2017 FALL SPORTS REVIEW: Area athletes garner postseason accolades

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

FOOTBALL

Dickinson County football teams sported a combined record of 12-14 this season. For their efforts, a total of 22 area athletes were named to all-district teams, while three earned All-State recognition.

Ben Steffens

Spirit Lake (5-4, 3-4)

The Spirit Lake football team got out to a solid start this past season, topping Estherville Lincoln Central, Forest City and Le Mars by a combined score of 120-31. After 26-13 loss to Spencer in Week 4 put the Indians' playoff hopes in question, they responded with a 49-21 win over Algona and a 38-14 win over Humboldt to improve to 5-1 overall. However, the Indians were unable to hang on to that momentum, as they dropped the final three games of the season to Storm Lake, Sergeant Bluff-Luton and Bishop Heelan.

Still, the Indians were rewarded with 10 All-District and a pair of Class 3A All-State selections.

Junior kicker Ben Steffens was named Class 3A First Team All-State by the Iowa Newspaper Association and was a First Team All-District selection after making 28 of his 30 PAT attempts, and four field goals, including a 53-yarder the second longest field goal in the state this season.

Nick Christensen

Senior quarterback Nick Christensen ranked near the top in almost every positional statistic in Class 3A this season, earning INA Third Team All-State and First Team All-District honors. In the regular season, Christensen led 3A in pass attempts (246), he was second in passing yards (1,878) and combined rushing and passing yards (2,332), he was third in completions (135) and passing touchdowns (21), and was tied for fourth in combined rushing and passing touchdowns (26).

Senior receivers Alex Van Dyke and Frankie Ramos were both First Team All-District selections after tying for eighth place in Class 3A with eight receiving touchdowns each. Ramos caught 32 passes for 526 yards and Van Dyke caught 29 passes for 495 yards.

Junior linebacker Ben Newman was a First Team All-District selection after finishing fifth in Class 3A in tackles (76) and tackles for loss (15.5).

Senior Mason Mart was a First Team All-District selection while starting both on the offensive line and at linebacker for the Indians. Mart ranked eighth in Class 3A in tackles (74) and tied for ninth in tackles for loss (13).

Junior Kyler Rieck was also a First Team All-District selection. He finished with 23.5 tackles and three tackles for loss at linebacker, and rushed for 328 yards and three touchdowns on 82 carries.

Seniors Adam Skopec, Adam Wicks and Zach Kruse were all Honorable Mention All-District selections.

Braeton Nitzschke

Harris-Lake Park (5-3, 3-3)

After suffering a pair of injuries to key players in the first quarter of the season-opener, returning 8-Player runner-up Harris-Lake Park struggled to five wins this past season.

The Wolves opened with back-to-back wins over North Iowa and River Valley, winning by a combined score of 107-0. Then, the Wolves lost 58-32 to eventual state runner-up Remsen St. Mary's before reeling off back-to-back wins over Clay Central-Everly and West Bend-Mallard.

Unfortunately, the Wolves' playoff dreams were dashed with a 20-7 loss to Newell-Fonda before falling 46-27 to Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire and topping Kingsley-Pierson 46-16 to end the season.

Still, the Wolves earned one All-State and seven All-District selections.

Senior lineman Braeton Nitzschke was named INA 8-Player Second Team All-State for the second straight year and also earned Second Team All-District honors. Playing on both lines, Nitzschke finished with 30 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks on defense.

Senior Bret Sohn earned First Team All-District honors after finishing with 52 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He also tied for second in 8-Player with five fumble recoveries.

Senior quarterback Bryce Perkins was a First Team All-District selection after completing 83 of 136 passes for 1,253 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 192 yards and four more scores.

Junior kicker Dalton Nicks was a First Team All-District selection after making 12 of 16 PATs and a pair of field goals, including a 38-yarder that was the fourth longest in 8-Player this season.

Senior Zach Heikens and sophomore Abdulla Elbuytari were both Honorable Mention All-District selections.

Okoboji (2-7, 0-7)

The Pioneers started the season with wins over North Union and Cherokee, but lost their final seven games to end the 2017 season. Five Pioneers were All-District selections.

Senior receiver Logan Abrahamson was named First Team All-District after finishing the season with 27 catches for 327 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Jacob Allen was a Second Team All-District selection after completing 104 of 210 passes for 1,128 yards, five touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Sophomore running back Luke Bossard was a Second Team All-District selection after rushing for 398 yards and two scores on 122 carries.

Junior Cris Halbur and senior Draven Olsen were both Honorable Mention All-District selections.

VOLLEYBALL

Dickinson County volleyball teams went a combined 48-51 this season. For their efforts, a total of nine area athletes were named All-Conference, three were named All-District and one earned All-State recognition.

Taylor Meyer

Harris-Lake Park (21-12, 8-3)

The Wolves made it all the way to the Class 1A regional final this past season, earning postseason wins over Marcus-Meridan-Cleghorn/Remsen-Union and Kingsley-Pierson before falling to eventual state runner-up Gehlen Catholic in the final.

For their efforts, the Wolves earned one All-State, two All-District and three All-Conference selections.

Junior Taylor Meyer was named Class 1A Second Team All-State by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association, Class 1A Northwest All-District and First Team All-War Eagle Conference after becoming the first player in school history to surpass 1,000 career kills. Meyer finished the season with 430 kills, 321 digs, 58 aces, 58 blocks and 38 assists.

Fellow junior Madison Brevik was named Class 1A First Team All-District and Second Team All-War Eagle Conference this season. She finished the year with 568 assists, 251 digs, 43 kills, 39 aces and 19 blocks.

Senior Blake Gunderson was an Honorable Mention All-War Eagle Conference pick.

Spirit Lake (21-17, 3-3)

The young Spirit Lake volleyball team had its share of ups and downs this past season while finishing with 21 wins and a first round exit in the postseason following a loss to eventual Class 3A state runner-up Sioux Center.

The Indians earned five All-Lakes Conference and one All-District selection.

Sophomore Emma Loveall was named Class 3A West All-District and First Team All-Lakes Conference after breaking the single-season school record with 391 kills. She also had 139 digs, 52 blocks and 26 aces on the season.

Junior libero Payton Ahrenstorff was a First Team All-Lakes Conference selection after breaking the single-season school records for digs (622) and digs per set (5.98) and leading Class 3A in digs this season.

Junior Mikia Kriener was a Second Team All-Lakes Conference selection after finishing with 242 kills and 69 blocks.

Sophomore Jordyn Hamm and freshman Sam Vos were both Honorable Mention All-Lakes Conference selections.

Okoboji (6-22, 1-8)

Inconsistency plagued the Pioneers this past season. Their best performance came during a September tournament in Spirit Lake, when they defeated Sibley-Ocheyedan, West Bend-Mallard and North Iowa. Unfortunately, they only earned three more wins the rest of the season.

Senior Grace Wintz was the lone Pioneer to earn postseason recognition. She was an Honorable Mention All-Siouxland Conference selection.

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