Redhawks top major All-District award categories
Several members of the North Tama football team were honored last week as 2012 Class A District 4 All-District performers. The Redhawks ran the gamut of major awards, with Jacob Wrage winning Offensive MVP, Nolan Hefty winning Defensive MVP and Dan Oltman winning Coach of the Year.
Wrage, a senior, has been nominated by this newspaper to receive All-State honors. His 2,281 yards passing were among Class A’s best, as were his 24 touchdown passes. Wrage also ran for 652 yards and 11 TDs.
Nolan Hefty was also nominated for All-State honors, finishing the year with 182 total tackles, 60 of which were solo efforts. He also intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble during a season in which he was a leader of the Redhawk defense.
Oltman, who came to North Tama after assistant coaching stints elsewhere, did a masterful job of utilizing his players’ skill sets to effectively maximize their potential, especially in the passing game. The Redhawks’ 10-2 record and #5 state ranking is evidence of Oltman’s superb job this season.
Several other players were honored as First Team All-District performers, including senior wide receiver Mitchell Boerm, who caught 55 passes for 862 yards and 10 TDs on the season.
Brent Billerbeck was another important member of the receiving corps, with 577 yards to go along with his 19.6 yards per return on kickoffs this year. Billerbeck also had a punt return for TD this year and a 20.0 yard average in returning punts.
Dalton Hulme, who emerged late in the season as a rushing threat, finished with 700 yards and 14 TDs on the ground. Jacob Watson caught for 471 yards, and Skyler Kvidera had 94 tackles and three fumble recoveries on the defensive side of the ball.
Trey Keahna was solid all year on the offensive and defensive lines, giving Wrage some much-needed protection and applying pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Damon Spencer finished the year with 40 tackles and an interception, along with three receiving TDs.
All of the Redhawks’ First Team honorees are seniors who will be sorely missed.
Second Team All-District honorees this year included Tanner Swanger, the lanky kicker who helped set the Redhawks up with good field position all year long with his reliable leg. Swanger converted 41 of his 46 extra point attempts and recorded 13 touchbacks on kickoffs.
Brandon Kaufman, a junior, was a force on defense, collecting 105 total tackles in 2012. He had 40 solo tackles, including three for a loss, and will be a leader of the North Tama defense next year.
The youngest player to be honored was sophomore Colton See, who recorded 28 total tackles and will also be a player to watch next year as he emerges as a possible defensive force.
Honorable mentions for this year’s All-District teams included Omar Martinez, a junior, Tyler Nelson, a senior, and Tony Weber, a sophomore.
Martinez was active with 37 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery throughout the course of the 2012 season. He will be an important part of the Redhawk secondary moving forward.
Nelson quietly recorded 56 tackles this season, along with a solo sack. He led the team with four fumble recoveries in 2012.
Weber is another young player to watch next year, as he recorded 22 tackles in his sophomore season, along with an interception.
The Star-Clipper will have updates of the All-State selection process following the committee’s meeting on November 18.