2020 All-Alpena News 8-Player Football Team
In a season marked by cancellations, reschedules and safety protocols to deter the spread of COVID-19, Trace Juergens was a consistent playmaker for the Atlanta football team.
Juergens, a junior running back, made his mark early, accounting for four touchdowns in a season-opening win over Hale, and just kept getting better from there. He was all over the field for the Huskies, racking up more than 1,200 total yards for an Atlanta squad that went 3-4.
For his all-around playmaking abilities, Juergens has been named the Player of the Year on the 2020 All-Alpena News 8-Player Football Team. Juergens is the second Atlanta player to earn the honor in the four years The News’ has had an 8-Player football team. Quarterback Austin Corbin earned the honor in 2017.
Juergens ran for an area-best 863 yards and found the end zone 11 times, while averaging 9.6 yards per carry. He was also the area’s leading receiver, catching 12 passes for 259 yards and two scores. He was also his team’s leading tackler and earned first-team all-North Star League honors at both running back and in the secondary.
Juergens was one of three Atlanta players chosen for this year’s team, along with linebacker Gage Cheedie and offensive lineman Tucker Kendrick.
Hillman had five players each selected: wide receiver Jeff Klein, offensive linemen Zach Kazyaka and Terry Haeger, linebacker Dawson Ableidinger and defensive back Sean Henigan. Posen had four selections with quarterback Chase Dubie, running back Lucas Stone, defensive lineman Ben Romel and linebacker AJ Brunet.
Onaway rounds out the team with four selections: running back Brendan Fenstermaker, defensive linemen Jager Mix and Ian Veal and defensive back Spencer Nash.
Chase Dubie, quarterback, Posen
∫ Threw for 376 yards and six touchdowns, while averaging more than 20 yards per completion … ran for 508 yards and eight touchdowns, while averaging 8.6 yards per carry.
Trace Juergens, running back, Atlanta
∫ 2020 Player of the Year … North Star League first team … ran for an area-best 863 yards and 11 touchdowns, while averaging 9.5 yards per carry … led the area in receiving with 12 catches for 259 yards and two touchdowns … repeat All-Alpena News pick.
Brendan Fenstermaker, running back, Onaway
∫ Ran for 828 yards and seven touchdowns on 68 carries, averaging 12.1 yards per carry.
Lucas Stone, running back, Posen
∫ North Star League first team … rushed for 699 yards and six touchdowns, while averaging 8.7 yards per carry… caught eight passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns.
Jeff Klein, wide receiver, Hillman
∫ Caught 11 passes for 191 yards.
Zach Kazyaka, offensive lineman, Hillman
∫ North Star League first team … blocked for an offense that rushed for more than 2,000 yards … repeat All-Alpena News pick.
Tucker Kendrick, offensive lineman, Atlanta
∫ Blocked for an offense that ran for 1,401 yards and averaged 26.2 points per game.
Terry Haeger, offensive lineman, Hillman
∫ North Star League second team … blocked for an offense that averaged 27.5 points per game and for a team that won a playoff game.
Jager Mix, defensive lineman, Onaway
∫ Recorded 55 tackles, 11 sacks and 15 tackles for loss.
Ben Romel, defensive lineman, Posen
∫ North Star League first team … recorded 36 solo tackles and assisted on 9 tackles.
Ian Veal, defensive lineman, Onaway
∫ Recorded 60 tackles, four sacks and 10 tackles for loss.
Dawson Ableidinger, linebacker, Hillman
∫ North Star League first team … recorded 62 total tackles … recorded 1 sacks … recovered 1 fumble.
AJ BRUNET, linebacker, Posen
∫ Recorded 30 solo tackes and assisted on 12 tackles.
Gage Cheedie, linebacker, Atlanta
∫ North Star League second team … recorded 70 total tackles … caused 2 fumbles and recovered 2 fumbles.
Spencer Nash, defensive back, Onaway
∫ Recorded 14 tackles and had 6 interceptions.
Sean Henigan, defensive back, Hillman
∫ Recorded 57 total tackles … recorded 2 sacks … repeat All-Alpena News pick.
Coach of the Year
Steve Klinge, Onaway
Klinge took over the program in 2018, hoping to turn the Cardinals into a consistent winner in 8-Player football. Onaway realized some of that potential in 2020, steamrolling past opponents to a 6-1 record. With playmakers all over the field, Klinge’s team averaged better than 30 points per game and held opponents to 14 points or less in all but one game. Though Onaway had a short stay in the postseason, Klinge has the Cardinals on a winning path.