The 2017 fall sports season has come and gone, maybe a little faster than some had hoped. It was full of highs and lows for all the teams in the area each and every week. Individuals from al across the Local County News area put in work and the results showed under the lights when it was game time.
With that, we are proud to introduce the 2017 Fall Sports All-Area Teams. With help from our staff and coaches from across the region, we narrowed down the list to 25 football players, 25 volleyball players, 15 boy cross country runners and 15 girl cross country runners that stood above the rest all year long.
Congratulations to all the honorees on both the All-Area teams and the honorable mention list. You’re hard work has not gone unnoticed.
On the top 25 list for football, Knox County placed five standouts on the team for 2017.
Ghatlin Hegge, Jr., Wausa: It isn’t every day you take over at quarterback and finish with over 2,000 yards of total offense. Hegge did just that, throwing for 1169 yards and running for another 924 yards.
Quentin Moles, Sr., Bloomfield: If there is such a thing as a sure thing, it is Moles’ inclusion on this list. The senior had one of the best rushing seasons in state history this year, finishing with 2,659 yards rushing and 45 touchdowns.
Levi Stacken, Sr., Creighton: Leading the team in tackles with 39 solo tackles and 49 assisted is sure to grab some attention. So is being the anchor for one of the top rushing attacks in the state.
Derek Wortman, Sr., Creighton: Holding positions as receiver, quarterback and running back, Wortman totaled 1,669 offensive yards while tying the single game playoff record for touchdowns.
Bryce Zimmerer, Jr., Creighton: Although he played just seven games, Zimmerer racked up 1,136 yards on 128 carries and 194 yards through the air.
Volleyball in Knox County is always a good source of exciting volleyball, as showcased by the four girls that led the way on the all-area list.
Kirsten Adams, Jr., Creighton: The Bulldogs came just one win away from a state tournament berth in 2017, and Adams was a huge reason for that. She finished the year with 264 kills and 91 blocks.
Ashtyn Fritz, Jr., Creighton: Another reason for the strong Creighton season was Fritz, who gave the Bulldogs a double-helping of skill up front. She finished the year with 241 kills to go along with 192 digs.
Josie Sanger, Jr., Crofton: While there were many changes for the Warriors in 2017, one guarantee was a constant - Sanger would play great defense. She finished the year with 415 digs.
Michelle Wachter, Sr., Bloomfield: Wachter was the heart and soul of the Bees this year. She led the team in kills with 103, aces with 43 and digs with 282.
Boys Cross Country
There are few teams in the state that are as consistent in cross country as Crofton, as evidenced by the strong Warrior feel on the all-area team.
Connor Arens, Fr., Crofton: Few freshmen in the state had a season like Arens in 2017. The newcomer looked like anything but, finishing the year at state with a medal for eighth place with a time of 17:33.1.
Tanner Arens, Jr., Crofton: It should come as no surprise to see another Arens on the team, especially Tanner. The two-time honoree took home tenth at state with a time of 17:41.4.
Tyler Janssen, Jr., Crofton: Janssen was another reason that the Warriors qualified for state as a team, posting a strong season all the way through to the big meet. He finished state with a time of 18:37.7, good for 49th.
Colby Zuhlke, Fr., Crofton: The future of Crofton cross country should be well in hand thanks to a freshman class that includes Zuhlke. The young runner helped the Warriors to a fourth place finish at state with a time of 19:56.0, good for 106th individually.
Girls Cross Country
When you qualify two entire teams for the state meet, you’re going to have plenty of high-quality runners. Such is the case for the Knox County girls, who placed five runners on the list.
Haley Arens, Sr., Crofton: Few can boast the incredible career that Arens can, having gone to state all four years. This year, she took home Class D runner up with a time of 19:43.3 to lead the Warriors.
Alexis Boldenow, Fr., Crofton: The young runner filled in flawlessly on the Crofton squad, aiding the team to a state berth, where she finished in 75th with a time of 23:20.4.
Bree Eisenhauer, So., Bloomfield/Wausa: Making the list for the second time, Eisenhauer was a leader for a Bloomfield/Wausa team that qualified for the state meet after winning the team’s first ever district title. She took 46th at state with a time of 22:19.8.
Kelsey Schieffer, Fr., Crofton: Yet another gifted freshman for the Warriors, Schieffer did her part in helping the team to yet another state meet. She took home 83rd with a time of 23:40.2.
Ann Woockman, So., Bloomfield/Wausa: Another key member of the history-making Bloomfield/Wausa squad, Woockman made her second trip to state in 2017. She finished 52nd at the meet with a time of 22:36.8.
Complete All-Area Lists
The full all-area list, including athletes from Antelope, Holt, Boone and Knox counties, is below, listed alphabetically:
Creston Bertschinger, Sr., Clearwater-Orchard
Carter Croxen, Sr., Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing
Spencer Davis, Jr., O’Neill
Dylan Gentrup, Sr., Boone Central/Newman Grove
Ross Gribble, Sr., Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing
Ghatlin Hegge, Jr., Wausa
Andrew Herley, Jr., Neligh-Oakdale
Bryce Kerkman, Sr., West Holt
Chris Kester, Jr., Clearwater-Orchard
Trevor Klabenes, Sr., Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing
Levi Krueger, Sr., Boone Central/Newman Grove
Daniel Libolt, Sr., Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing
Wyatt Liewer, Sr., O’Neill
Mason Lofquist, Sr., West Holt
Jacob Long, Jr., Clearwater-Orchard
Ty Martinsen, Jr., Riverside
Josh McFarland, Jr., Elkhorn Valley
Quentin Moles, Sr., Bloomfield
Cody Nelson, Sr., Boone Central/Newman Grove
Hunter Reestman, Jr., Elgin Public/Pope John
Ethan Sattler, Jr., Stuart
Levi Stacken, Sr., Creighton
Clay Thiele, Jr., Clearwater-Orchard
Derek Wortman, Jr., Creighton
Bryce Zimmerer, Jr., Creighton
Kirsten Adams, Jr., Creighton
Payton Birkel, Sr., O’Neill
Reaghan Engal, So., Stuart
Ashtyn Fritz, Jr., Creighton
Grace Henn, Sr., Elgin Public/Pope John
Morgan Haschke, Jr., Riverside
JoCee Johnston, Jr., Clearwater-Orchard
Haley Kerkman, Jr., Neligh-Oakdale
Ashley Koenig, So., Ewing
Bailey Kraus, Sr., West Holt
Calli Krebs, Sr., Elgin Public/Pope John
Paige Meis, Sr., Elgin Public/Pope John
Amber Miller, Jr., Elkhorn Valley
Hannah Ollendick, Jr., Elkhorn Valley
Jenae Osborne, Sr., West Holt
Taylor Jean Peter, So., Chambers/Wheeler Central
Peyton Randolph, Jr., West Holt
Grace Rittscher, Jr., Clearwater-Orchard
Josie Sanger, Jr., Crofton
Bailey Schindler, Sr., Ewing
Miranda Summers, Jr., Ewing
Julian Tuttle, Jr., Clearwater-Orchard
Michelle Wachter, Sr., Bloomfield
Maddie Walkowiak, Sr., Riverside
Allyson Wemhoff, Jr., Elgin Public/Pope John
Boys Cross Country
Joseph Albrecht, Fr., West Holt
Connor Arens, Fr., Crofton
Tanner Arens, Jr., Crofton
Cole Belitz, Jr., Neligh-Oakdale
Hunter Bennett, Fr., Elkhorn Valley
Brayden Effle, Sr., Elkhorn Valley
Tyler Janssen, Jr., Crofton
Nathaniel Jennings, Sr., O’Neill
Aaron Kraus, Fr., West Holt
Cole Laible, Jr., West Holt
Jonathon Lindgren, Fr., Boone Central/Newman Grove
Derek Mahony, Sr., Chambers/Wheeler Central
Jacob Riggs-Ramage, Jr., St. Edward
Ben Thiele, Jr., West Holt
Colby Zuhlke, Fr., Crofton
Girls Cross Country
Haley Arens, Sr., Crofton
Emma Bixler, So., Neligh-Oakdale
Alexis Boldenow, Fr., Crofton
Kira Dickau, Jr., Stuart
Bree Eisenhauer, So., Bloomfield/Wausa
Katie Goodwater, Jr., Boone Central/Newman Grove
Briaunna Parks, Sr., O’Neill
Kelsey Schieffer, Fr., Crofton
Autumn Simons, Fr., Boone Central/Newman Grove
Jordan Soto-Stopak, Fr., Boone Central/Newman Grove
Alison Stineman, So., Elkhorn Valley
Whitney Watson, Jr., O’Neill
Samantha Weeder, Fr., Boone Central/Newman Grove
Carlie Wetzel, Jr., West Holt
Ann Woockman, So., Bloomfield/Wausa
Honorable Mention, football
Neligh-Oakdale - Austin Rice, Nate Buck, Tucker Knust, Kaleb Pofahl
Elkhorn Valley - Brock Schaecher, Caden Reikofski
Elgin Public/Pope John - Liam Heithoff, Kyle Schumacher
Clearwater-Orchard - Zach King, Ryan Wilhelm
Boone Central/Newman Grove - Jessie Sullivan, Will Frey, Garrett Cornwell
Riverside - Micheal Bernt, Riley Swerczek, Trey Carraher, Joseph Bloom
St. Edward - Jesse Osantowski, Trevor Rasmussen
Niobrara/Verdigre - Dakota Crosley, Trent Bauer, Keith Rudloff
Creighton - Travis Tyler, Brayden Zimmerer, Noah Lilly, Brady Nelson
Bloomfield - Branston Gieselman, Michael Castaneda, Trenton Holz, Braden Eisenhauer
Wausa - Tyson Kaiser, Drew Munter
Crofton - Jaden Janssen, Ethan Poppe
Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing - Ethan Naughtin
O’Neill - Alex Thramer, Shayne Campbell
St. Mary’s - Grady Semin
West Holt - Shayden Neptune, Mason Hale
Stuart - Wade Paxton, Wyatt Paxton, Isaac Steinhauser
Honorable Mention, volleyball
Neligh-Oakdale - Amanda Dietz, Bailey Frey, Kristen Snodgrass
Elkhorn Valley - Brianna Werner, Sierra Rystrom
Elgin Public/Pope John - Nicki Payne, Kaylee Martinsen, Lydia Behnk
Clearwater-Orchard - Avery Cheatum, Katie Stearns
Riverside - Grace Schalk, Becky Schmeits, Alix Bloom
St. Edward - Treva Tharnish
Creighton - Kasey Kuhl, Sydney Walton, Clarissa Becker
Bloomfield - Addison Barger
Wausa - Paige Nissen, Megan Kleinschmit
Crofton - Madisen Kube, Danielle Steffen, Mackenzie Foxhoven
Ewing - Skye Schroeder, Tiana Thramer, Jaidyn Schindler
Chambers/Wheeler Central - Jamie Koenig, Morgan Ramsey
O’Neill - Aurora Gutshall, Claire Morrow
St. Mary’s - Abby Everitt
West Holt - Caitlin Butterfield, Madisyn Steinkraus
Stuart - Peyton Alder, Kennison Kunz