Eight St. Edmond football players were rewarded for their banner efforts this season with recent selections to the all-Class 1A, District 2 football team.
Senior tight end Zach Baldwin was joined by classmates Joey Flattery (split end), John Engler (quarterback), Carter Steele (offensive line), Mitchell Doyle (defensive guard), Brian Sandvig (running back), Patrick Flattery (running back) and Andrew Bianchi (linebacker) on the top squad for the Gaels, who finished 9-2 overall and placed second in the district to state champion Emmetsburg with a 6-1 mark.
Two other SEHS athletes received honorable mention status.
In addition, nine Gaels were chosen for the academic all-district team, while two more were tabbed as honorable mention academic picks.
SEHS advanced to the second round of the playoffs before bowing out to Aplington-Parkersburg (40-35).
''We were pretty pleased with each of our kids that made it,'' said Gael head coach Dick Tighe, who's the state's all-time career wins leader with 372 victories in 55 seasons. ''Everyone we were expecting got on, so there weren't really any surprises.''
ALL-CLASS 1A, DISTRICT 2 FOOTBALL
First Team Offense
St. Edmond - Zach Baldwin, sr., TE; Joey Flattery, sr., SE; John Engler, sr., QB; Carter Steele, sr; OF; Mitchell Doyle, DG, sr.; Brian Sandvig, sr., RB; Patrick Flattery, sr., RB; Andrew Bianchi, sr., LB.
Emmetsburg - Langston Jones, jr., RB; Tyler Kliegl, sr., QB; Josh Wolfe, sr., OL; Adam Leuer, sr., OL; Trevor Dettmann, sr., DB; Taylor Morris, sr., DE; Matt Wellik, sr., DE; Tommy Kuecker, jr., LB.
Belmond-Klemme - James Brooks, sr., QB; Matt Just, sr., DL; Eric Meyer, jr., LB.
West Hancock - Dan Kruger, OL, sr.; Jake Carlson, sr., DB; Ryan Swanson, so., DB.
Garner-Hayfield - Jake Young, sr., QB/LB; Alan Juhl, sr., OL/DL; Matt Hiscocks, sr., WR/DB; Aaron Nedved, sr., RB/DB; Joey Awtry, jr., OL/DL; Cass Nedved, jr., OLB.
West Fork Cole Muhlenbruch, sr., RB; Matt Schaefer, sr., OT.
St. Ansgar - Dallas Hendrickson, sr.; Jharred Millonig, sr.; Logan Cimmiyotti, sr.; Ian Halliday, jr.
Lake Mills - Jordan Banwart, sr.; Jerod Harmon, sr.; Jake Brekken, jr.
St. Edmond - Doug Steinkamp, jr., RB; Daniel Doster, sr., DB.
Emmetsburg - Seth Bird, sr., OL; Robbie Meyers, sr., OL; Lucas Thomsen, sr., TE.
Coach of the Year - Mike Dunlap, Emmetsburg
Offensive Player of the Year - Langston Jones, Emmetsburg.
Defensive Player of the Year - Taylor Morris, Emmetsburg.
Kicker of the Year - Matt Wellik, Emmetsburg.
Punter of the Year - Kyle Meints, West Fork.
St. Edmond - Jon Flattery, John Engler, Patrick Flattery, Andrew Bianchi, Joey Flattery, Billy Mann, Brian Sandvig, Carter Steele, Thomas Yung.
Emmetsburg - Keaton Carter, Matt Wellik, Josh Wolfe.
Belmond-Klemme - Nick Shell, James Brooks, Mike Bruns.
West Hancock - Mike Tlach, Jamie Nielson, Jeremy Eckhoff, Dan Kruger.
Garner-Hayfield - Jake Young, Cassidy Albertson, Aaron Nedved, Evan Zrostlik.
St. Ansgar - Logan Cimmiyotti, Reid Clagett, Jared Underriner.
Lake Mills - Scott Abbey, Andrew Zabel, Jordan Banwart.
Honorable Mention Academic
St. Edmond - Zach Baldwin, Sam Taets.
Emmetsburg - Bobby Mortensen.
Baldwin proved to be a key element in the effective SEHS aerial attack, hauling in 17 balls for 371 yards and four touchdowns.
''Baldwin kind of came out of nowhere for us,'' Tighe said. ''We moved him out there (tight end) because of his blocking ability, which we need in our system. He turned out to be a good receiver, though, too. He ran crisp patterns and displayed excellent hands. We started going to him a lot towards the end of the season.''
Joey Flattery served as Engler's favorite target with 24 receptions for a district-leading 651 yards and seven scores.
''Joey made several big plays in tight games,'' said Tighe. ''He put us in position to win our Homecoming game against Belmond-Klemme with an outstanding late catch.''
Engler supplied the Gaels with efficiency all year long under center. The 6-foot-5 dual-sport standout - who earned first-team all state basketball honors last season and was recently named the Iowa High School Heisman boys winner - went 61 of 110 through the air for 1,250 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.
''Engler's strong suit was his throwing,'' Tighe said. ''The other quarterbacks in the district played both ways and were known for their running ability. John was more of a dropback pocket passer, who was very reliable and accurate.''
Steele, a 200-pound co-captain, anchored SEHS in the trenches and helped pave the way for the bruising Gael ground charge. Steele previously garnered second-squad recognition as a junior.
''Steele is a two-year starter, who was probably the strongest guy on our team,'' said Tighe. ''He worked extremely hard in the weight room and was tenacious on both sides of the ball.''
Doyle flashed his potential on defense for SEHS, racking up 98 tackles, including six for loss.
''Doyle looked to be a longshot to make an impact at the beginning of the year,'' Tighe said. ''Mitchell really stepped up for us and was a huge necessity.''
The 160-pound Sandvig was a focal point both offensively and defensively for the Gaels. The elusive tailback compiled 1,312 yards and 13 scores on 129 attempts. He was a major force from his safety position as well with seven picks.
''It was nice to have a back with Brian's speed because of his ability to take it the distance on every carry,'' said Tighe. ''You don't always have to grind things out then, which makes things much easier for the entire offense.''
Patrick Flattery - who made all-district second-team a year ago - gave SEHS an ideal complement to Sandvig in the backfield, rushing 151 times for 816 yards and 12 touchdowns.
''This was the third year Patrick started for us,'' Tighe said. ''He was a workhorse that was capable of running inside or out and breaking some long ones.''
At just 145 pounds, Bianchi demonstrated his toughness from his linebacker spot, tallying 181 stops, including 8.5 for loss and a fumble recovery.
''Andrew was our leading tackler,'' said Tighe. ''He really hung in there well for his size and was a huge contributor in our success.''
Junior fullback Doug Steinkamp and senior cornerback Daniel Doster were both honorable mention nominations. Steinkamp churned out 504 yards and found the endzone 10 times, while Doster collected 104 tackles and three interceptions.
''Steinkamp can keep opposing defenses honest with his deceptive speed, so he's an important guy to have in the lineup,'' Tighe said. ''Doug will be one of our leaders next year.
''Daniel isn't real big, but he's a fearless tackler,'' said Tighe. ''He gave us some much needed experience in the secondary and was very consistent back there.''
Senior Jon Flattery, Engler, Patrick Flattery, Bianchi, Joey Flattery, senior Billy Mann, Sandvig, Steele and senior Thomas Yung all recorded Academic-All District honors. Baldwin and senior Sam Taets each made the honorable mention academic list.
Langston Jones (running back), Tyler Kliegl (quarterback), Josh Wolfe (offensive line), Adam Leuer (offensive line), Trevor Dettmann (defensive back), Taylor Morris (defensive end), Matt Wellik (defensive end) and Tommy Kuecker (linebacker) all warranted First Team All-District selections for Emmetsburg, while Seth Bird (offensive line), Robbie Meyers (offensive line) and Lucas Thomsen (tight end) were honorable mention choices.
E'Hawks' third-year head coach Mike Dunlap was the district Coach of the Year.
Jones (Offensive Player of the Year), Morris (Defensive Player of the Year) and Wellik (Kicker of the Year) were each tagged with top honors as well for Emmetsburg.
Contact Josh Meyer at (515) 573-2141, or by e-mail at email@example.com