Amherst record setting quarterback, Trey Taubenheim. (#3)
Class D-1 All-State Teams with capsules.
by Bobby Mills (1000 Yard Guy)
These are my D-1 selections with capsules......aka, why they were chosen.
*Class D-1 (8-Man) - Offense*
*QB - Trey Taubenheim - Amherst - 5-10, 175, Senior
Taubenheim's numbers for 2015 will take your breath away. 192 of 290 passes (66%) for 3,042 yards, 53 TDs and only 4 picks. Also rushed for 459 yards and 9 more TDs. Trey also made 72 stops on defense, 56 were solos and 14 were for losses. He also pirated 3 passes and recovered 6 fumbles. In a little over 2 seasons, Taubenheim threw 486 times, completing 66% of those for 5,502 yards a hundred touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. No brainer pick in this Class.
*RB - Tanner Hass - West Point Guardian Angels C C - 6-0, 195, Senior
This young man could have easily been a choice as a linebacker, where he made 60 tackles. After missing nearly all of his junior season with a broken leg, Hass came back for Guardian Angels CC with a vengence, rushing for 1,778 yards on only 136 touches. That's 13 yards a crack. Tanner hit paydirt 35 times rushing, once receiving and another on a Pick 6. Looked like a man against boys often times.
*RB - Andrew Fangman - Elgin Public/Pope John - 5-11, 170, Senior
Another player who would have been a easy choice at linebacker in this class. On offense, the 170 pound senior nearly lapped the field with his 2,439 yards rushing, which incidently places him Numero Uno on my 1000 Yard List. Fangman, whose patient running and quick explosions netted him big yards, scored 39 touchdowns for the Wolfpack. Andrew made a whopping 123 tackles from his LB slot, 11 going for losses. Always came up big in crunch time.
*RB - Derek Sis - Perkins County - 5-10, 175, Junior
This dude can fly. Sis is flirting with times right around :11.0 and :22.9 on the track, and his football speed is equally as impressive. Give Sis a crease and a step, and it's goodbye. The speed to burn Junior finished 2nd in Class D-1 rushing with 1,805 yards after cracking the 1000 yard mark as a sophomore. This Perkins County team will be solid in 2016 as well.
*WR - Breyden Eckhout - Amherst - 5-11, 160, Senior
Taubenheim and Eckhout formed the most lethal pass and catch combination in 8-Man football. All-State a year ago like Taubenheim, Eckhout ran under 58 of those aerials for 1,170 yards and 20 TDs in 2015. Very difficult to cover with his fluid pass routes, Breyden compiled all but 16 of his 2,450 receiving yards in 2 seasons. Add 40 career touchdowns to that and you have the best receiver in 8-Man football. Eckhout also made 41 stops on defense and intercepted 5 passes. SOLID, Jackson.
*OL - Sam Morrill - Creighton - 5-10, 215, Junior
Never talked to ONE D-1 coach that didn't mention Morrill's name first when speaking about linemen in that classification. Lean and mean with superior blocking technique, Morrill stood out for Gene Suhr's Bulldogs on both sides of the ball.
*OL - Collin Brown - Blue Hill - 6-3, 310, Junior
Nearly impossible to move out of the way on defense and a steamrolling blocker for 1000 yard rusher, Mitch Kruger on offense. May have some Division One interest before it's all said and done. It's the O-Line where Brown flourishes.
*OL - Devin Soll - Pender - 6-4, 280, Senior
This dude casts a shadow that seems larger than Brown of Blue Hill. Made 55 tackles on defense and just literally consumed ball carriers and spit them out. Threw smaller players around like rag dolls at times. Recovered 3 fumbles and drew raves from opposing coaches. He is called "Sir".
*PK - Omar Ramierz - High Plains - 5-11, 170, Senior
Senior converted 47 of 56 PAT kicks and was a perfect 3 of 3 on his field goal attempts for High Plains. Omar also booted 69 of his 92 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. Ramierz also was in on 51 tackles on defense, 36 of those being solos and averaged 37 yards a punt.
*ATH - Josh Demers - High Plains - 6-1, 205, Senior
8-Man story of the year IMO. Demers began the year in the Storm line before volunteering to fill in at running back when injuries hit High Plains. Demers was a Man during the playoffs before going down with an injury. Basically ran for a 1,085 yards and 24 touchdowns in 5 games. Demers 326 yard, 6 TD performance against Howells-Dodge in the 2nd round of the playoffs turned some heads. Could have been a selection as a Linebacker as well with his 108 tackles, 2 recovered fumbles and an interception. You just have to find room for a guy like this on All-State.
*Class D-1 (8-Man) - Defense*
*DL - Sam Christensen - BDS - 6-1, 200, Senior
Repeat selection from a year ago, Christensen is 1 of 4 BDS players to be named on defense. Big Sam made an ungodly 126 tackles with 2 sacks plus an interception. This BDS crew had the most physical defense I saw in 8-Man football. Anybody that stuffs West Point GACC has to be tough.
*DL - Andy Kirkman - Clearwater-Orchard - 6-8, 235, Senior
What a daunting figure! How many 6-8 All-State basketball players you see, play football and just shine like a star? Only one I know of is Aurora's Austin Allen. Had Eckhout not been the selection as reciever on my offense, Kirkman would have been an easy choice after that. Andy pulled down 57 catches for 908 yards and a dozen scores and simply couldn't be covered. On defense, the 6-8 hulk made a mind boggling 138 tackles, 19 behind the line of scrimmage, made an unbelievable 24 sacks, and recovered 6 fumbles. Lord knows how many passes he batted away. What a player.
*DL - Tanner Benge - Hemingford - 6-2, 245, Senior
Major force for the Bobcats in 2013 and 2014 when they made 2 state finals appearances, winning the title a year ago. Cleared the way for a hand full of 1000 yard rushers. Made 58 stops this season and 131 for his 4 year career. Pretty decent basketball player too. Easy choice.
*LB - Stuart Rohr - BDS - 6-3, 220, Senior
When you are labeled as the best player on a state champion football team that was the most physical in Class D-1, you be Da King. No quarterback wanted to looks across the line and see #34 glaring at them. Stuart ate opp0sing QBs for lunch 11 times in 2015 and twice in the Championship game against Burwell. Those sacks were just 11 of his 101 total tackles for the season. Rohr was also arguably the best offensive center in D-1 too. May be the Defensive Player of the Year in D-1
*LB - Tanner Ortmeier - West Point Guardian Angels C C - 6-4, 185, Senior
This lad's size made him a nightmarish matchup for defensive backs. Ortmeier caught only 20 passes this fall for the Bluejays, but each catch averaged nearly 27 yards and half of his receptions went for TDs. On defense, Ortmeier struck fear into runners, making 95 tackles, 68 of which were crunching solo stops. 12 were for losses. 999 receiving yards the past 2 seasons and 208 tackles. WOW!
*LB - Kendall Dickson - BDS - 6-4, 220, Senior
OUCH! That's what took place when Dickson laid the wood. This kid is the same height as Ortmeier, but at least 30 pounds heavier. Many coaches say he was the best linebacker for BDS. That's scary. Dickson recorded 102 tackles and 7 sacks for the black clad state champions and was good enough on offense to catch 15 passes for 160 yards and 5 TDs. Do you realize that this BDS Linebacking corps made 329 tackles as a unit this past season. Hello!
*DB - Vicory Sikes - Burwell - 6-1, 190, Senior
As big time player as it gets. Always, always there in crunch time. Connected on 56% of his passes for 2,019 yards, 28 TDs and only 3 INTS this past season. The dual threat QB also ran for 1,053 yards and another 26 touchdowns. On defense, the always there Victory, made 53 tackles and pirated 6 passes. Career totals of 4,478 yards and 52 TDs, 1,740 yards and 40 scores, and 6,253 total yards. Not many come along like this young man! Great kid, superior coach.
*DB - Skyler Ratkovec - East Butler - 6-2, 170, Senior
Ratkovec is the epitomy of a Dual-Threat quarterback, but also could play a "little" defense. Skyler appears taller than 6-2, and just simply did it all for Shawn Bilthoff's Tigers. Ratkovec rushed for an even-steven 1,500 yards this season and nearly eclisped the 2,000 yard mark passing. The fluid senior completed 65% of his 143 passes for 1,842 yards and 28 TDs. On defense, made 98 tackles and 58 were one on one stops. Skyler also pirated 4 passes and did all the punting. Led his team to a 9-1 record in 2015. Tremendous athlete and team leader.
*PUNTER - Tyler Holz - Bloomfield - 5-10, 205, Senior
Truth be told, I tried like the dickens to find a spot on the team for Holz, who was just a standout for the Bees. low and behold, Tyler did the punting for Bloomfield and averaged nearly 40 yards a boot (39.7). My reason for the frantic search for a spot was the fact Holz rushed for 1,598 yards on a gruelling 237 carries. The solid 205 pound Holz scored 22 touchdowns and was also a force on defense, where he made 58 tackles. 48 of those babies were solo stops, along with 3 INTS and a recovered fumble. Holz was a shining star on a 6-4 Bees team.
*ATH - Ben Elznic - BDS - 6-2, 195, Senior
Elznic was one of the famed "Tres Hombres" linebacking trio that made 329 stops this season. The versatile Elznic made 95 tackles for the Eagles, had 4 sacks, intercepted 4 passes and blocked a punt. On offense, Elznic was a very difficult reciever to cover when he either ran a straight route or slipped out of the backfield. There were times defenses lost track of him, which is a head scratcher. Ben made 26 catches for 545 yards and 5 touchdowns. That's 21 yards a catch and a touchdown every 5th reception, and I can tell you, Elznic flashed plenty of speed for a 195 pounder on those long pass routes.