An improving Tekamah-Herman football program was rewarded in all-district honors last week. The Tigers had six players named to Class C2 District 2 teams.
Named to the first team were three seniors: quarterback Clay Beaumont, running back Luke Wakehouse and defensive end Chauncey Rogers.
Three more Tigers: juniors Garrison Potadle and Connor Feiling and sophomore Kody Bitter were honorable mention selections.
Rogers makes his second appearance with the first team. Beaumont and Wakehouse both were honorable mention choices in 2018.
Wakehouse completed his senior campaign as the school’s all-time single season rushing leader, piling up 1,401 yards and a school record 20 touchdowns on 171 carries. He also caught six passes for another 74 yards, the third highest total on the team.
At the controls of Tekamah-Herman’s spread offense, Beaumont ran for 577 yards and four TDs. He also was 29-of-97 through the air for 476 yards and four more scores while being intercepted six times. As a defensive back, Beaumont added 30 tackles, intercepted three passes and recovered a fumble.
Rogers accounted for 51 tackles and a team-high five quarterback sacks and recovered three fumbles from his defensive end position.
As an end on offense, he caught six passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, including a 65-yard score against BRLD. He also ran the ball 40 times for 215 yards and three more scores.
Rogers also averaged 36.4 yards on 14 punts and pinned the opposition inside their own 20 five times.
Potadle and Bitter teamed up to form a solid linebacking tandem. Bitter’s 119 tackles led the Tigers, Potadle was second with 112 and led the team with 11 tackles for losses. Feiling, who showed marked improvement as the season progressed, was third on the team with 62 tackles. He also intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.
The all-district choices mirror the team awards presented earlier this month.
Wakehouse and Beaumont were offensive most valuable player honors while Potadle and Bitter were the team’s defensive MVPs. Special teams honors went to Rogers and Jed Hoover.
Cole Bottger earned the team’s Huzza Award presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the concept of putting the team first.
Freshman Tyrin Wahlers-Seeley was named the scout team player of the year.
McElmuray said his senior class ahd an interesting journey through varsity football.
“Clay was often injured missed quite a few games his sophomore year, Wakehouse missed his entire sophomore season as well as part of his freshman season,” he said. “Jayden Kellogg and Gabe Garcia both missed their entire junior seasons as well as part of their sophomore seasons. Kasey Snyder was never healthy enough this season to contribute the way he has in the past and Jordan Derra had some sort of injury every year since his seventh grade season.”
The Tigers posted a 3-6 mark in 2019, but were 1-4 in District 2 contests. The district sent four of its teams into the 16-team state playoff field, including state champion Oakland-Craig and number-three BRLD.
District foe Yutan, a 41-36 winner over the Tigers in a game decided by a fumble return for a touchdown, was the last team into the playoff field. Tiger head coach Graig McElmuray his team was within two wins of making the playoffs. The Yutan game and a 22-6 loss to Stanton the second week of the season kept the Tigers out of the hunt. Against the Mustangs, for example, the Tigers had the ball inside Stanton’s 20-yard line three times in the first half but only scored once.
McElmuray said that in the Stanton and Twin River games combined, his team dropped half a dozen touchdown passes.
“We threw the ball 99 times this year completing 29 of those. A majority of those incompletions were drops,” he said. “We flat out have to complete passes in order to win games, but we can’t throw the ball more if we can’t catch the ball.”
Still, the 2019 Tigers scored 228 points, averaging better than 25 points per game.
“That’s the most points since 2005, and the second most since 1993,” McElmuray said. “That says a lot about the young men that we have in the program. Their resiliency to keep fighting to get better and the level of buy in to our offense this past season.”
He said it will take the same level of buy-in, especially on the defensive side of the ball to achieve more success in 2020. he said defense will be the main focus of the off-season.
“With all but two starters coming back and a bunch of kids that played well, we will get better,” McElmuray said. “We will seek out information and scheme that fits our kids that we can execute and our kids can have confidence in.”
The head Tiger also said there will be a continued push to get more physical.
“Oakland-Craig BRLD and Bergan are all very physical teams,” he said. “If you want to play with them and have an opportunity to beat them you are going to have to match that.
“That level of physical play comes with confidence and that confidence can only come from the weight room.”