Seven receive SCC recognition
Seven Blue Earth Area football players have been named to the South Central All-Conference Football Team after finishing the 2011 season with a 10-2 overall record and 4-1 mark in the SCC.
“I feel that there are even more that are worthy,” head coach Randy Kuechenmeister says. “It takes everybody on the team working together to create individual success.”
Jonah Pirsig, Sam Lee, Brady Anderson, Carter Hanson and Jacob Olson all received nods for the all-conference team and Josh Johnson and Isaac Darrington received honorable mention.
Pirsig anchored one of the most intimidating offensive lines in the state and was a reliable performer the entire year for the Buccaneers.
The 6-foot-9, 300-pound left tackle created gaping holes for a flurry of BEA running backs on their way to exceptional performances.
“Jonah makes things happen,” Kuechenmeister says. “He has good feet and is an excellent blocker.”
Pirsig finished the year with 31 tackles and two and a half sacks from his defensive end position.
“He is tough to block,” Kuechenmeister says. “He makes teams want to run to the other side.”
Joining Pirsig on the all-conference team was fellow offensive lineman Sam Lee. Big No. 75 was a nightmare for opposing teams the entire year as Lee wreaked havoc on both offense and defense.
“Jonah and Sam can take pride in the fact that they blocked for a rushing attack that averaged six yards a carry, recorded 3,300 yards of rushing and averaged 275 yards of rushing a game,” Kuechenmeister says. “Sam has good feet and stays on his block well.”
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound, senior also had a standout year at defensive tackle, racking up 38 stops and creating countless piles.
“Sam controls the middle,” Kuechenmeister says. “He was tough to move.”
“Brady is a great decision maker and leader,” Kuechenmeister says. “He makes things happen with his feet and his arm.”
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior has been a fixture at BEA, calling plays since the beginning of his junior season.
The gun-slinger threw for 1,320 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also rushed for four scores.
Anderson had many outstanding games, but none quite like his Sept. 30 game against Waseca.
The senior played a major part in all three touchdowns and led BEA with 13 tackles en route to a nail-biting 22-16 win over the Bluejays.
Anderson found one of his favorite targets, Isaac Darrington, for two touchdowns and ran for the final score to lead the Bucs over their SCC conference rivals.
The hard-hitting junior played a major role for the Buccaneers on offense and defense throughout their 2011 campaign. “Carter is a tough, hard-nosed player,” Kuechenmeister says. “He was the leader of our defense and is a great tackler.”
Hanson led BEA with 102 tackles from his linebacker position. He also chipped in three interceptions and one and a half sacks to compliment his high tackle output.
On offense, Hanson was the team’s second leading rusher, compiling 896 yards on 136 attempts.
“Carter had a great year running the ball and did a nice job lead blocking,” Kuechenmeister says.
Hanson shined in the Section final against Luverne, running for 157 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. The outstanding game also included two acrobatic runs of 50 yards or more.
Hanson’s toughness was a staple of the BEA team and he set the tone in many games throughout the year with his physical brand of play.
Olson led the Bucs in rushing from his tail back position. The senior excelled in his final year racking up 1,233 yards on 198 carries and scoring 17 touchdowns.
Coach Kuechenmeister summed up Olson’s talents in one word. “Fast.”
“Jacob is an excellent runner,” Kuechenmeister says. “He seemed to get better as the game goes on.”
His best game of the year came in the Section semifinal against Maple River. The hard-running Olson burned the Eagle defense for 248 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Josh Johnson received honorable mention for his solid play on offense and defense during the 2011 campaign.
After Johnson missed most of his junior year with a knee injury, Kuechenmeister was glad to have him back in the lineup.
“Josh provided stability from his guard position,” Kuechenmeister says. “He helped solidify the inside of our line.”
The senior leader could also be counted on creating pressure from his defensive end position when needed. Johnson finished with 21 tackles and two sacks.
“Isaac is a game changer,” Kuechenmeister says. “He can stretch the field offensively.”
Darrington led the Bucs with 27 receptions, 507 yards and eight receiving touchdowns.
“He recorded those statistics while having the opponents best corner defending him,” Kuechenmeister says.
Darrington had a solid year defensively in his own right, recording 45 tackles and two interceptions.
“He was good in pass coverage for us this year,” Kuechenmeister says. “He is a good tackler especially in the open field.”
Other players selected to the all-conference team were:
Fairmont – Ben Kain, Ben Brown, Brandon Martin, Jovan Ramos, Ross Wilken, Adam Schultz.
New Ulm – Christian Stewart, Micah Armstrong, Brady Greenwaldt.
St. Peter – Joey Bartlett, Jordan Wilmes, Keegan McCabe.
Waseca – Leo Hoehn, Brock Kolander, Jacob Claybaugh.
St. James – Sam Carlson.