Spartans, Tigers load up on awards
As the two top teams in the Middle Border Conference this season, the Somerset and New Richmond football teams dominated the discussions when the MBC coaches met for the all-conference meeting.
The results? Conference champion Somerset earned 17 spots on the 2014 All-MBC team, while second place New Richmond earned 15 places on the all-conference team.
The top individual and coaching honors were also headed this way. Somerset senior Max Praschak was named as the conference's Most Valuable Player. Somerset head coach Bruce Larson received Coach of the Year honors. The Assistant Coach of the Year award went to New Richmond defensive coordinator Brian Kaczmarski.
Both teams were well represented on both sides of the ball. Eight of Somerset's offensive starters were selected, as were seven of the Spartans' defensive starters and both kickers. New Richmond also earned eight all-conference nods on offense while getting six on defense and one on special teams.
The Middle Border Conference administration chose to do away with a second team designation this year, so players were either named to the first team or as honorable mention players.
The Somerset offensive contingent starts in the backfield, where quarterback Reed Baillargeon, fullback Max Praschak and halfback Brody Penman were all selected. The strength of the Spartan blocking was shown with the selection of Austin Harty, Tyler Lueck, Billy Kieckhoefer, Dalton Lyons and Ryan Miller.
The honors were well distributed in the Spartan defense. Selected from the line and linebackers were Praschak, Harty, Penman, Lueck and Cole Martinsen. Heaven Hunt and Jon Sullivan were selected from the Spartans' secondary.
The Spartans' special teams were also recognized, with Lueck getting all-conference honors as their punter and Zachary Schmidt as the team's kicker.
New Richmond's spread offense resulted in the all-conference honors being well dispersed throughout the offensive unit. Quarterback Brady Maus and running backs Jake Singerhouse and Sam Altena were selected. The Tigers' success in the passing game was reflected with three of their receivers getting selected: Derek Dowd, Zach Dietzler and Cole Nord. The two most experienced members of the Tiger offensive line were also recognized in Noah Berger and Ben Peterson.
The Tigers' defensive honors were split evenly among the line, linebackers and secondary. Dowd and Dietzler were selected from the secondary. Singerhouse and Maus drew honors for their work at linebacker. Berger and Ben Wothe were the selections from the defensive line.