Area players earn 9A All-State honors


By Jay Davis

Four area players earned spots on the Class 9A All-State Football Team: (counterclockwise from top left) Nick Larson of Herreid-Selby Area was named all-state special teams player; Kennedy Kosters of Herreid-Selby Area was named all-state center; Brady Brockel of Eureka-Bowdle was named all-state defensive tackles; Dakota Thorstenson of Herreid-Selby Area earned a spot on the honorable mention team.

Nick Larson and Kennedy Kosters of Herreid-Selby Area and Brady Brockel of Eureka-Bowdle have been named to the 2012 Class 9A All-State Football Team. Dakota Thorstenson of Herreid-Selby Area earned honorable mention status.
Larson, who started at quarterback and defensive back, was named as the team’s special teams player. The senior was the Wolverines’ leader in a number of areas, but especially at quarterback, where the four-year starter led Herreid-Selby Area to a 10-1 record and a trip to the state semifinals.
“Nick has been the starting quarterback for us since the inception of the co-op four years ago during his freshman year,” said coach Jeff Kosters. “He knows the offense inside and out and it’s like having another coach on the field when he’s out there. He was able to beat you with both his arm and his legs, so it was hard for teams to focus on any one area to take away, especially with the players we had in the backfield this year.”
During the season, Larson ran the ball for 396 yards and eight touchdowns. He was 44 of 77 passing for 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions. On defense he had 27 tackles, forced two fumbles, recovered one, picked off two passes and scored two touchdowns. He kicked off 29 times with a 45-yard average and punted nine times with a 33-yard average. He returned seven punts for 184 yards (26-yard average) and a touchdown, while returning three kickoffs 146 yards (49-yard average) and a touchdown. Add five two-point conversions passing and three running and Larson was responsible for 172 Wolverine points this season.
Kosters makes all-state as the center, but the senior made his biggest impact on the team as a defensive tackles.
“Kennedy really came into his own this past fall, primarily on the defensive side of the ball,” said Kosters, who doubles as Kennedy’s coach and dad. “He has been our starting center the past two-plus seasons, but didn’t play a primary role on defense until just this year. He led our team in tackles, which is very rare for a defensive lineman to do. He has decent speed and agility for his size and that served him well this season.”
Kosters led the Wolverines with 88 tackles and five fumble recoveries this season. He had 4.5 quarterback sacks and an interception. He scored on offense with a rushing touchdown during the season and kicked off five times with a 36-yard average.
Brockel was the Patriots’ leader on both sides of the ball. The senior helped pave the way as Eureka-Bowdle went 5-3 during the regular season before falling to Herreid-Selby Area in the playoffs.
Brockel led the Patriots with 77 tackles, including 44 solo tackles. He had 4.5 quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.
“Brady was the kind of player whose motor was always going,” said coach Bob Billotto. “He was one of our captains and was voted the Michael Fischer Award winner, given to the outstanding lineman of the year.”
Thorstenson, a junior, played tight end and defensive end for the Wolverines this year.
“Dakota’s athletic potential has yet to be achieved,” said Kosters. “At 6’5” and 200 pounds, he makes it hard for opposing defenses to cover him on pass routes and he is also hard to control when trying to block him as well. There is no doubt he will be a force to be reckoned with in the fall.”
From his tight end position, Thorstenson caught 19 passes for 469 yards (25-yard average) and scored nine touchdowns. On defense he had 60 tackles with a fumble recovery and an interception, while leading the team with 5.5 sacks.
The rest of the all-state team is: Cody Bunger, Eric Tieszen, Alex Robertson, Jason Van Winkler and Boone Kramer of state champion Canistota; Clay Rozell, Mitch Boesl, Brian Peterson and Jared Tuszka of Warner; Landon Hammer and Austin Hulscher of Wilmot; Adam Bormann and Cameron Kostal of Corsica-Stickney; Zach Warnke and Lane Weber of Arlington; Jacob Paradeis of Hanson; Sam Hazen of South Central; Mason Leiseth of Hamlin; Tyler Trask of Wall; Chaney Burns of Philip; and Austin Opdaul of Chester.
Joining Thorstenson on the honorable mention team are: Nick Hofer and Tyler Decker of Canistota; Alex Holzwarth of Hamlin; Dustin Livingston of Irene-Wakonda; Chandlier Sudbeck and Clint Stout of Kadoka Area; Charlie LaRoche of Lyman; and Laketon McLaughlin and Trevor Anderson of Wall.

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