Four Bucs make conference teams
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers fell short of repeating as State Champions this year, but still had four players named to the South Central Conference All-Conference and Honorable Mention squads.
The team finished 6-4 with a late season loss to Belle Plaine in the Section Semifinals.
David Franta, Gus Phillips and Seth Anderson were named to the SCC All-Conference team, while Greg Claeys was Honorable Mention.
The senior running back/receiver/safety played a large role in the Buccaneers’ success this year. He contributed on both the offensive side of the ball, as well as the defensive.
Franta recorded 950 all-purpose yards. He scored in seven of the 10 games played. The Buccaneer filled up the stat sheet and tallied 13 total touchdowns on the season.
On defense he had 88 tackles, two sacks and an interception.
“David was our playmaker,” coach Randy Kuechenmeister says. “He could tackle, he was an excellent blocker and he flat out made plays for our team.”
One of his best performances came in the Section Quarterfinals versus Worthington. Franta scored the first two touchdowns of the game. He also had seven tackles and an early interception to lead the Bucs to a 41-7 victory.
Phillips also played a large role in the Buccaneer offense. He rushed for 631 yards and also contributed 282 receiving yards.
The senior running back/linebacker recorded 13 total touchdowns, while scoring at least once in seven of 10 contests.
Phillips had 46 solo tackles, two fumble recoveries, a fumble returned for a touchdown, a blocked kick and led the team in sacks for the second year in a row with seven.
“Gus is quick and makes things happen when it looks like there is nothing there,” Kuechenmeister says. “He was a great two-way player who contributed on both sides of the ball.”
One of his best performances came when the Buccaneers traveled to St. James. Phillips recorded 187 total yards and scored four first half touchdowns to lead the Bucs to a 42-14 victory.
The 6-foot-5, 215 pounder was heavily relied on to protect the quarterback and open up holes for the offense.
Anderson was part of a line that helped the Bucs rush for an average of 253 yards per game. The guard, along with the rest of the offensive line, only allowed 11 sacks in 10 games; BEA had four games where there were no sacks allowed.
“Seth has good feet and he was always reliable,” Kuechenmeister says. “I always knew I would get his best when he stepped out on to the field.”
No. 52 also played a pivotal role in the Bucs rushing attack all year. The 6-foot-2, 190 pound center helped open up running lanes for his teammates to run through.
He also contributed 54 tackles, a sack, two fumble recoveries and an interception, which resulted in a touchdown.
“Greg has a motor that just doesn’t stop. He goes and goes and goes and was always a hard worker,” Kuechenmeister explained.
One of his best performances came on opening night when the Buccaneers took on Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial. Claeys helped open holes and paved the way for a total of 420 rushing yards for the Buccaneer offense. It was the highest output all season.
Other SCC Selections
Fairmont’s SCC All-Conference honors went to Spencer Chirpich, Jay Ruen, Tim Tow, Luke Becker and Nick Roggow earning SCC All-Conference, along with Josh Eversman and Kory Brown receiving Honorable Mention.
St. Peter’s All-Conference honors went to Alex Wilson, Cody Erickson, Keegan McCabe and Ryan Hoehn earning All-Conference honors, along with Tommy Steidler receiving Honorable Mention.
Waseca’s All-Conference honors went to Thomas O’Neil, Jake Busse, Devin Williamson, Jacob Laube, Lucas Johnson and Jimmy Ebertowski. Brady Bomsta and Tyler Kolander received Honorable Mention.
New Ulm’s All-Conference honors went out to Tevin Mooter and Andrew Stewart received Honorable Mention.
St. James was represented by Ryan Menssen and Blake Grove as All-Conference selections and Walker Froehling received Honorable Mention.