High school football: Nine Winhawks earn All-Big Southeast honors
The Big Southeast-Blue champion Winona football team added to its long list of accolades within the district, placing nine players on the All-Big Southeast District team, including Special Teams Player of the Year Terrell Hall and Lineman of the year Aaron Witt. Head coach John Cassellius was named Big Southeast-Blue Coach of the Year.
The Winhawks (10-1) won their second-consecutive district championship this season. They went unscathed in the regular season before falling to Waseca 49-7 in the Class AAAA state quarterfinals last Friday.
WSHS is represented on the all-district team by senior wide receiver Ethan Ringo, junior offensive linemen Ethan Prodzinski and Bennett Heftman, and junior running back Trevor Pomeroy. And on defense junior defensive end Aaron Witt, junior linebacker Sam Kanne, senior linebacker Matt Rinehart, senior defensive back Terrell Hall and junior defensive back Austin Mlynczak.
The district’s lineman of the year, Witt — who announced his commitment to the University of Minnesota this week — finished third on the team in tackles with 62, including 18 for loss and seven sacks. He added four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, an interception and three pass breakups. He also played right tackle on the offensive line, converting from playing tight end as a sophomore.
Hall — a North Dakota State commit — earned the special teams player of the year with a pair of punt return touchdowns. On defense, he hauled in three interceptions while most offenses avoided passing to his side of the field. And on offense he set the school record for career receptions. He had 37 receptions for 759 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Pomeroy set the school record for single season rushing yards, racking up 1,566 yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 8.7 yards per carry. His offensive line, including all-conference players Heftman and Prodzinski, created huge holes for him to run through.
Ringo caught 15 passes for 391 yards and six touchdowns. He played both ways on defense and had 31 tackles and a pair of passes defensed.
Mlynczak was a tackling machine for the Winhawks, leading the team with 82 tackles. He had three tackles for loss, half a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Kanne was second on the team in tackles despite missing the first two games, finishing with 66 and four for loss. He also played fullback and got some work with the ball in his hands, rushing for five touchdowns on 15 attempts.
Rinehart had 39 tackles and eight for loss. He added a sack, a fumble recovery and an interception. The interception and fumble recovery came in the same game against Faribault.