Scheithauer earns two awards; five Hawks earn All-Lakeland honors
The first year in the new-look Lakeland Conference for the Rib Lake-Prentice football team didn’t go as planned with just three of seven scheduled games being played due to COVID-19 issues.
But those three games were all competitive and exciting, giving the program hope for better things to come.
The Hawks went 1-2 in the conference games played, beating Ladysmith 24-22 while falling 20-14 in overtime at Webster and 14-6 at Lake Holcombe-Cornell. The Hawks weren’t the only team navigating through a complicated fall. Lake Holcombe-Cornell wound up being the only one of the eight Lakeland Conference teams to play its full seven-game schedule. Enough games were played to crown Hurley the conference champion after the Northstars beat Grantsburg 28-20 in Hurley on Oct. 30. Even that game between the league’s last two unbeatens had its obstacles as no officials showed up for the originally scheduled game date of Oct. 23 in Grantsburg. Fortunately, the teams were able to reschedule for the next week when their opponents, Flambeau and Ladysmith, also happened to have had an earlier game canceled, so they made up that game to allow Grantsburg and Hurley to square off for the title.
Enough games were also played for the league’s coaching staffs to successfully assemble 2020 All-Lakeland Conference football teams, which were announced on Monday. According to Rib Lake-Prentice co-head coach Jonah Campbell, the system to determine the teams was unique this year because the teams didn’t all see each other during the fall. Teams got certain numbers of spots on the teams based on their records in the games they did get in. For the Hawks, five players filled six spots on the teams, led by senior Carter Scheithauer, who was a first-team selection on the offensive line and a second-team choice on the defensive line. Senior Brock Thiede got a first-team defensive spot at linebacker. Senior Bud Schreiner filled a secondteam spot on the offensive line. Hon- orable mention went to senior Ashton Keiser at linebacker and to junior Sam Gumz at running back.
Scheithauer, a tackle, and Schreiner, the team’s center, helped open the holes and protect quarterback Michael Borchardt in allowing the offense to make significant improvements in 2020. The Hawks averaged 193 rushing yards and 65.3 passing yards in their three conference games, up considerably over last year’s marks when they struggled mightily in their last year in the Marawood Conference. While the yardage dipped in two non-conference losses to tough opponents from Spring Valley and Athens to 141.2 rushing and 44.6 passing per game, they were still much improved over 2019 when the Hawks didn’t average 100 yards of total offense.
Gumz certainly was one of the skill players benefiting from the work of the offensive line. The speedy back finished the year with 302 yards on 61 attempts and a touchdown. That score was a big one. It went for 69 yards and gave the Hawks just enough cushion to outlast Ladysmith in their delayed first game of the season. Gumz had 122 yards on eight carries in that win. He had 85 yards on 19 carries and caught a 45-yard touchdown pass in another solid outing in the loss at Lake Holcombe-Cornell Oct. 30.
On the defensive side, Thiede’s return to the lineup this year was a welcome site. A starter at outside linebacker since his freshman year, Thiede missed the 2019 season due to shoulder problems. While adjusting to Rib Lake-Prentice’s new defensive scheme this year, he was able to compile 27 total tackles with nine solo stops and 18 assists. He had two tackles for losses and a half-sack in the Webster game and another tackle for loss against Lake Holcombe-Cornell. He recovered two fumbles against Lake Holcombe-Cornell. He was part of 10 total tackles in that game, a season-high.
Scheithauer had a strong year on the defensive line with a sack, three tackles for loss and 28 total tackles, including 19 solo stops. His best game was at Webster, where he had seven solo stops and three more assists. One tackle was for loss. The next week at Lake Holcombe-Cornell, he was credited with five solo stops, including two tackles for loss and a sack. He had four solo tackles and six tackles overall in the team’s 48-0 loss to Athens on Nov. 13.
Keiser, the team’s other top outside linebacker, had an interception at Lady- smith, seven solo tackles and three assists during the season. He had a sack at Lake Holcombe-Cornell, two solo tackles at Webster and three solo tackles in the loss to Athens.
Tate Sauerwein, a senior running back and linebacker from Lake Holcombe- Cornell, was named the Lakeland Conference Offensive Player of the Year and its co-Defensive Player of the Year, along with Ladysmith defensive lineman Wade Stanger.