The Mound Westonka High School football team celebrated another memorable season holding a Virtual Awards Banquet on January 17th via Zoom.
Head coach Nick David opened the banquet by saying, “I am very proud of and thankful to all of the players, coaches, water boys, student managers, cheerleaders, parents, fans, game workers, and all the others that helped make the 2020 Mound Westonka White Hawks football season a memorable one.”
The varsity team finished 3-4 this year, with all four losses coming to very talented teams. “It was truly a season to remember with all of the COVID protocols creating numerous obstacles that this team had to overcome on a daily basis. With that, the passion and emotion that this team played with never waivered.”
David took time at the banquet to recognize his fellow varsity coaches: Mike Wallace, Jared Chapman, Brian Ibs, Doug Runke, Kyle Ague, Brandon Brakstad, Kurt Bowe, Colin Charlson, and Mike Schwartz. He also recognized the seventh- and eighth-grade coaching staff of Eric Rodelius, Todd Munsterteiger, Jim Kleinsasser, and Dave Leinfelder, as well as the Westonka Youth Football coaches.
“These coaches did a terrific job of preparing our team for game days and getting our players to understand that there is so much more to football in what it can teach you than just the X’s and O’s,” David said. He also gave special thanks to his wife, Melissa, and the entire “Coaches’ Wives Club.”
White Hawks Earn All-District Honors
White Hawks student-athletes received several Twin City Football District awards. Seniors Tucker Anderly (RB/LB), Trent Bowe (WR/DB), Logan Leonard (WR/DB), Michael Nolen (OL/LB) and junior Tyler Von Banks (QB/LB) earned All-District honors for their performance on the gridiron this season. Four other players—senior EJ Van Dyken (TE/DL), junior Jake Gaylord (QB/LB), and sophomores Marc Maas (OL/DL) and Cam Peterson (RB/LB)—were All-District Honorable Mention selections.
Pride on Display
In addition to stats recorded under the Friday night lights, the players’ efforts off the field were given equal recognition at the banquet. Individual players were recognized by their coaches for their efforts in practice and in the weight room, for volunteering with the youth football program, and for being positive role models in the community.
Senior Logan Leonard was selected to the Individual Class 4A Academic All-State Football Team. He carries a 3.95 cumulative GPA and excelled on the football field this past season.
Senior Shawn McNatt II was named to the All-District “Why We Play” Team for exhibiting the following qualities: true love for football; commitment and loyalty to school, team and community; willingness to sacrifice for the team; integrity; courage of convictions; goal-oriented approach; sharp focus and strong competitive drive; excellent work ethic; willingness to accept challenges; mental toughness; strong football skills; and strong leadership.
The Lifter of the Year Awards, which recognizes hard work in the weight room, went to freshman Mikey Oftedahl, sophomore Sam Dioszeghy, junior Ryan Butler, and senior Michael Nolen.
Among the multiple team awards given out by coaches at the banquet was the White Hawks PRIDE Award. The PRIDE Award is given to the White Hawks Football player who has most exemplified the concept of team, and who, through the behind the scenes dedication, effort, and caring for his teammates, has provided the glue that binds them as one. This player plays with the most Purpose, built strong Relationships, Improved Daily, showed Discipline, and consistently displayed high Effort and Energy throughout the season. This year’s award went to senior Shawn McNatt II. “It is players like him why guys like me coach the game of football,” said David.
Seniors Tucker Anderly and Logan Leonard were chosen as the 2020 Co-MVP’s. “We couldn’t have asked for much more out of these two players this season. They were on the field basically every snap leading and calling our defense and making play after play on offense. They both have been a mainstay on the varsity football team as starters for the past two seasons where they both have been honored twice as a Twin Cities All-District selections. They are two of toughest and most talented players I have ever had the opportunity to coach,” said Coach David.
New Leaders Chosen
The team had 10 seniors who played their final season of White Hawks football this year. This year’s senior class helped win 24 varsity games during their four years and have set a precedent for what is expected out of our White Hawks Football program for years to come!
The coaches gave special recognition to graduating seniors - team captain Tucker Anderly, Henry Baklund, team captain Trent Bowe, team captain Logan Leonard, Shawn McNatt II, Christian Molle, Lance Munsterteiger, Michael Nolen, EJ Van Dyken, and Devon Wilson-Noethe.
“I cannot say enough great things about these boys or thank them enough for their contributions these past four years,” David said of the 2020 senior class.
Next year’s team captains, named at the banquet, are Ryan Butler, Jake Gaylord, Anthony Kulisek, Jacob Peterson, Tyler Von Bank, and Joe Zachow. The White Hawks also have eight underclassmen that will be a part of the Leadership Council next year: sophomores Sam Dioszeghy, Mar Maas, Cam Peterson, and Will Wallace, and freshmen Jacob Hansberger, Matt Neumann, Mikey Oftedahl, and Carter Reinbold.
“We will look to these fourteen players to lead us as we continue on with the process of building a championship football program here at Mound Westonka,” said David.