With a South Central Conference championship, section title and State Championship trophy under their belt, the Blue Earth Area Buccaneer football team learned they received more honors this week.
Eight Buccaneers were named to the SCC All-Conference list.
Carter Hanson, Kysten Zierke, Isaac Darrington, David Franta, Gus Phillips and Steven Plocker were all named to the All-Conference team, while Dallas Barslou and Micah Twedt were on the honorable mention list.
Buccaneers earning South Central Conference All-Conference honors in football were: back row, left to right; Kysten Zierke, Gus Phillips, Steven Plocker and Micah Twedt. Front row, left to right; Carter Hanson, Dallas Barslou, Isaac Darrington and David Franta.
Here is some information on each of the eight honored Bucs.
The Buccaneer senior running back/linebacker led the team on defense with 124 tackles, three fumble recoveries, one interception and four sacks.
Plus, on offense, the 180-pounder carried the ball for 593 yards on 103 carries with six touchdowns and caught 10 passes for 161 yards and one touchdown.
In addition, Hanson had five kick off returns for 127 yards.
"What can I say about Carter?" Coach Randy Kuechenmeister asked. "In one word tough!"
The coach says Hanson is just plain one really good football player.
"He is a very physical player, and has great football instincts," the coach says. "He is a great tackler and an excellent blocker."
The 205-pound junior quarterback/linebacker had an outstanding year.
On defense Zierke had 56 tackles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions and 2 1/2 sacks.
But it was on offense that he really shined.
Zierke rushed for 1,030 yards on 193 carries and had 18 rushing touchdowns. He also completed 74 of 158 passing attempts for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns, with just nine interceptions.
"Kysten is also tough and very strong," coach Kuechenmeister says. "He can beat you with running or throwing."
Plus, the coach notes, Zierke is an excellent defender.
"Teams always had to account for him on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively," Coach K says.
No. 84 for the Bucs had 87 tackles and three interceptions on defense, but also an awful lot of knocked down passes.
The 6-foot-4, 185 pound wide receiver and defensive back was very effective on offense.
The Buc senior grabbed 24 catches for 410 yards and scored seven touchdowns.
The coach says Darrington is extremely athletic.
"Isaac is a good route runner and can really go get the ball," the Buc mentor says. "He can really go up for the ball."
The coach adds that the bigger the game the bigger Darrington would play.
Coach Kuechenmeister says that like Carter Hanson, Franta is a very physical football player.
The 5-foot-11, 175 pound junior wide receiver/safety plays a lot bigger than he is.
Franta had 78 tackles, one fumble recovery and two interceptions on defense.
On offense he gained 713 yards rushing on 87 carries and scored 11 touchdowns on the ground.
He also had nine catches for 168 yards and another couple of TDs.
Plus, he had four kick off returns for another 85 yards.
"David is very good at making plays," the coach says. "Whether he is catching the ball, running with it, or on defense. He just loves to play football."
The Bucs' No. 6 is a 6-foot-2, 175 pound junior wide receiver/linebacker.
On defense Phillips had 55 tackles, three blocked punts, three fumble recoveries, one interception and an incredible 11 1/2 sacks.
Plus, on offense, he ran for 731 yards on 81 carries and scored six rushing touchdowns. He also made two catches for 45 yards and one was good for another TD.
In addition, Phillips returned nine kick offs for 171 yards.
Coach Kuechenmeister had two main words to describe Phillips.
"He was our speed guy on the outside defensively," the coach says. "Gus has a tremendous knack for being around the ball."
Plocker, a 220-pound, 6-foot-4 tight end/defensive end, had 46 tackles for the Bucs on defense, with two fumble recoveries and two sacks.
On offense the senior had 15 catches for 125 yards.
"Steven is versatile and consistent in his play," Kuechenmeister comments. "He knows his job and he does his job well, including doing all the little things so well."
The senior wide receiver/corner back was named to the honorable mention list.
The 5-foot-10, 170 pound Barslou had 39 tackles on the Bucs defensive side, with one fumble recovery and two interceptions.
On offense, he had 10 catches for 112 yards and one touchdown. He also had three kick off returns for 33 yards and seven punt returns for 25 yards.
"Dallas is very competitive and a hard worker," the Buc head coach notes. "He wants to do well and does what he needs to, to get it done."
Twedt, a 6-foot-2, 240 pound offensive and defensive lineman, had 57 tackles, one fumble recovery and two sacks for the Bucs.
The All-Conference honorable mention senior is another very hard worker on the team, Coach K says.
"Micah is always willing to do his job, plug the middle," the Buc mentor says. "He goes hard, gives it all he's got, every time, during practice and during the game."
The coach says that all the players this year were very team oriented.
"Yes, we have a few that stand out," Kuechenmeister says. "But it is hard to talk just about a few especially this season. Our great year was a true team effort, with everyone doing their part."