Gaels earn district honors
After going securing a district title, it was no coincidence that the St. Edmond football team placed eight players on the first team.
The Gaels, who finished as state runners-up in Class 1A, claimed the District 2 crown this past fall with a perfect 6-0 record.
Seniors Vinnie Harvey, Caelan Burbank, Hank Crimmins, Jimmy Averill, juniors Landon Peed, Nick Hindt and Chad Remsburg, and sophomore T.J. O’Tool were on the first team list.
Konrad Laufersweiler and Robby Burke, both seniors, made the second team, while juniors Matthew Bocken and Zach Gailey were honorable mention selections.
Manson Northwest Webster, which dropped a tough 14-6 decision to St. Edmond in the playoffs, had six on the first squad in Braden Moser, Lucas Dolder, Ty Condon, Tanner Peterson, Austin Pohl and Cal Twait.
Harvey set numerous records for the Gaels, finishing his career with 1,594 yards and 35 touchdowns this season. Harvey’s defensive numbers included over 70 tackles and 10 sacks, along with 18 tackles for loss.
“Vinnie was the franchise player,” SEHS head coach Dick Tighe said. “We built our offense and defense around him and he came through.
“I would rank him right up there with the top running backs I have ever coached.”
O’Tool, who was moved into the starting lineup after the season opener, ran for 1,538 yards and scored 14 times. He also led the team in tackles, including five for loss.
“T.J. was a pleasant surprise,” Tighe said. “I’ll admit I had no idea we would get that much production out of him, but he is a hard worker and is very talented.”
Peed made the most of every opportunity he had in the run-first, run-second Gael offense, catching 26 passes for 673 yards and seven scores. On defense, he had six interceptions and averaged 26 yards per kickoff return and 13.5 per punt return.
“Landon is a super athlete,” Tighe said. “He can do it and I feel like we will be leaning on him a lot last year.”
Burbank, Hindt and Remsburg were part of a unit that helped run for well over 4,000 yards. On defense, they each made over 70 tackles on a unit that pitched three shutouts and held seven others to 10-or-less.
“These guys were what made everything go for us,” Tighe said. “They were our big, strong guys that did the dirty work.”
Crimmins and Averill were also two-way starters, while Crimmins was the St. Edmond kicker, as well. Averill made over 80 tackles, while Crimmins had 62 made extra-points.
“Hank and Jimmy took on some new roles as the season progressed and they were big parts for us,” Tighe said. “They will be missed next year.”
Pohl and Twait were vital members of the offensive line for the Cougars, who racked up over 3,400 yards of total offense.
Peterson, Dolder and Condon all made 70-plus tackles,
For Pocahontas Area, Jacob Kopriva, Dominic Johnson and Danny Sommerlot were first team selections. Sommerlot made 121 tackles from his linebacker spot as a 10th-grader.
Crimmins was also voted the Special Teams Player of the Year, while Tighe was Coach of the Year. St. Edmond’s Pat Schomberg earned Assistant Coach of the Year honors.