QUARTERBACK TYLER HALVERSON led the Hornets in passing and rushing during the 2013 season. He threw 13 touchdown passes and had four rushing touchdowns. The Hornets finished 3-7, including their first playoff win since 2003.

A good finish for football team

Staff Writer
Ken Francis


The Big Lake football team had a good year under first-year head coach Nick Keenan.
The Hornets started out slowly but gained momentum towards the end of the season, playing much more competitively, even against some powerhouse teams.
Keenan gave an overview of the season.
“I thought we made some good strides throughout the season.  We played some very tough teams in the class above us (STMA, Rogers, and Chisago, combined record 26-4). All our opponents had a combined 56-42 record and seven of the 10 won at least one playoff game and two are still playing.  
We struggled early to find our identity on offense and our defense was very young.  We changed our offense a little bit and started running Halverson on designed runs out of the shotgun after the Monticello game and we ended the year winning three out of five.  
We battled through some injuries during that time as well and some non-starters stepped up. We won a playoff game for the first time in 10 years.  The kids got a good taste of my expectations for the years to come.   Because of lack of depth and injuries, we had multiple guys starting/playing both ways and playing their hearts out. Kyle Knaeble played OL/DL, Kyle Wakefield played WR/DB, Tanner Snare played LB/FB and they rarely came off of the field.  They had good years.  
Halverson played a lot better towards the end of the year.  Austin Poe was very consistent throughout the year facing double coverages a lot of the time and he also filled in at DE when we needed him.  
Next year, we will be returning five players on offense, four offensive lineman and Ben Book who ended the year starting at running back.  
We have a few good QBs who will battle all off-season for the starting position next year. We are very deep at our skilled positions so the younger kids should be able to step in next year and do a good job.  
On defense we will be returning seven starters and a lot of those guys gained valuable experience throughout the year.  We were undersized on the lines every game we played.  I am implementing a new strength and conditioning program this winter, spring and summer that will benefit all of our kids.”
The Hornets finished 2-6 in the regular season and split two playoff games.
Quarterback Tyler Halverson was the overall offensive leader. He completed 121 of 222 passes for 1,474 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also ran for 598 yards and four touchdowns.
Wide receiver Austin Poe caught 36 passes for 685 yards and 10 touchdowns.
AJ Sandford led the running backs in yardage during the regular season with 226 yards on 60 carries. He also caught 22 passes for 195 yards and had a reception for a TD against Delano in the playoffs.
During the regular season, Kyle Wakefield caught 21 passes for 206 yards and scored two touchdowns. He was also the team’s leading  kickoff and punt returner. He had two touchdowns in Big Lake’s final game against Delano.
On defense, Tanner Snare led the team in tackles with 42 during the regular season. Tristin Johnson had 40.


NEW BIG LAKE BOUTIQUE OWNERS are Beth Koch, Shanna Romsdahl and Aadra Mielke.

FROM HOLLYHOCK FARM near Becker, Teresa Kukowski and her alpaca Francine have beautiful eyes and make beautiful garments from alpaca wool.

(L to R) Michelle Garcia and Steve Karel, two of the newest faces at the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, are looking forward to the opening of the Oak Savanna Learning Center in October. (Photo by Aleah Stenberg)

VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE Big Lake’s Knowledge Bowl Team made their very first trip to state last week and came home with sixth place medals. Team members are (from the left), Jake Dickinson, Jack Flicker, Peter Wallace, Tim Poffenberger and Jacob Block. The team is coached by Teacher Angela McCormack. (Submitted photo).