Friday, January 22, 2021
Medford running back Jack Paulson tries to escape the grasp of Blooming Prairie linebacker Tyler Archer during the second half of the Tigers’ 26-15 loss to the Awesome Blossoms. Paulson and nine of his teammates were selected to the Mid-Southeast White All-District Team or All-District Honorable Mention. In addition to making the all-district team, Paulson was also named this year’s Offensive Player of the Year for the Mid-Southeast District.

Seven Tigers named to all-district team

The Medford football team had its most successful season since 2013 by going 6-2 and winning the Section 2AA third place game and now thanks to its contribution to the team’s success 10 Tigers have been selected to the Mid-Southeast White All-District Team or All-District Honorable Mention.

The seven Tigers who made the all-district team are: offensive lineman/linebacker Brayden Beede, wide receiver/linebacker Josiah Hedensten, offensive and defensive lineman Gavin Hermes, offensive lineman/linebacker Tate Hermes, offensive and defensive lineman Brennon Hoffman, wide receiver/defensive back Ernie Lazaro and running back/defensive back Jack Paulson.

Beede totaled 41 total tackles, five pass deflections, one interception and one sack. Hedensten ran the ball 95 times for 779 yards and 12 touchdowns; he also caught 16 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown. On defense, he recorded 109 total tackles, one pass deflections, one forced fumble and one interception. Gavin Hermes tallied 25 total tackles, two pass deflections, one forced fumble, two sacks and one tackle for loss. Tate Hermes registered 68 total tackles, one interception, two and a half sacks and one tackle for loss.

Hoffman recorded 41 total tackles, one and a half sacks and one tackle for loss. Lazaro caught two passes for 36 yards and returned two kickoffs for a combined four yards. Defensively, he tallied 18 total tackles, four pass deflections and two interceptions. Paulson led the Tigers in rushing attempts and rushing yards with 149 and 949, respectively, and 12 touchdowns; he also caught two passes for three yards. On defense, he compiled 30 total tackles, one pass deflection and one fumble recovery.

Thanks to his 949 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, Paulson was named Offensive Player of the Year for the Mid-Southeast District.

Additionally, three Tigers earned all-district honorable mention. Those players are offensive and defensive lineman Dylan Heiderscheidt, tight end/defensive lineman Kael Hermanstorfer and quarterback/defensive back Justin Ristau.

Heiderscheidt recorded 33 total tackles, two fumble recoveries, five sacks and one tackle for loss. Hermanstorfer caught five passes for 123 yards, returned eight punts for a total of 75 yards and tallied 18 total tackles, four pass deflections and one and a half sacks. Ristau completed 25 of his 61 pass attempts for 382 yards and one touchdown and ran the ball 48 times for 293 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, he made 16 total tackles, two pass deflections and one interception.

Medford Head Coach Jerome Johannes said there two main reasons why each of the honorees were selected.

“It really comes down to stats and the importance of each player to a team. Offensive linemen do not get the opportunity to accumulate stats, so we look at the role they play,” he said.

The role that each of the honorees played, he noted, helped the team be successful.

“Each of them had a role and they carried [out] their role for the betterment of the team. Each of them probably has a few moments that stand out and separates them as an individual player,” he said.

Given how many individual players separated themselves, Johannes said Medford could have had even more honorees.

“This year was a great year, and we had a lot of worthy individuals that certainly could have been All-District. When it comes to the voting on these players, it is tough because so many of them played a huge and impactful role to the success we have had this year,” he said.

A couple reasons so many Tigers played an impactful role is due to the time and effort they invested in becoming better players.

“We had incredibly talented and hardworking players,” mentioned Johannes.

The senior’s hard work is one of the things that makes this group of seniors special.

“Their hard work, dedication, countless hours in camps, weight room - you name it. This might have been the most dedicated senior group I have had. But not only that, they were extremely talented.  They all put their team above their individual stats. This was a fun team,” he said. “These seniors will be missed, and the underclassmen know that they have large shoes to fill.”

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Steele County Times

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