On the Bench with Byron Higgin

Pohlen, Vikings get academic awards

Minnesota State Academic Awards were handed out this week. Named to the Minnesota Class A All-Academic team was Alex Pohlen of Minneota.

Others from the area were Zach Aanenson of Murray County Central, Nick Altermatt of Wabasso; Austin Schmitt of Dawson-Boyd and Sam Marks of BOLD. Likewise, the Minneota Viking football team was named as one of the 2017 Academic Teams in Class A. Also named were Dawson-Boyd and Springfield.

All three were GOLD winners. Silver awards were also handed out. The idea behind both awards for individual and team is to honor academic achievement as well as athletic prowess.

Congratulations to the Minneota Vikings and to Alex Pohlen.

Pohlen, by-the-way, was also named the MVT of the Prep Bowl. The award is Most Valuable Teammate, named by the coaching staff.

Pohlen finished his senior year with 7,246 yards passing. He threw for 93 touchdowns.


•Meghan Travis, a former Minneota Vikings, is a junior member of the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers women’s basketball team in Mitchell, SD. This year she will look for more minutes in her junior season for the Tigers.

As a sophomore, she saw playing time in 18 games after getting minimal playing time in 11 games her freshman year. In high school, Travis was a two-time letterwinner for the Vikings … a vital member to the 2014 State runner-up team ... named her team’s most valuable defensive player in her senior season and most improved in her junior season … lettered five times in track and two times in cross country … on the ‘A’ honor roll all through high-school and was named to the MGBCA Academic All-State. She is the daughter of Mary Wickstrom and her father is Michael Travis.

So far this year the Tigers are 7-2. Travis has six points and seven rebounds so far this year.

•While you’d think Isaac Hennen’s 294 rushing yards against Wabasso must be a state record — well, guess again. Jordan Suhoren of Cromwell set the single-game scoring record at the Prep Bowl with 374 yards in 2010.

•Because of the lateness of football in Minneota, the winter sports season has been interrupted. The boys’ basketball team’s first game Thursday with Edgerton has been postponed. No makeup date has been named at this time.

The first wrestling meet Saturday at Litchfield will be held without Minneota.

•The girls played BOLD Tuesday night in the opener, are at Granite Falls on Thursday and Friday host Hayfield — a team ranked third in the state behind No. 1 Goodhue and No. 2 Lyle/ Austin Pacelli.

•The Minneota football banquet will be held at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3 at KB’s in Ghent. Awards for the season will be handed out. •Isaac Hennen ended his senior year with 187 carries for 1,832 yards.

He also caught 52 passes for 878 yards and scored 27 touchdowns rushing and another 10 receiving for 37 touchdowns. That’s a total offensive yards of 2,710 with 222 points scored on touchdowns. He averaged 9.9 yards every time he ran the ball.

•Andrew Petersen finished in second place at 285 as Southwest Minnesota State had three wrestlers finish in the top five of their respective weight classes in the Dakota Wesleyan Open in SMSU’s first match of the season.

•Cole Hennen finished in fifth place at 197 with a win by medical forfeit over Chandler Knight of Doane College in the fifth place match and a 4-2 record on the day. The team was ranked eighth in the initial NSIC Poll.

Other Minneota wrestlers on the roster are: Brock Buysse, Alec Engler and Nick Esping. The assistant Coach to Jesse Nelson of Minneota is Christian Skillings of Minneota. The strength and conditioning coach is Brad Gillingham of Minneota.

Byron Higgin

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