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Sanders, Niebuhr named All-Stars

By Staff | Nov 24, 2019

Caelan Sanders gets loose for a big gain vs. Windom.

Caelan Sanders of Blue Earth Area and Zach Niebuhr of United South Central are two of the 88 seniors who have been selected to play in the 2019 Football Showcase game. The All-Star contest will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 1 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Sanders led the Bucs with 45 receptions for 660 yards and eight touchdowns from his split end position this season. He also rushed 24 times for 187 yards and four scores.

The 6-foot, 155-pound Sanders played safety on defense and recorded 27 tackles and three interceptions. He was also a kick return specialist.

“It is an honor to be chosen to play in this game and Caelan is very deserving, it is hard to get on the team,” BEA head coach Randy Kuechenmeister commented. “He is a playmaker who started for us for three years.”

Other BEA players who have been named to the team in the past include Trevor Oppedahl, Bailey Olson, David Franta, Jacob Johnson, Carter Hanson, Logan Becker and Jake Lee.

Niebuhr was a workhorse from his position in the Rebel backfield.

The 5-10, 180 pound running back finished the season with 290 carries for 1,792 yards and 29 rushing touchdowns.

The hard-hitting Niebuhr finished second on the team with 99 tackles from his linebacker position. He recorded seven tackles for loss, had two quarterback sacks, forced two fumbles and had two fumble recoveries.

“It is a real honor for Zach to be selected. The other three running backs on the South roster are all from much larger city schools, so it is cool to see the outstate get the type of respect they did by getting Zach on the team,” USC head coach Brandon Neseth said. “His stats, 60 TDs and almost 3,700 yards rushing during his last two years, are a big reason he made the game. I think Zach would be the first to credit his offensive line with his success. He is a hard working, humble kid, who always puts the team first.”

The game will be the 47th All-Star contest in state history and will again have some of the top players in the state from all classes.

The head coaches for the 2019 game are Jon Konold of Willmar High for the North team and Brad Wendland of Waseca High for the South squad. The first Minnesota All-Star Football Game was played in 1945 and has been an annual series since 1974. In the history of the series, 94 players have gone on to play or coach in the National Football League, including current Vikings Adam Thielen (2008 All-Star) and C.J. Ham (2011 All-Star).

The Minnesota Football Association and the Minnesota Vikings are partners in presenting the game. In addition to the contest on the football field, there will be youth football clinics and performances by high school marching bands, cheer and dance teams.

Admission to the game is $18 for adults and $8 for ages 6-17. Kids five and under are free. The proceeds from the game go to benefit the Minnesota Football Coaches Association and the Tackle Cancer Campaign.