Tigers trio leads All-Area 2nd Team

Published 7:14am Monday, December 19, 2011

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on the All-Area Football Team.

Cody Haaland, LB, senior, Albert Lea

Cody Haaland led Albert Lea in tackles this season with 77 and was named a Big Nine All-Conference Honorable Mention.

Dalton Westerlund, WR, senior, Albert Lea

Dalton Westerlund was the Tigers’ second-leading receiver this season with 17 receptions for 243 yards and a touchdown. The senior’s single-game high was 91 yards, and he rushed 20 times for 96 yards and three touchdowns.

On defense, Westerlund notched 33 tackles and recorded two fumble recoveries and an interception. He was named a Big Nine All-Conference Honorable Mention.

Clayton Braaten, WR, senior, Albert Lea

Clayton Braaten recorded 24 tackles this season, one fumble recovery and a team-high three interceptions en route to being named a Big Nine All-Conference Honorable Mention.

The senior also had seven receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown, and returned five kickoffs for 64 yards.

Sam Lundberg, QB, senior, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva

Sam Lundberg was the area’s top passer this season with a 48 percent completion rate.

The senior was 52-of-116 passing for 756 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was a fierce competitor with a strong, accurate arm, according to coach Dan Stork.

Carter Tollefson, lineman, senior, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva

Carter Tollefson was one of the Panthers’ top lineman this season, who started at right guard and defensive tackle. The senior was a two-year starter with excellent technique, but battled a knee injury for most of the season.

Chris Melby, RB, senior, United South Central

Chris Melby was voted United South Central’s Offensive MVP this season after carrying the ball 132 times for 690 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Defensively, the senior recorded 20 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Perry Kirsch, WR, senior, Glenville-Emmons

Perry Kirsch was named the Wolverines’ Most Outstanding Player this season after finishing as one of the team’s top players on offense and defense.

The senior carried the ball 70 times for 457 yards and two touchdowns, and notched 26 receptions for 313 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, Kirsch finished second on the team with 71 tackles and recorded one interception.

Kirsch was named Offensive Player of the Week twice, Defensive Player of the Week once and a Southeast All-Conference Honorable Mention.

Michael Polinder, lineman, senior, Glenville-Emmons

Michael Polinder was the Wolverines’ leading tackler this season, recording 74 takedowns with 0.5 sacks, one interception and three fumble recoveries.

Polinder was named the team’s Lineman of the Week five times, Defensive Player of the Week three times and Southeast All-Conference.

Tanner Haberman, LB, senior, Northwood-Kensett

Tanner Haberman finished second on the Vikings with 71 tackles this season and led the team with 33 solo tackles. The senior also recorded team highs in tackles for a loss (3) and sacks (5).

Bryan Hengesteg, LB, senior, Lake Mills

Bryan Hengesteg was named First Team All-District this season after leading Lake Mills with 63 tackles.

The senior led the Bulldogs with 27 kickoff returns for 559 yards and an 88-yard touchdown return, an average of 20.9 yards per return.

Hengesteg rushed 54 times for 202 yards and a touchdown and notched a team-high 12 receptions for 113 yards.

Tony Behnke, RB/DB, senior, Alden-Conger

Tony Behnke rushed 86 times this season for 656 yards and six touchdowns, a team-high average of 7.6 yards per carry. He was 5-of-26 passing and had five receptions for 84 yards.

The senior recorded 22 sackles and an interception, and had 192 rushing yards in the Knights’ win over Truman.