Seven Spartans, two Tigers and 'Greens make up All-Area team
Spartan Chris Blake has plenty of teammates joining him on this year's Daily Telegram All-Area Football team. Also on the team are two players from each the Northwestern High School and Northwood/Solon Springs High School teams who made big plays...
Spartan Chris Blake has plenty of teammates joining him on this year's Daily Telegram All-Area Football team. Also on the team are two players from each the Northwestern High School and Northwood/Solon Springs High School teams who made big plays when their teams needed them.
Other players nominated for the all-area team were seniors Jesse Covill and Steve Runquist of Superior, seniors Travis Kauther and Chase Turner and freshman T.J. Polkoski of Northwestern, and sophomore Chad Murray of Northwood/Solon Springs.
The following all-area selections are listed in alphabetical order.
As a captain of the Tigers football team this year, senior running back P.J. Freeman was a leader for his team. When the Tigers needed a big run or a few extra yards for a first down, they always turned to Freeman.
"He's a great leader, a very explosive and physical runner," NHS head coach Peter Lawton said.
Freeman finished the year with 154 carries for 647 yards and five touchdowns. He was also named to the Heart O' North All-Conference second team as a running back.
Matt Johnson has started as a defensive back for the Spartans for the past three years and also as a running back for the past two years.
"As a captain, he provided great leadership in and out of the season and worked hard to make himself and his team better," DeMeyer said. "He was one of four kids in our offense that teams had to prepare for and developed into a very good running back."
The senior rushed for 508 yards and 10 touchdowns this year and 25 tackles.
"If he were in another system that featured one or two backs, he would've easily had over 1,000 yards each of the last two years," DeMeyer said. "He was another smart, fast and physical runner for us and a threat to catch the ball as a slot receiver. Defensively, he was a leader who knew our scheme very well and was solid week in and week out."
Kyle Karshbaum, a senior offensive lineman, was solid for the Spartans this season.
"Karsh was an awesome drive blocker and also had great feet for pulling and trapping, especially for someone his size," DeMeyer said. "He is a very physical kid and prided himself on consistently beating his opponent lined up across from him."
Karshbaum was named to the BRC All-Conference first team as an offensive lineman.
"He was a dominant force for us at the strong tackle position and actually was a great defensive tackle when we used him there. His physical strength and toughness were his biggest assets."
Senior full back Cole Lundgren led the Spartans in yards rushing this year with 789 yards on 138 carries and also scored seven touchdowns.
"Cole has been the solid, reliable workhorse for us at fullback the last two years. He has been extremely durable and showed steady improvement each week because he is so coachable," SHS head coach Bob DeMeyer said. "He is not the biggest fullback, however, his punishing running style and speed made him very tough to stop."
Lundgren was named to the Big Rivers Conference All-Conference second team offense as a running back this year.
"Another asset was his intelligence," DeMeyer said. "He understood our offense so well and developed great vision to go along with his athletic ability. As one of the fastest on our team, when he hit a seam it would either be a big play or someone would pay for trying to tackle him."
Ryan Miesbauer is excelling on both sides of the ball for the Tigers, and he will be with the team for two more years still.
The sophomore ended the season with 50 tackles as linebacker and had 116 carries for 610 yards and six touchdowns as a running back.
"He is a tough, fast and dominating player," Lawton said. "He has the ability to take over the game."
Lawton said Miesbauer, along with freshman T.J. Polkoski, will be causing trouble for teams next year.
"T.J. and Ryan are fast becoming the best two linebackers in the Heart of the North."
Miesbauer was named to the HON honorable mention defensive team this year as an inside linebacker.
"Nate is one of the most athletic big guys I've ever coached," DeMeyer said. "For his size, he has incredible speed and quickness."
The senior offensive lineman and defensive end finished the season with seven sacks, 11 tackles and 14 tackle assists. He was named to the BRC All-Conference first team as an offensive lineman.
"Offensively, he started at our strong guard position and had a ton of pancake blocks," DeMeyer said. "He was also a great inside trap blocker because of his quickness and technique. Defensively, he started for us at defensive end this year and really developed good technique to go along with his natural physical talents."
Junior Ryan Quigley was a key element to the Evergreens' defense this season as an offensive tackle and an outside linebacker.
"He is a strong, hard-working young man," Evergreens coach Jason Fox said. "He was our anchor point on the line."
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior was named to the Small Lakeland Conference All-Conference first team as an offensive tackle this season.
"Joe has started every game at quarterback for us the past two seasons," DeMeyer said. "He is another fierce competitor who trains very hard to make himself better."
This season, Reichert, a junior passed for 797 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Spartans. He averaged just less than 80 yards per game.
"Physically, he is a big, strong, fast quarterback that made a ton of big plays for us," DeMeyer said. "He has really started to see things and understand our scheme, which has helped him with decision-making."
Reichert was also the Spartans' punter and was named to the BRC All-Conference specialists second team as a punter.
"He has made huge gains in the area of leadership and we're extremely fortunate to have him for one more year," DeMeyer said.
"He's fun to watch and he will only continue to get better."
Reese Stariha is another player who took on multiple roles to help his team. The junior was both a quarterback and a safety for the Evergreens this year.
"He is a quick and smart safety and a great open field tackler," Fox said.
Stariha was named to the Small Lakeland Conference All-Conference team as an honorable mention selection for defensive back.
Senior linebacker Drew Tarnowski led the Spartans' defense this season with 44 tackles and 45 tackle assists.
"Drew made the transition from defensive tackle last year to linebacker this season which helped solidify our defense. His size, strength and speed helped him make up for his inexperience at that position," DeMeyer said of the senior. "His efforts in the offseason in the weight room and on the track and at football camps paid off as his goal was to learn as much as he could about the linebacker position. He is an example of what determination and hard work can do for you."