Steady playmakers pegged for All-County football team
With some large, strong senior classes being lost to graduation last spring, this season could certainly be qualified as a rebuilding one for most of the Jackson County football teams.
Royal Valley was adapting to a coaching change, Jackson Heights was adapting to a string of injuries and Holton, well, it continued to roll with the punches and just seemed to reload once again.
The Wildcats were the lone team to make the postseason, falling to eventual Class 4A-DII runner-up Columbus in the quarterfinals, but all three Jackson County teams had their fair share of highlights that are reflected in the make-up of The Holton Recorder’s 2014 All-County football team, which is listed below.
Trey Tanking, sr., QB/DB, HHS— Another year brought another new starting quarterback for the Wildcats, but by now the HHS players are used to waiting for their moment and Tanking sure seemed to make the most of his.
Even some injury issues midway through the season didn’t slow Tanking down too much as he finished the season rushing for almost nine yards per carry and was one of five Holton backs to rack up at least 400 rushing yards on the season.
Tanking also helped open up the passing game a bit more for the Wildcats this fall, finishing with 339 passing yards and accounting for 11 total touchdowns, the second most on the team. He was an honorable mention selection for the Big Seven All-League offense and this is his first year being named to the All-County squad.
Indie Allen, sr., RB/LB, HHS— Allen also patiently bided his time, showing his potential in short spurts last season, before breaking through in a big way in the 2014 season.
The senior back paced the vaunted Holton rushing attack (and led the county) with 1,350 rushing yards this fall and a team-high 14 touchdowns. In addition, he remained a force on the defensive side of the ball with 59 total tackles and a team best of three fumble recoveries (along with forcing two).
For his efforts, Allen was selected first team All-League on offense (RB) and defense (DE) and is making his second appearance on the All-County roster.
Korby Strube, sr., RB//LB/DB, JHHS— While the start of the season certainly took its toll on the Cobras, with the injuries and losses piling up with almost equal frequency, Strube was unrelenting in his attempts to break that streak of bad luck.
The former starting quarterback did whatever he could to help the team and try to lead the Cobras to success, shifting to running back before the season started and slotting in at linebacker on defense as injuries started to decimate the roster.
However you slice it, Strube was a player the Cobras needed on the field and that much was made clear after he finished the season with more than 1,000 all-purpose yards and led the team in both rushing yards (547) and receiving (227). He also scored eight touchdowns for the Cobras and was fourth on the team in total tackles.
Strube was an honorable mention selection for the NEKL All-League offense and is a repeat selection for the All-County football team.
Garrett Schultz, jr., FB/LB, RVHS— One of the workhorses of the Panthers’ backfield, Schultz certainly helped carry the load during a transitional year in which Royal Valley was adjusting to a new offense.
Schultz led the team with 98 carries this season and rushed for 386 total yards, nearly four yards a carry this season. He also helped set up his other teammates by doing the dirty work of lead blocking and pass protection and tallied 17 tackles on the defensive side as well. He is a first-time All-county team member.
Jarrett Roy, jr., OL/DL, RVHS— Roy was one member of a strong junior class to take on a larger load this fall and he certainly made his presence felt at times.
Whether clearing a path or holding the line, Roy made an impact throughout a rollercoaster season and also finished with 33 tackles and a fumble recovery on defense. He was an All-League honorable mention on offense this season and this marks his first selection to the All-County squad.
Cooper Allen, sr., OL/DL, HHS— The only returning starter for the Holton offensive line was not afraid of the nitty gritty work as Allen seemed to take a lot of pride in that work this season.
If the Wildcats were pounding it up the middle trying to wear down opponents, odds are Allen was right in the thick of it as a first-line enforcer. On the flip side, he also did a pretty good job of closing off the middle to opposing offenses as he finished the 2014 campaign with 38 tackles, including six tackles for loss and one sack.
Allen was a repeat first team All-League selection on offense, while also making an appearance on the first team defense and earning a spot on the All-County roster for the second year in a row.
Lane Slocum, sr., OL/DL, JHHS— Much in a similar way, Slocum was a disruptor on both sides of the ball for the Cobras this fall, helping Jackson Heights march forward and stopping opponents in their tracks.
Slocum overcame an injury early in the season that sidelined him for a short time to finish out the season strong with 16 tackles and one sack. He is a first-time All-County team member.
Dean Klahr, sr., OL/DL, HHS— While Allen was the one known commodity on the line for the Wildcats, Klahr was part of a group that evolved rather quickly over the course of the season to lead the way for another effective Holton rushing attack.
Klahr routinely got down field to block for his teammates, showing the growth of the unit and earning him recognition as an All-League first team offensive lineman along the way. This is also his first time being picked for the All-County squad.
Wyatt Roles, jr., OL/DL, JHHS— Still recovering from an injury that wiped out his entire 2013 season early on, when Roles did get on the field it was pretty clear how much of an impact he made for the Cobras.
While he may not quite have been back to 100 percent, the junior was still an anchor for the Jackson Heights offensive line and a wall to run behind more often than not. As such, the Cobras favored running behind Roles when he was on the field and he was an integral part of the team’s strong finish, with wins in three of the final five games.
Roles was an All-County selection his freshman year and this marks his second appearance on the roster.
Nils Bergsten, sr., TE/DE/P, HHS— This Wildcat was one of two main targets when the team did pass the ball as he had the second most receptions (three) and receiving yards (73) on the team.
Bergsten also helped harass opposing offenses and finished the year with 30 total tackles, including eight for loss and two sacks. He was a first team All-League selection on offense and also earned honorable mention as a punter, while this will be his first selection to the All-County team.
Kaden Brandt, jr., TE/DE, HHS— Brandt was the other favored target in the Wildcats’ passing game, finishing with a team-high four receptions and 87 receiving yards this season.
While a nice deep threat on offense, he also proved dangerous at times on defense with 23 tackles this season and two for loss. Brandt is a first-time pick for the All-County squad.
Tristan Tessendorf, sr., OL/DE, RVHS— With as many stretch offenses the Panthers saw this season, Tessendorf became a key factor on the edge of the defense. The senior held his own, too, while playing both ways.
Tessendorf finished the fall with 31 total tackles, helping limit some potent offenses, while also recording a team-high two fumble recoveries. He earned honorable mention status on the Big Seven All-League defense and is making his first appearance on the All-County roster.
Lucas Lovvorn, sr., FB/DL, HHS— A sparkplug wherever he was put, Lovvorn made big plays over and over again for the Wildcats this fall.
On the defensive side, the senior was a force to be reckoned with as he routinely got into the opponent’s backfield and finished the 2014 campaign with a team-high four sacks and 12 tackles for loss as part of his 66 total tackles (third best on the team).
While not called upon as much on offense, he still made an impact when needed there as well with 416 total rushing yards and four touchdowns this season. Lovvorn was a first team All-League selection on defense while also being picked for the All-County team for the first time.
Jack Kutina, sr., OL/DL, RVHS— Another senior pulling double duty on the line, Kutina got in on a lot of action on both sides of the ball this fall.
On the defensive side, the senior lineman really worked to crowd the line and help with group tackling as he finished the year with 22 tackles and a team-high two fumble recoveries. Kutina was named honorable mention on the All-League defense and this is his first selection for All-County football.
Austin Frakes, jr., TE/DE, HHS— Frakes was Thing 2 to Lovvorn’s Thing 1 as both were peas in a pod when it came to causing havoc in opponents’ backfields this fall.
The junior end tallied 45 total tackles on the season and was second to Lovvorn with 11 tackles for loss, while he also recovered and forced two fumbles over the course of the season. Frakes was an honorable mention selection on the All-League defense and is appearing on the All-County roster for the first time.
Mason Barta, jr., FB/LB, HHS— One of the heavy hitters of the Holton defense, Barta was just waiting to dole out the hits to any opponent who crossed his path this season.
While the junior linebacker was quick to the point of attack, he could also follow the flow and pop any backs that got past the first level, finishing the season with 85 tackles (second most on the team).
Barta also contributed 310 rushing yards and four touchdowns this season while making the Big Seven first team All-League defense and being picked for the All-County squad for the first time.
Jordan Booth, sr., RB/LB, HHS— When it comes to players who covered a lot of ground this fall, Booth’s name should certainly be near the top of the list as the senior linebacker seemingly got in on every tackle possible for the Wildcats this season.
Not only did Booth lead the Holton team in tackles with 103, but he was the leading tackler in the county by a wide margin and earned honorable mention on the All-League defense. He is another first-time pick for the All-County roster.
Wyatt Olberding, so., WR/LB/DB, JHHS— Another player who did some shifting for the Cobras, Olberding proved to be a versatile weapon for Jackson Heights this fall.
On offense, the sophomore finished as the second-leading receiver and also filled in at quarterback for a short stint while starter Zane Richter battled an injury.
Defensively, Olberding shifted from defensive back to linebacker with great effect as he finished as the team’s leading tackler with 46 total tackles on the season as well as a team-high two interceptions. He was named honorable mention on the All-League defense at the end of the season and is appearing on the All-County football team for the first time.
Zack Lux, jr., QB/DB, RVHS— One of the Panthers’ biggest assets on defense just so happened to start at quarterback for the team as well, as Lux contributed greatly on both sides of the ball.
Lux ended up leading Royal Valley this fall with 40 total tackles and three interceptions while he also accounted for 500 total yards of offense and six touchdowns for the Panthers. This is his first selection to the All-County football squad.
Justin Rieschick, jr., QB/RB/DB, HHS— Another playmaker on both sides of the ball, Rieschick was one more player who shifted roles throughout the season, though he was certainly one of the Wildcats’ biggest assets in the secondary throughout the fall.
Rieschick tallied 56 total tackles over the course of the season and also recorded a team-high three interceptions for HHS, while he filled in where he could on offense and finished the year with 444 total rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He was a first team All-League selection on defense and first-time pick for All-County football.
Luis Butto, sr., RB/DB, HHS—While this senior back was dealt a big blow almost immediately, suffering a leg injury in the opening game of the season, he came back with a vengeance and made the most of a shortened season.
Butto ended the year as the team’s second-leading rusher with 567 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, really coming on strong in the playoffs. He was also a strong link in the secondary with 24 tackles this season and earned a first team selection on the All-League defense to go along with honorable mention status on offense. This is his first appearance on the All-County roster.
Derrick Barger, jr., RB/DB, RVHS— One of the biggest playmakers for the Panthers this season, Barger contributed wherever he could and finished as the team’s leading rusher with 653 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns.
Barger was also a solid defender in the secondary, racking up 32 total tackles and one interception this fall to earn honorable mention honors on the All-League defense. This also marks his first time being picked for the All-County squad.
Honorable mention selections for the All-County team include Zane Richter (JHHS), Noah Hart (RVHS), Peter Rupnicki (JHHS), Levi Martin (HHS), Wahp LeClere (RVHS), Will Wright (HHS), Kendal Fox (JHHS) and Mason Baum (HHS).