In addition to player of the year Logan Graetz, here are the rest of the players who made the 2018 Leader-Telegram All-Northwest first and second football teams.
Brady Redwine is a repeater from last year who led Elk Mound to a share of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference championship and a playoff berth.
He ran for 359 yards against Altoona and later for 334 against Stanley-Boyd in the playoffs and finished with 2,106 yards and 32 touchdowns on 256 carries. He closed his career with 4,954 yards and 70 touchdowns on 651 attempts.
“Brady has been a special player for Elk Mound and great young man who speaks with his actions and not his words,” Mounders coach Dave Lew said. “He has always had the mentality to score when he gets the ball and runs the ball with true heart and determination.”
Matt Pomietlo led Chippewa Falls into the playoffs by running for 23 touchdowns and 1,203 yards at a 7.6 average in 158 attempts. That included six 100-yard games.
He ranks third in Cardinals career yards with 2,601 in 409 attempts and scored 28 touchdowns.
“He was exceptional,” Memorial coach Mike Sinz said. “He ran incredibly hard and was tough to bring down with his balance.”
River Falls enjoyed its greatest success in years with the help of ground yards from junior Seth Kohel, who carried 237 times for 1,569 yards and scored 20 touchdowns.
He rushed for a high of 209 yards against Superior and nine 100-yard games in all.
“Having a player of his caliber in the backfield created a balance to our offense that made it difficult to stop,” River Falls coach David Crail said. “Seth has the ability to play a physical brand of football, while at the same time having the ability to blow by guys in the open field.”
River Falls had a killer weapon in receiver Jared Creen, who had 57 catches for 1,001 yards and 18 touchdowns, a state best. He caught six for 135 yards and two scores in the playoff loss to Pulaski and gained over 100 yards in six games.
“Even as defenses began to scheme more to stop him during the course of the year Jared’s route running ability and athleticism continued to make him incredibly difficult to stop,” Crail said.
Nathan Hau, a tall target at 6-5, excelled as a blocker and receiver as a Memorial tight end and impressed enough to get college offers.
He tied a school record by catching 11 balls in the wild 67-65 loss to Chippewa Falls and for the year, hauled in 39 for 522 yards and four scores.
“He is an unbelievable young man who has worked really hard to get where he is,” Sinz said. “He not only is a tough matchup and can catch the ball but is an excellent blocker.”
DeAirus Clerveaux was a threat to score every time he touched the ball for Rice Lake. He carried the ball 70 times for 915 yards and 14 touchdowns and as a receiver, he took 22 for 589 and nine more scores.
“Speed kills,” Sinz said. “Once he got to the outside, it was over. He improved his strength and was hard to tackle.”
Menomonie’s Sam Thompson was outstanding. He was a first team Big Rivers pick on both sides of the ball.
Regis had a stud up front in Nathan Gorzek, who led blocking in the Ramblers ground-based attack.
“He is the best offensive lineman I’ve coached at Regis,” said Regis coach Bryant Brenner. “He has the ability to move, is strong and smart. He’s the complete lineman.”
Bloomer had a lot of success running the ball behind 270-pound Jayzson Thompson.
“He is extremely athletic and one of the best pulling blockers I’ve had,” Bloomer coach John Post said.
Zac Paulson of River Falls was one of the big boys up front that led the way for Graetz and Kohel in the Wildcats attack.
“He was a load inside and moved people,” Sinz said. “They ran behind him.”
Memorial was a strong and high-scoring offensive team and one of the reasons was the blocking of junior Nick Oberding.
“I think he only missed two days in the weight room,” Sinz said “He is a technician at guard and should have a big year next year.”
Tristan Root, a repeater from last year. Very accurate, he booted 39 placement kicks and one field goal. He also averaged 50 yards per kickoff.
“He is a very complete player,” Brenner said. “Besides his kicking, he did a lot of things for us on both sides of the ball.”
Good-sized Chippewa Falls all-stater Rico DeLeon heads a solid defensive front and was dynamite on both sides of the ball.
“Has the ability to change games,” Crail said. “Was most impressed by his ability to chase down plays from the backside.”
Victor Jiminez anchored the Rice Lake front that helped get the Warriors to the fourth round of the playoffs.
“He was a great two-way player,” Sinz said. “He was so strong, you couldn’t move him.”
Brad Sarauer was highly-praised in the D-line for Bloomer, runner-up in the Heart O’ North Conference.
“Played multiple positions for Bloomer and was effective wherever he played. Defense or offense, you needed to know where Sarauer was at all times,” Barron coach BJ Williams said.
Regis had a strong defense and one of the reasons was junior Henry Theisen.
“He’s really, really strong and anchored the inside of our defensive line,” Brenner said.
Linebacker repeaters are Brett Lew of Elk Mound and Bronson Schofield of Chetek-Weyerhaeuser.
Lew led the Mounders in tackles with 109, of which 12 were for loss. He was also a key blocker in the offensive line. He was the defensive player of the year in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.
“Brett is a student of the game and our defensive leader; his toughness, emotion and heart is second to none,” coach Dave Lew said. “You cannot coach what Brett has and he will be missed by our program.”
Schofield was a first-team all-state selection and was the 2017 Heart O’North defensive player of the year.
“Solid linebacker in the middle for C-W,” Williams said.
Making his first appearance on first-team is Baldwin-Woodville’s Andrew Klopp. He had 104 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and two interceptions.
“Andrew … is one of our best players in the last decade,” Blackhawks coach Dan Keefer said. “He has it all. He plays well in space, can shut down inside runs and is excellent at defeating blocks.”
Andrew Ernstmeyer from Regis was a first-team all-state selection on both offense and defense and was a key cog for the Ramblers in their 11-1 season.
Defensively, he had 52 tackles, five sacks and six tackles for a loss. On offense, he was Regis' leading rusher with 746 yards on 81 carries and nine touchdowns.
Cade Osborn was a jack of all trades for Regis and received votes for player of the year.
He led the Ramblers with 116 tackles and finished his career with 266. He also had three interceptions this season. Offensively, he rushed for 648 yards and 14 touchdowns at an 8.7 average and closed his career with 1,159 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns at a 6.7 clip.
“He is one of the best players I have ever coached,” Brenner said. “He can run, throw, catch and defensively he was great against the run as well as the pass. He was the quarterback of our defense and could do it all.”
Davis Barthen of Menomonie was a first-team all-Big Rivers selection and honorable mention large school all-state pick.
“Great cover corner, difficult to get open against,” Hudson coach Adam Kowles said.
Peyton Buckley was a stalwart for Rice Lake the past two seasons, one of them ending in a state title in 2017.
Buckley had 80 tackles on defense to go along with four interceptions, and he also combined to score 33 touchdowns out of the quarterback position.
That honor belongs to Taylor Tirrell of River Falls, who averaged 38.6 yards a boot.
“Taylor has a strong leg and was able to put opposing offenses in tough field position throughout the season,” Crail said.
The second team offense is led by Hudson quarterback Keyser Helterbrand, who used his arm and leg to move the Raiders to a 7-3 record.
The running backs are Marquez Clerveaux of Rice Lake, Joey Kinderman of Fall Creek and sophomore Tanner Marsh of Mondovi.
Clerveaux ran 62 times for 584 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 9.4 yards per clip. Kinderman had 927 yards on 117 carries for 12 touchdowns, while Marsh rushed for 1,006 yards on the ground for the Buffaloes.
The receivers are Menomonie’s Sam Zbornik and Memorial’s Calvin Tanner.
Zbornik unofficially took 25 passes for 479 yards and eight scores while Tanner, a junior who missed 1 1/2 games, was credited with 41 catches for 620 yards and nine touchdowns.
The all-purpose back is Menomonie’s Logan Sorenson, who excelled as a d-back, receiver and runner.
The line includes Nate Hayes of Chippewa Falls, Ryan Zurbuchen of Elk Mound, Connor Windjue of Eleva-Strum and Carter Welch of Bloomer.
The kicker spot goes to River Falls’ Luke Nelson.
The defensive line features Jesse Buchli of Bloomer, Wyatt Porter of River Falls, Kadin Peterson of Regis, Marcus Kinblom of Elk Mound and CorDel Olson of Mondovi.
Linebackers are Cody Cicha of Hudson, Caden Boettcher of Osseo-Fairchild and TJ Tulip of Durand.
Backs are Aaron Borgerding of Spring Valley, Adam Feyereisen of River Falls and Jacob Daulton of Hudson.
The punter is Chippewa Falls’ Nathan Custer.