffs Tuesday, Oct. 26. Neu finished the season with 1,317 yards passing and 12 touchdowns and hit on 46.5% of his passes.

“I think it’s something we do the best,” Neu said of the Flyers’ passing attack. “We are always practicing trying to develop the routes for each defense that we are going to play. I think it definitely pays off.”

Neu led the Flyers in rushing against Milaca with 67 yards. He finished the season with 367 rushing yards, which led the team, and three touchdowns.

“It’s a lot of read-option type of things,” Neu said. “So I end up reading the (defensive) end on a lot of things. Most of the time by the end of the season they start keying in on the running back, so that gives me the option to pull it and get as much yardage as I can.”


The biggest memory Neu has playing football for Little Falls is his sophomore year during the homecoming game. He said he tallied two interceptions and learned a lot about leadership in the game.

“Watching the guys in front of me lead, I definitely tried to fulfill that role the last two years,” Neu said. “That’s definitely where I improved the most.”

Neu started for Little Falls at cornerback his sophomore before switching over to quarterback his junior and senior years. He played defense this year as well and tallied 13.5 tackles as a defensive back.

“We knew that he had the opportunity to be a special football player when I got the chance to work with him as a 10th grader,” Bartos said. “The maturity and the sense of self and the understanding of what it takes to be a fantastic athlete. The kid is the real deal as far as what we’d like to see from our guys be and become. We are sad to see him go.”

Other notable performances:
Football: Connor Tulenchik, Pine River-Backus, rushed for 105 yards on 21 carries.
Louis Sobiech, Little Falls, caught nine passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns.
Gideon Ervasti, Verndale, rushed for 243 yards and three touchdowns on 43 carries.

Austin Neu

Year: Senior

School: Little Falls


Sport: Football

Position: Quarterback

Highlights: He threw for 351 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 67 yards.

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