Football awards winners

Above: Top football award winners were, from L-R: Henry Strobel (Special Teams  Player of the Year), Fisher Knish (MVP, All-District), Jake Anderley (Unsung Hero, All-District), Lucas Walechka (Lineman of the Year, Torpedo, All-District), Tanyon Hoheisel (All-District Honorable Mention), Carter Dylla (Back of the Year, All-District), Cade Kriha (Clipper Award), Kale Kelley (Rookie of the Year), Jackson Meyer (All-District Honorable Mention) and Carter Barto (All-District Honorable Mention).

With a roster of just 26 on a good day, every one of the 2021 Clipper football players were integral to keeping the team afloat this season and pulling off three victories, said assistant coach Kyle Atherton.

All lettered, and all were honored at an awards banquet on Tuesday in the school commons.


Blake Lyons stepped in for quarterback after Jackson Meyer was injured. Rapidly improving each game, he completed 24 of 50 pass attempts for 287 yards before an injury ended his season.

“He didn’t question anything,” Atherton said. “He just jumped in and did it.

Alex Johnson came to practice day in and day out,” Atherton said. “He’s always asking questions and trying to help out.”

Nick Simonette was another player we pulled up and said ‘you’ve got to play this year. You don’t have an option. You’ve got to go in there,” Atherton said. “He never argued. He’s invaluable, not only for this year but for the next few.”

Kale Kelley was chosen as the Rookie of the Year. He had 14 solo tackles and four assists and one interception. He caught 11 passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

“If you were to compare the Kale Kelley of last year to the Kale Kelley of this year, you’d say he’s never going to help us. He was always hurt, and he was a little bit smaller,” Atherton said. “But then all of a sudden you have half of your roster go down and you say, ‘Kale, you’ve got to play.” He never said a word and came and did it and did really well.”

Riley Kriah came in every day," Atherton said. As the year went on he started to realize ‘I might get some more playing time if we have guys going down like this,’ and he learned a lot more about football in the second half of the season than he might have wanted to.”

Blake Gibbs came to practice every single day,” Atherton said. “He was there for us. We asked him to do a ton, one day playing line and the next day playing linebacker and then going back to safety.”


Brady Bostic is a guy that we had his friends and us just begging him to go out,” said head coach Erik Hermanson. “He’s athletic; he can play. We needed him on the team. He came out, and every day we were like ‘I’m so glad you’re here.’”

“In the beginning of the season we were thinking Gabe (Sullivan) is smart. Gabe is tough. In a couple of years he will play linebacker and get a lot of playing time,” Hermanson said. “But instead, so many people got hurt that he has to play all the time, and he just stepped up and did an incredible job, especially on defense but on offense too and in any spot we needed.”

Carter Barto was an All-District Honorable Mention. He had 11 solo tackles and 11 assists, two sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries. He scored a safety.

“Carter we are thinking in the future he’s going to be unstoppable,” Hermanson said. “He has great size and speed and a great attitude. But then he has to play the whole season against seniors and not only that but against a team that wins the state tournament (Mayer Lutheran). He got an incredible experience this year, and hopefully that just adds and helps him help people next year who are in the same spot.”


Braeden Hastings was a guy who was at practice every single day, and we were asking him to do everything that he can,” Atherton said. “He got some playing time but hurt his knee. We expect some big things from him next year.”

Henry Strobel booted six of 11 PATs and one field goal between the uprights. He punted 32 times for 1024 total yards and returned seven kickoffs for a total of 114 yards. He earned the Special Teams Player of the Year award.

“Henry kicked, did extra points for us, did special teams for us and any time we needed him on offense or defense. Even with a bad wheel all year long, he played any spot we asked him to,” Atherton said.

Jacob Rohlfing is one player that got hurt by the fact that we had so much experience on our line this year that it affected Jacob probably the most,” Atherton said. “But more often than not he was there playing against those seniors every day, and next year when he is playing on the line, it’s going to be pretty easy for him.”

Tanyon Hoheisel had 21 solo tackles and 20 assists. As a running back, he rushed the ball 35 times for 253 yards. He was an All-District Honorable Mention.

“I think we can say it about a lot of players, but Tanyon  is one of a lot of players who we had to switch all over the place,” Atherton said. “I don’t know of any school in the state who can say they took their starting guards and made them running backs, but it seemed like he got a little second wind when he did that. He came in and did what he wanted to do. Defensively, we played him all over the place. He’d go to line. He’d go to linebacker. I know I chirp on Tanyon in practice and in games, but he takes it like a pro.”

Jack Voit was not able to make the banquet.


Earning the MVP award as voted on by his teammates was senior linebacker/lineman-turned running back Fisher Knish. He was also a member of the All-District team.

Knish led the team in rushing with 358 yards in 81 carries and three touchdowns. He also had three catches for 18 yards. On defense, he had 15 solo tackles and 24 assists and recovered one fumble.

“Like Tanyon, Fisher played half the season at line, half the season at running back. Whatever the team needed, he could do it,” Hermanson said. “Fisher was a great leader. He was the first to tell everyone that this season was important to him and important to the seniors. He was going to make sure everyone did everything they could to help us be successful.”

The Lineman of the Year award went to senior Lucas Walechka. With best defensive statistics, he also took home the Torpedo Award and was a member of the All-District team. Leading the team in tackles, he had 11 solos, 38 assists and a pair of sacks. He recovered one fumble.

“Him playing every game helped a lot,” Hermanson said. “One thing we could count on: he was going to be in there and knew what was happening.”

“Lucas has grown over the last four years like you can’t believe,” said line coach Matt Miller. “I remember he was a sophomore on scout defense and he was making all the seniors look bad. Coming from that to this year was still huge growth. He is a really smart football player and came into his own and is a super-hard worker and definitely a leader on this team.”

Jackson Meyer was an All-District Honorable mention. He had five quarters at quarterback before an injury ended his season…except for a taking on snap in the homecoming game. Meyer completed nine of 17 pass attempts for 130 yards and four touchdowns.

“He started off the season exactly as we thought he would,” Hermanson said. “He worked super hard in the off season. He was ready to have an incredible season and then on an fluke play during an interception hurt his knee, changing our whole season. It was so sad that he got to play a whole game and got to light it up for a whole game, and even district coaches watched that video and they were like ‘Oh no.’ Cleveland is going to be a different team this year,’ and then they were lucky enough to play us without him.”

The team’s Unsung Hero was Jake Anderley. His stats that could be noted were a dozen solo tackles and 21 assists and a recovered a fumble. For his efforts, he also made the All-District team.

“Jake’s a guy who last year, during the super-weird season, we really missed not having,” Hermanson said. “When we got him back this year, we were ecstatic. That first game until he hurt his foot, I didn’t think there would be a better defensive player in the district. He hurt his foot, and it slowed him down a little bit, but that didn’t keep him from playing. That’s the spirit we are looking for in Cleveland football players.”

Carter Dylla was picked as the Back of the Year and was a member of the All-District team. He had 26 carries for a total of 109 yards and caught 17 passes for a total of 268 yards and five touchdowns. Stepping in behind center, he completed 14 of 44 passes for 99 yards and three touchdowns and ran in the 2-point conversion that made the difference in the win over JWP. On defense, he picked off six passes and had 19 solo tackles and a dozen assists.

“I was so glad that Carter got to have a great, healthy season,” Hermanson said. “I just wish he could have played receiver the whole year because he would have put up some impressive numbers. I had the pleasure of working with him the whole time he’s been out for football. He just made himself an incredible player, and there is not a coach in the district who would not want him on their offense because he could play any explosive position that there was.”

Cade Kriha earned the Clipper award. He made 12 tackles and 24 assists and recovered a fumble.

“Cade was on the opposite flow of the rest of the team, who with injuries were slowing down and fading,” Hermanson said. “On defense Cade got stronger as the season went on. He was flying all over the place. He is not the biggest guy and he was going against usually the biggest guy. In the past his body would just wear out by the end of the season, and I think it could have this year, but just being a senior, he wasn’t going to let that happen.”

“He was there all the time, not complaining, always putting the team first,” Miller said.

“We weren’t sure if Kolby Gens was going to play,” Hermanson said. “I think I sent him 100 emails, but we just needed a guy who has worked this hard in the weight room. He played in every spot he needed him. He was super tough whether he was on the line or a tight end or on defense.”

Wyatte Devens is a transfer student who had to sit out a couple of games as his eligibility was sorted out. He also missed a game due to an injury. 

“We so glad to have Wyatte here; so glad he was able to play,” Hermanson said. “We were wondering through the whole off-season, wondering through the preseason and through the beginning of the season if he would he get to play. We never have seen a player so sad and depressed on the sideline when we were winning our first game by 40. He just wanted to get out there, and when we got to unleash him it was tough that he had to play in one of the toughest teams around (GFW) in his first game. I am not sure what we would have done without him.”

Kaleb Timlin had eight solo tackles and caught three passes for a total of 53 yards.

“Kaleb is not imposing physically,” Hermanson said. “Some of the players he was playing against or that  he was guarding were literally twice his size. He worked every second in practice no matter where we put him.”

Tommy Kennedy rushed 35 times for a total of 131 yards and had eight solo tackles and 17 assists. He has been playing since he was a freshman but missed half the games this season due to an injury. 

“We talked all year about how this is  how we are going to get touchdowns, but he started the year off already hurt in pre-season training and that set him back, and then he fought through so many injuries,” Hermanson said. "We would have loved to have him at full strength because we can’t even remember what that looks like because he has been hurt for so long, and it is too bad because he is a talented guy.”  

Colin Krenik carried the ball 31 times for 113 yards and pulled in seven passes for 47 yards. He started as a running back but as the team shifted players around, he also had to play receiver and defensive back.

“He is an athletic guy that can shift all over,” Hermanson said. “He is smart, hardworking and tough. He never complained and played with what we thought were broken ribs, and he said ‘I just got the wind knocked out of me,’ and he kept playing and did everything he could for Cleveland.”

Jay Pankratz was not able to make the banquet. He had a pair of solo tackles and forced a fumble.

Also during the banquet, Atherton expressed gratitude to all involved in the football program, from the ticket takers and concession workers to the bus drivers and paramedic crew on hand for each home game.

“It takes more than a couple of coaches and a handful of football players to put a whole season together.”

Atherton particularly thanked the athletic director Rich Kern, the chain gang: Ron McCabe, Jim Rogers, Alec Rogers, Jason Gibbs and stand-in Sam Voit; regular announcer Steve Biehn and stand-in Brett Bartell, scoreboard keeper Greg Davis and school chef Monica Manzey for providing the deserts for the banquet. 

Miller expressed a special thanks to volunteer coach Larry Walechka.

“Larry is probably the most selfless, great human being you would ever meet. He does so much for the field, so much for the kids in the off season. He was there every day, and we’re so lucky to have him.”

Atherton concluded the banquet by saying the Clippers need numbers for next year as they are losing 13 seniors.

“If anyone is questioning whether to come out, encourage them to do it. I wouldn’t coach another sport. I Iove it so much. Football is that one sport you can’t play the rest of your life, and I think the seniors are a testament to saying this was fun and maybe it wasn’t the season that they wanted, but it still had more ups than all the bumps that we had.”


Earning All-District Academic Awards were, from L-R: Carter Dylla, Jacob Anderley, Jackson Meyer, Colin Krenik, Blake Lyons, Carter Barto, Kale Kelley, Alex Johnson and Blake Lyons.


Freshman on the team were, from L-R: Blake Gibbs, Nick Simonette, Riley Kriah, Blake Lyons, Alex Johnson and Kale Kelley.


Sophomores on the team were, from L-R: Brady Bostic, Carter Barto and Gabriel Sullivan.


Juniors on the team were, from L-R: Jacob Rohlfing, Tanyon Hoheisel, Braeden Hastings and Henry Strobel. Missing is Jack Voit. 

Seniors on the team were, from L-R: Fisher Knish, Wyatte Devens, Kaleb Timlin, Lucas Walechka, Tommy Kennedy, Kolby Gens, Carter Dylla, Cade Kriha, Jackson Meyer, Jake Anderley and Colin Krenik. Missing is Jay Pankratz.