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For the second year in a row, the Jackson County Central football team won the Section 3AA championship and advanced to the Class AA state tournament. The season started with high hopes and JCC didnt disappoint, going unbeaten in the Southwest Conference and dominating the section tournament. JCC finished the season with a record of 10-2, giving the Huskies 20 wins in the last two seasons. Here is a look at how the Huskies made their second straight trip to state: With senior guard No lan Hohenstein showing up just before kickoff, the Huskies ran for 278 yards and three touchdowns in a 21-7 season-opening win at St. Louis Park. Keegan Moore (119) and Luke Norland (102) both topped the century mark on the ground, with Norland rushing for two touchdowns and Moore another. Key to the game: The Class 5A Orioles gained just 154 yards as JCCs defense set the tone for a successful season. Already trailing 7-0, the Huskies fumbled on their second offensive play against Foley and later trailed 28-0 in what ended up being a 42-7 loss. Shadrach Wacker scored the lone touchdown for the Huskies as JCC gained just 227 yards of offense. Key to the game: The Falcons racked up 440 yards of offense, 176 yards more than any other JCC opponent all season. Moore ran for three touchdowns, including one from 54 yards out, as the Huskies pounded Redwood Valley 26-2 in the conference opener. Moore fin ished with 108 yards and Norland added 96. Darnell Taylor-Breck caught the first of his three touchdowns on the season, coming on a 34-yard pass from Wacker. Key to the game: The Huskies got to work quickly, rushing for 133 yards in the first quarter and 318 for the game. JCC scored on its first five possessions in a 34-6 road win over Pipestone. The victory marked the beginning of a streak in which the Huskies scored at least 34 points in seven straight games. Norland, Moore and Wacker all ran for touchdowns and Taylor-Breck caught a 41-yard score from Wacker. Marek Bingel booted two field goals. Key to the game: The Arrows gained just two yards on the ground and JCCs defense had three takeaways in the game. In what has become an exciting rivalry, the Huskies dominated Luverne 39-13 in a key SWC game. Luverne led 6-0 before Moore went 75 yards for a score. He added two more touchdowns and finished the game with 146 yards rushing. Paden Moore ran for two touchdowns and had 70 yards on the ground. Key to the game: JCC fumbled to start the second half, but Mitchell Macek made an interception and the Huskies soon scored to put the game away. Trailing 14-7 at the half, the Huskies outscored Marshall 28-0 in the second half to all but wrap up the conference title. Taylor-Breck caught an 86-yard touchdown from Wacker for the Huskies longest play of the season for an early 7-0 lead. Zach Holm returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown and Keegan Moore ran for two touchdowns and Paden Moore one as JCC pulled off the road win. Key to the game: Holms 74-yard kick return sparked the Huskies. It got us the lead and it seemed to just raise our intensity level through the roof, JCC head coach Tom Schuller said. After a bye week because JCC played SLP during Zero Week, the Huskies dominated Windom in a weather-shortened game. The Huskies led 42-7 at the half and then lightning struck and the coaches decided to call the game. Norland ran for three TDs and Ryan Salzwedel returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Ryan Brighton caught a touchdown pass from Wacker for JCCs other score. Key to the game: Salzwedel dominated, picking off two passes returning both for touchdowns and the JCC defense held the Eagles to just nine yards rushing and 63 yards total.



Huskies make it back-to-back trips to state


JCC 21, SLP 7


After leading 15-0 early, JCC took just a 15-10 lead into halftime before beating Worthington 44-23 to claim the conference championship in the regular-season finale. Keegan Moore ran for three touchdowns and Paden Moore, Norland and Wacker each ran for one. Key to the game: Kyle Kapplinger and Keegan Moore recovered fum bles in Trojan territory on Worthingtons first two drives of the second half and JCC turned both into touchdowns. The Huskies opened the playoffs with their biggest shutout win in school history, beating St. James 56-0. The easy win saw Keegan Moore run for four touchdowns, giving him seven scores in a span of two games. Paden Moore and Demonte Thomas also scored and Caleb Will ran for two touchdowns. Key to the game: The Huskies ran for 564 yards, with Keegan Moore gaining 167 on just eight carries. The Huskies slowed the high-powered Maverick offense in a 51-12 win in the section semifinals. Norland, Paden Moore and Wacker all ran for scores as JCC led 21-0. Paden Moore added another touchdown and Keegan Moore ran for two scores and Salzwedel one as JCC topped the 50-point mark for the second straight game. Key to the game: MCW came into the game averaging 43 points per game, but JCC held the Mavs to just 13 points and 218 yards of offense. JCC won its second straight section title with a 23-7 win over Maple River. The teams were tied after the first quarter, but Paden Moore ran for a touchdown and JCC got a safety in the second quarter. Norland put the game away in the fourth with a 67-yard touchdown run. Keegan Moore had 30 carries for 157 yards. Key to the game: Norlands first carry didnt come until the fourth quarter, but he made it count as his longest gain of the season sealed the section championship. Chatfield scored a touchdown just before and just after halftime to turn a tie game into a 19-6 lead and then sealed the win with two late defensive touchdowns. Wacker scored JCC s only TD on a six-yard run in the second quarter. Key to the game: JCC turned the ball over four times, with two leading directly to scores and another quickly turning into a Gopher touchdown.


Jackson County Centrals 13 seniors on its football team this year are (front, from left): Ryan Brighton, Zach Paulson, Brady Place, Mitchell Macek, Shadrach Wacker, Wyatt Livingston and Jordan Biehn. Back: Chris Baker, Christian Akers, Matt Schmit, Nolan Hohenstein, Darnell Taylor-Breck and Austin Bell-Pixler. This years seniors won 20 games over the last two seasons and made it to back-to-back state tournaments.

Photo by Dan Condon

Seniors leave lasting impression at JCC

Thirteen seniors won 20 games in final two seasons
by DAN CONDON Sports Editor
Jackson County Centrals 13 seniors played a big part in a pair of back-to-back memorable seasons and helped the Huskies win 20 games during that stretch. The group went 20-5 over its last two falls in the navy and silver and made it to the state tournament both seasons. Four-fifths of JCCs dominant offensive line was seniors, as were the teams signal caller and leading receiver. Some were starters for multiple years, some broke into the lineup for the first time this year and others were key reserves for the Huskies. They all had different roles and all have a different story. This years seniors were: Ryan Brighton Former guard who started at tight end and defensive end this season. Caught 11 passes and a touchdown as a senior. Shadrach Wacker Starting quarterback as a senior after catching 27 passes as a receiver the previous two seasons. Also played defensive back, where he had two interceptions this season. Darnell Taylor-Breck Caught 36 passes in his career as a wide receiver and had seven career interceptions two which were returned for touchdowns. Mitchell Macek Former quarterback who started at safety for JCC and was the teams long snapper. Had two interceptions and one fumble recovery as a senior. Brady Place Started at safety as a senior after not going out for football the year prior. Had two interceptions this season. Jordan Biehn Played football for the first year at JCC as a senior and started at cornerback. Wyatt Livingston Defensive lineman who saw a lot of playing time as a senior. Nolan Hohenstein Three-year starter at offensive guard. Also started at defensive tackle. Chris Baker Twoyear starter at center and also played linebacker. Austin Bell-Pixler Started on defensive line and was reserve offensive tackle Matt Schmit Threeyear starter at offensive tackle and also starting defensive end. Zach Paulson Started at offensive guard as a senior. Christian Akers Went out for football for the first time this fall and was reserve offensive lineman. Brighton, Wacker, Ho henstein and Schmit all were named to the allSouthwest Conference team and Macek was an honorable-mention pick. JCC head coach Tom Schuller said all 13 of his seniors played a big part in this years success. We really prize every one of those kids, he said. Everyones got a different ability, but we prize every one of them that goes out there. Hohenstein, Baker and Schmit all returned to the offensive line, but Paulson had to work his way into the group this season (see C3 for more on the line). Zach Paulson stuck with it the whole time, Schuller said. He had to battle for his position, had to beat kids out as a senior and he did it and hung onto the job all year. Macek was one of a few players who had to switch positions during his career. He played quarterback

JCC 26, RV 2


JCC 51, MCW 12


as a sophomore on scout team and B squad knowing he had no chance of playing quarterback on varsity, Schuller said. The athletic senior saw time at safety as a junior and started all 12 games there this season. Brighton also switched positions for the good of the team. Ry a n m o v i n g f r o m guard to tight end really helped us a lot, Schuller said. Place and Biehn, who didnt go out for football last year, also made an impression on Schuller as seniors. Brady Place came back out; he had to beat people out and he got a ton of playing time, Schuller said. Jordan Biehn, I think we got him off the street. I think we had been practicing one or two weeks and he came out and got a ton of playing time. His competitiveness, like in wrestling, you could see it out there on the football field. Taylor-Breck and Wacker were both veterans as seniors, with Wacker starting at quarterback for the first time and using the lanky Taylor-Breck as his go-to receiver. Shadrach, in his first year starting at quarterback, he did an outstanding job, Schuller said.

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Salute to the Huskies

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Members of the Jackson County Central football team are (front, from left): Matt Schmit, Chris Baker, Christian Akers, Nolan Hohenstein, Ryan Brighton, Austin Bell-Pixler and Zach Paulson. Second row: Shadrach Wacker, Wyatt Livingston, Darnell Taylor-Breck, Jordan Biehn, Mitchell Macek and Brady Place. Third row: Joe Brinkman, Zach Holm, Kyle Kapplinger, Triston Peterson, Demonte Thomas, Scott Christopher, Paden Moore, Nate Jones and Luke Norland. Fourth row: Caleb Will, Freeman Scott, Connor Gumto, Avery Henderson, Ryan Salzwedel, Brody Anderson, Keegan Moore and Marek Bingel. Fifth row: Brandon Schmit, Michael Miller, Luke Pygman, Nathan Horn, Andrew Rasmussen, James VanWesten, Derek Somnis, Justin Peterson, Gavin Mulder and Justin Tirevold. Back: Assistant coaches Charlie Clarksean, Trent Sukalski and Jay Moore; head coach Tom Schuller; and assistant coaches Wade Wacker, Nolan Schuller, Chris Naumann, Blaise Jacobsen and Nate Hanson. Missing: Andrew Hesse, Ryan Timko, Jordan Hutzler, Jared Bakalyar, Alec Fischer and Curtis Pell.
Photo courtesy of Fitzloff Photography

Photo by Marie Zimmerman

Members of the Jackson County Central cheerleading team are (front, from left): Josie Horn and Makenna Donnelli. Middle: Clair Smith, Kortney Porter, Jayde Price, Kassidy Timmer, Kiana Nyborg and Michaela Vancura. Back: Annie Gee, Bailey Schneekloth, Madison Cregeen and Aubry Salberg.

No. Name Pos. Wt. Ht. Yr. 2 Andrew Hesse WR/DB 155 57 11 3 Keegan Moore RB/LB 195 510 10 4 Ryan Brighton TE/DL 190 59 12 6 Scott Christopher WR/DB 155 61 11 8 Ryan Salzwedel WR/DB 150 510 10 10 Shadrach Wacker QB/CB 160 511 12 11 Darnell Taylor-Breck WR/DB 170 62 12 13 Mitchell Macek QB/S 170 58 12 14 Jordan Hutzler TE/DE 175 61 10 17 Brady Place WR/S 160 511 12 22 Luke Norland RB/LB 185 510 11 23 Demonte Thomas RB/S 165 60 11 24 Zach Holm RB/DB 145 58 11 28 Joe Brinkman QB/DB 145 510 11 30 Kyle Kapplinger RB/LB 160 56 11 32 Ryan Timko RB/S 155 58 11 35 Jordan Biehn RB/DB 140 56 12 36 Paden Moore RB/LB 173 59 11 40 Avery Henderson RB/CB 145 57 10 42 Triston Peterson TE/LB 174 510 11 45 Caleb Will TE/LB 190 59 10 46 Freeman Scott TE/DL 235 61 11 47 Jared Bakalyar LB/RB 165 510 11 50 Gavin Mulder OL/DL 190 510 10 52 Wyatt Livingston OL/DL 185 510 12 56 Nolan Hohenstein OL/DL 275 64 12 57 James VanWesten OL/LB 165 58 10 60 Chris Baker OL/LB 210 60 12 61 Austin Bell-Pixler OL/DL 210 60 12 62 Justin Tirevold OL/DL 220 59 10 63 Matt Schmit OL/DL 235 65 12 65 Zach Paulson OL/DL 220 511 12 68 Nate Jones OL/DL 185 60 11 70 Michael Miller OL/DL 240 62 10 71 Alec Fischer OL/DL 180 510 11 73 Derek Somnis OL/DL 280 56 11 74 Brandon Schmit OL/DL 225 63 11 75 Nathan Horn OL/DL 250 65 11 76 Luke Pygman OL/DL 170 59 10 76 Brody Anderson OL/DL 220 60 11 77 Christian Akers OL/DL 240 62 12 78 Andrew Rasmussen OL/DL 240 62 10 80 Connor Gumto WR/DB 150 61 11 81 Curtis Pell WR/DB 160 510 10 83 Justin Peterson WR/CB 160 57 10 83 Marek Bingel K 175 510 11 Head coach: Tom Schuller Assistant coaches: Charlie Clarksean, Nate Hanson, Blaise Jacobson, Jay Moore, Chris Naumann, Nolan Schuller, Trent Sukalski and Wade Wacker Student manager: Jordian Tirevold Cheerleaders: Josie Horn, Makenna Donnelli, Clair Smith, Kortney Porter, Jayde Price, Kassidy Timmer, Kiana Nyborg, Michaela Vancura, Annemarie Gee, Bailey Schneekloth, Madison Cregeen and Aubry Salberg Cheer coach: Barb Tvinnereim

2013 JCC Huskies football team

2013 Class AA state football tournament

Minneota/Lincoln HI Moose Lake/WR Pine Island Maple Lake Holdingford Hawley Chatfield JCC Minneota Maple Lake Hawley Chatfield

2013 Section 3AA football tournament

1. JCC 8. St. James 4. MCW 5. NRHEG 2. Maple River 7. Windom 6. Pipestone 3. Luverne JCC JCC MCW JCC Maple River MR Luverne

2013 JCC Huskies football results

Date Opponent 8/23 St. Louis Park 8/30 Foley 9/6 Redwood Valley 9-13 Pipestone 9/20 Luverne 9/27 Marshall 10-11 Windom 10-16 Worthington Section 3AA Tournament 10-22 St. James 10-26 Martin County West 11-1 Maple River Class AA State Tournament 11-8 Chatfield Overall record: 10-2

Result Score W 21-7 L 7-42 W 26-2 W 34-6 W 39-13 W 35-14 W 42-7 W 44-23 W W W L 56-0 51-12 23-7 6-32


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It all started up front for the Huskies

Powerful offensive line paved the way for JCC all season
by DAN CONDON Sports Editor
Top four, for sure. But probably even top three. Thats where Jackson County Central head coach Tom Schuller ranks this years offensive line in the history of Husky football. Weve had several good ones and this one was up there with them, he said. This years unit was anchored by a pair of allSouthwest Conference veterans on the left side and included four seniors and a sophomore. Senior tackle Matt Schmit and senior guard Nolan Hohenstein made up the left side of the line something theyve done for three straight seasons. On the right side were first-year starters in senior Zach Paulson (guard) and sophomore Michael Miller (tackle). In between was senior Chris Baker, who had never played on the line until becoming the teams starting center last season. Those five played on the line for more than 90 percent of JCCs meaningful offensive snaps this season, something Schuller said helped make the group so good. They make the calls, he said of the linemen making blocking adjustments. You get the gist of the play and you make calls for who youre going to block. When you have the continuity we had all year, it really helps. Dynamic duo Schmit and Hohenstein were undeniably the leaders of the group, making room for JCC backs for three years in a row. Along with disposing of defensive players, the two also helped get rid of a longstanding JCC tradition: Schuller putting the pads on for one practice a season and going against the linemen. That did not happen this year, Schuller said. They were responsible for that. But Schmit wasnt al ways planning on being a dominant lineman. He played tight end up until his sophomore season. It seems like yesterday I broke the news to Matt Schmit that he would not be playing tight end anymore and he was an offensive tackle, Schuller said. He was not a happy camper. Schmit agrees with that. At first I wasnt very happy, he said. But now Im glad he switched me. Schuller said right away he knew Schmit had what it took to be a solid lineman. I said Youre going to be a really good offensive tackle, but when I said that, Im not even sure I couldve dreamt how good he became, he said. To get there, Schmit said it took a lot of extra work after switching from tight end. I kind of knew how to block from being a tight end, but its a lot different being a tackle, he said. It took a lot of technique and time in the weight room.

Salute to the Huskies

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Right tackle Michael Miller (from left), right guard Zach Paulson, center Chris Baker, left guard Nolan Hohenstein and left tackle Matt Schmit dominated up front for Jackson County Central this season. All are seniors except Miller, who is just a sophomore. Hohenstein has been next to Schmit every start and its his athleticism that Schuller said makes Hohenstein so good. You dont see a guy that weighs 270 with the feet that he has, Schuller said. Hohenstein said his biggest improvement over the years is mastering the basics. Just the fundamentals of being a lineman: footwork, handwork, he said. I got a lot better over the years, especially since when I started as a sophomore. Together the two are as good as JCC has had, Schuller said. Theyre certainly up there with some of the great ones weve had, he said. Weve been real fortunate to have some real good ones. The two enjoyed playing together and spent so much time lined up next to each other they started to think alike. We were pretty much like brothers on the line, Schmit said. We always kind of knew what each other was thinking, so half the time we didnt even have to talk; we just knew what we were going to do. Big Schmitty, he was fun to play with, Hohenstein said. It was always fun taking guys on and double-teaming them. Hes a great player and it was fun to play with him for three years. But Schuller doesnt know which one of the two is better. It is on a day-to-day basis, he said. Those two guys, theyre elite players that dont come around very often. They just didnt get that way with natural talent. They have a lot of God-given talent, but theyve worked hard at it, too. Baker fills gigantic hole Baker came to JCC prior to last season from St. Anthony Village, where he played tight end and linebacker. Once he showed up at practice as a junior, he had a new position. My first day of foot ball camp my junior year, Coach (Chris) Naumann was like, We need a center and were wondering if you can do it. Im like, I can do it; can you just show me how to snap the ball? Baker said. He quickly learned, with much credit going to Naumann, as well as Schmit and Hohenstein. My junior year Id have to ask Hohny sometimes what to do on plays, he said. Them being threeyear starters and knowing what to do, that really helped me out. Just their sheer size made a guy feel safer playing next to them on the line. Schuller said Bakers willingness to switch to center helped during JCCs run to state last year and this season. We had a gigantic hole there last year, he said. Im sure he didnt come over here saying, I want to play center. He was willing to do that for us. That made a huge difference for us last year and we reaped those benefits again this year. Paulson saw his chance to pounce on a spot on the line this year and took advantage. I knew with (Mark) Thaemlitz and (John) Marker graduating, I knew those two spots were open, Paulson said. Wade (Wacker) kind of told me at the banquet last year that if I worked hard, a spot would be mine. I just worked my hardest and I got it. Schuller said thats exactly what it took for Paulson to get on the field: hard work. It was a competitive situation for right guard, Schuller said. He won it with tremendous work in the weight room. Schuller said every year heres a case like Paulsons where a senior keeps fighting and gets to start his final season. Zach Paulson stuck with it the whole time, Schuller said. He had to battle for a position, had to beat kids out as a senior and he did it and hung onto the job all year. Paulson said the difference between watching from the sidelines during the state tournament last year and being on the field this season is like night and day. Theres just such a big difference between it, I just cant even explain, he said. Its so different than just sitting on the side. Miller was also on the sidelines during JCC s state run last year and it was mostly to prepare him to step into the lineup as a sophomore. One of the things that helped Mike so much was

Photos by Dan Condon

Nolan Hohenstein (left) and Matt Schmit, regarded as two of the best linemen in the Southwest Conference, double-team Martin County Wests Micah Williams in a playoff win over the Mavericks. the playoff run last year, Schuller said. We had him keep practicing with us. We think hes going to be a special athlete. To be able to play in the Southwest Conference as a sophomore, and to do it well, is impressive. Miller agrees his time at practice last year helped pave the way for his success. Just getting to practice with a different level of guys, because I was used to practicing with kids my age, he said. Then finally getting to practice with older people, it helped me realize how much harder it is to go to another level. But Miller knew he could count on the veterans to help him out. They helped me out a lot, he said. Whenever Id have a question, theyd answer. If I was having difficulty trying to learn, theyd teach me. Theyd always tell me if I was doing anything wrong and help me fix it. One of the best The Huskies rushed for 3,284 yards this year for an average of 273.7 per game. Those kind of numbers are one of the reasons Schuller said this years line is one of the best at JCC, along with groups from 2000, 2001 and the two-year stretch of 1997 and 1998. The 97, 98 crew, I consider them a combo platter, Schuller said because of carryovers like James Withers and Mitch Hecker. Of course, 2001 comes up in any discussion. That was a gigantic offensive line. And Schuller considers the 2000 line one of the best mostly because it had Travis Ahrens as a senior. That team is in there strictly because I dont want Ahrens coming after me, he said. Hes one of the toughest dudes Ive ever coached. Along with Withers and Hecker, the 1997 line included Tim Lucht, Nate Stewart and Don Hedrick. The 1998 group had Withers, Hecker, Jon Anderson, Drew Wilking and Dallas Clarksean. Withers, Hecker, Clarksean and Hedrick all played college football. The 2000 team had a line of Mitch Rowe, Paul Scheff, Jacob Drahota, Matt Romo and Ahrens. In JCCs state championship year of 2001, the line featured a group of all seniors: Rowe, Garrett Rasmussen, Matt Walter, Romo and Josh Swanson, with Trent Bisaillon as a backup. The depth on that team was unbelievable, Schuller said. But this years team is as good as any, Schuller said. Anytime youre averaging those kind of numbers, thats good stuff, he said. They were a huge part of our success. While Schmit, Hohen stein, Baker, Paulson and Miller did the bulk of the work for JCC up front this season, Schuller said the tight ends and backups deserve credit too. Senior Ryan Brighton and junior Freeman Scott played tight end and senior Austin Bell-Pixler (tackle) and junior Brandon Schmit (guard) were the main backups. More football ahead Hohenstein said he plans on playing football in college, but hes not sure where yet. One thing he knows is hell miss his days at JCC. Im going to miss playing football here, he said. I had a lot of fun with this team. Matt Schmit is also likely to play in college and he also isnt sure which school hell attend. Baker said football isnt in his plans, but that could change. I plan on getting my generals done somewhere, he said. Im not looking toward football, but you never know what will happen. Paulson will attend South Dakota State University and said his playing days are over despite his desire to keep the pads on. Id like to play ball somewhere else, but I think this is where it stops, he said. Its been a heck of a ride. Miller returns to JCC, where he will be counted on to lead an offensive line just like the veterans he played alongside. I just gotta help everyone out and try to do what they did for me, Miller said. Tell them what to do and help them.

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Salute to the Huskies

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Triston Peterson gives Kyle Kapplinger a good-luck pat on the back prior to Jackson County Centrals state quarterfinal game against Chatfield.

Jackson County Central head coach Tom Schuller goes over defensive strategy with his team last Friday against Chafield. Among those looking on are Brandon Schmit (74), Brady Place (17), Jordan Biehn (35), Kyle Kapplinger (30) and Mitchell Macek (13).

Photos by Dan Condon

Zach Holm finds a hole while returning a kick against Chatfield in the state quarterfinals.

Paden Moore breaks through the defense for a big gain against the Gophers.

Madison Cregeen sports a smile as she cheers on the Jackson County Central football team. The Jackson County Central cheerleaders perform during halftime of the Class AA state quarterfinal football game. Cheerleaders are (bottom, from left): Kortney Porter, Annie Gee, Aubry Salberg, Kiana Nyborg, Bailey Schneekloth, Jayde Price, Kassidy Timmer and Josie Horn. Top: Madison Cregeen, Clair Smith and Makenna Donnelli. Left: Wyatt Livingston stretches prior to last Fridays Class AA state quarterfinal game against Chatfield.

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Salute to the Huskies

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jackson County Central captains Shadrach Wacker (from left), Matt Schmit and Paden Moore head to midfield for the coin toss against Chatfield.

Brandon Schmit (74), Paden Moore (36) and Austin Bell-Pixler wrap up Chatfields Alex Bradt in last weeks state quarterfinals.

Keegan Moore stretches just far enough for a first down in last Fridays Class AA state quarterfinal game against Chatfield.

Jackson County Central head coach Tom Schuller puts his arm around Matt Schmit after Schmit left the field for the final time in a JCC uniform.

Shadrach Wacker got the JCC players and coaches excited during his six-yard touchdown run in the second quarter against Chatfield.

Jayde Price (right) and Bailey Schneekloth perform during halftime of the Class AA state quarterfinals.


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Jackson, MN



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Salute to the Huskies

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wade Wacker (left) runs through the Redwood Falls defense as a junior quarterback during Jacksons state championship season of 1985. Right: Shadrach Wacker shows nearly identical form as his dad as he dashes through the Redwood Valley defense this season as Jackson County Centrals senior quarterback.

File photo (left), photo by Dan Condon


Shadrach Wacker leads JCC to the state tournament 28 years after his dad, Wade, led JHS to the 1985 state championship
by DAN CONDON Sports Editor
When No. 10 got even just a little bit of space at Swearingen Field, he was tough to bring down. That was the case nearly 30 years ago and that was the case again this fall. Wade Wacker led the Jackson Blue Jays to the 1985 Class B state championship and this year he was on the sidelines as his son, Shadrach Wacker, led the Jackson County Central football team to the Class AA state tournament. The two are remarkably alike, from the number on their jersey to their style of play. We are very similar, Wade said. We were both dependent on the option game. That was the best phase of our game. Shadrach said the two sat down and watched game film from Wades playing days before the season started. He was pretty electric and exciting to watch, Shadrach said of his dad, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Huskies. He was the quickest, fastest cat on the field at all times. The same goes for Shadrach, who darted upfield when keeping the ball on options. He was, straight-line speed, a little bit faster than me, Shadrach said. But quickness, even he says Im a little quicker than him. Shadrach ran for 296 yards and five touchdowns this year and routinely got the ball in the right running backs hands while running the option. He ran the option a little better than I did, Wade said. I threw a little better, but he ran the option better. And Wade said Shadrach was better on the defensive side of the ball. He played defensive back a lot better than I did, Wade said. He covered people a lot better. He only allowed three completions all year. Hard work pays off for Shadrach Along with watching film of his dad to look for ways to improve his own game, Shadrach put in plenty of time in the offseason to prepare for his first year as JCCs starting quarterback. Thats what set him up, Wade said. His commitment in the weight room. He started right away in the spring and he went nonstop from March to this week. Shadrach said the biggest change came with his arm strength. I really think my arm strength improved from last year to this year, he said. Even throwing the baseball around wed throw the baseball, then the football that really helped my arm strength and you could tell this year. Throwing the baseball is something Shadrach wants to continue doing, saying he plans on playing that sport

and not football in college. What also helped this year, Shadrach said, was playing wide receiver last season. It helped a ton because it helps you get into the mind of a receiver to see what hes thinking, he said. Throwing the ball out of cuts, stuff like that, it really helped a lot. Wackers working together Shadrach said it was great having his offensive coordinator also be his dad. Its amazing when you have your dad, that good of an athlete, as a coach, he said. We had long film sessions at night at the house. Wed sit down there until 1, just going over film together. Thats the awesome part of it. At practice, just having a dad and a coach there to help make you better and he always does. But it wasnt always easy, both said. We butt heads, but thats just part of the relationship, Shadrach said. But in the end it really helped. I had a good year quarterbacking and I have to credit a lot of that to him just keeping me focused and helping me with what to do. Wade said this year he just wanted Shadrach to enjoy his last season of football. I was probably more critical of him when he was younger, Wade said. I tried not to be overly critical. This year, I was not as critical because you want to make it a great experience. Tougher on the sidelines than playing Wade said its much more difficult being on the sidelines watching his son play than actually being on the field himself. Its a lot different from the dad side, he said. Youre just worried so much for them to succeed. But it worked out, as Shadrach led his team to the state tournament. It was awesome, Wade said. He had worked so hard for eight or nine months with this in mind. It was a proud dad watching his son accomplish his goal. Add in Shadrachs older brother, Josh who also played under Wade as a tight end at JCC who helped coach the Huskies and it was a memorable season for the Wackers. That was an extremely neat experience to have everyone involved, Wade said. To have Josh do strength and conditioning and me to coach, it truly was a family affair. It made for a season neither Wade nor Shadrach will forget. I am blessed to be able to have the opportunity to coach my son, let alone win, Wade said. Just being able to play for my dad is a really cool experience, Shadrach said.






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Congratulations, Huskies!
State Representative Bob Gunther 507-235-6154



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