Panthers, Tigers pace All-Area First Team

Published 1:20 pm Saturday, December 10, 2011

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

Makael Lunning, RB, junior, Albert Lea

Makael Lunning was one of Albert Lea’s top players this in all facets of the game: offense, defense and special teams. Lunning rushed 124 times for 535 yards and seven touchdowns. The junior averaged 4.3 yards per carry and had a single game-high of 135 yards.

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The junior was the Tigers’ third-most active receiver, catching 14 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. On special teams, Lunning returned 12 kickoffs and had a team-high 23.3 return average.

Lunning was third on the team in tackles with 41 tackles and recorded one interception.

The 180-pound junior was named a Big Nine All-Conference running back this season and Albert Lea’s Team MVP.

Cody Scherff, WR, sophomore, Albert Lea

Cody Scherff was Albert Lea’s biggest receiving target this season — literally. The 6-foot, 5-inch wide receiver caught a team-high 17 passes this season for 318 yards and a touchdown. Scherff’s breakout game came on Sept. 30 when he had five receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Scherff was sixth on the team with 28 tackles and was named Big Nine All-Conference.

Bryce DeBoer, lineman, senior, Albert Lea

Bryce DeBoer was the anchor of Albert Lea’s offensive and defensive line this season en route to being named Big Nine All-Conference.

DeBoer was second on the team in tackles with 49 and tied for first with one sack and two fumble recoveries. DeBoer also blocked a kick.

David Lassahn, WR, senior, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva

David Lassahn was the Panthers’ top receiver this season, recording 23 receptions for 585 yards and four touchdowns. Lassahn was named NRHEG’s Team MVP and was possibly the best corner in the Gopher Conference, according to coach Dan Stork.

Seth Patranek, lineman, senior, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva

Seth Petranek led the Panthers’ in tackles this season with 68, including 41 solo, and recorded eight sacks. The senior was a two-year starter at right guard and defensive tackle who was always at full throttle, according to Stork.

Geoff Ramaker, RB, senior, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva

Geoff Ramaker missed six games this season due to a broken foot, which he sustained during a preseason scrimmage but was nearly unstoppable when he was on the field.

The senior running back rushed 112 times for 694 yards and nine touchdowns in just four games and quickly became the team’s leading rusher.

Kyle Bauman, WR, senior, United South Central

Kyle Bauman, a 6-foot, 8-inch wide receiver, led United South Central through the air this season. The senior caught a caught a school-record 30 passes this season for 531 yards and five touchdowns, and set a school-records for career receptions (69) and receiving yards (1,346).

Bauman was named Gopher All-Conference and Academic All-State.

Shayne Olson, lineman, senior, Northwood-Kensett

Shayne Olson led the Vikings with 96 tackles this season, including 32 solo and two sacks.

The senior was a three-year starters on the line and named to the All-District First Team the past two seasons.

Nik Werner, RB, senior, Northwood-Kensett

Nik Werner was one of the Vikings’s top players on offense and defense this season. The senior led the team’s rushing attack with 172 carries 884 yards and eight touchdowns. Werner averaged 5.1 yards per carry and had the team’s longest touchdown run of 79 yards.

Werner recorded the Vikings’ third-most solo tackles with 31 and had 50 overall, including three for a loss and two sacks. The senior also had an interception and fumble recovery and was 11-for-16 in extra-point attempts.

Nathan Banwart, RB, junior, Lake Mills

Nathan Banwart led Lake Mills in rushing this season with 188 carries for 803 yards and five touchdowns. The junior averaged 4.3 yards per carry and his longest touchdown scamper was 17 yards. Banwart also caught five passes for 53 yards.

Defensively, Banwart finished third on the team with 41 tackles, including 33 solo, and recorded a team-high five tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery.

Derek Olson, RB, junior, Glenville-Emmons

Derek Olson was named the Wolverines’ Running Back of the Year this season after rushing 150 times for 726 yards and eight touchdowns. The junior averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

Olson caught 11 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown and played 1 1/2 games at quarterback, finishing 8 of 18 passing for 79 yards.

Olson recorded 53 tackles, tied for the fifth-most on the team and added 253 return yards. The junior was named Southeast All-Conference and the team’s Offensive Player of the Week three times.

The second part will publish in an upcoming issue.