Cougars hand out football awards
Putting a cap on the 2010 season, the University of Minnesota, Morris football team handed out team awards, at the Cougars' annual team banquet on Dec. 5.
Taking home the big hardware were Nate Lund and Todd Gramenz, named Most Valuable Player on Defense and Offense, respectively.
Lund, a defensive back, is a 2007 graduate of Morris Area High School. He led the team in tackles with 67 on the season, and tied for the team high with three interceptions. Among the UMAC he ranked eighth in the conference with 7.4 stops per game. A constant on the Cougar defense in 2010, twice he recorded over 10 tackles in a game, and in five straight games he had at least nine tackles.
Lund was also honored with the Cougars' Steve Chaon Award.
From his tailback spot, Gramenz paced a Cougar ground attack what was one of the top in the UMAC, while finishing second individually in the league. Four times in 2010 he finished a game with over 100 yards on the ground, while twice earning UMAC Offensive Player of the Week honors, as well as First Team All-Conference accolades.
Gramenz scored 14 total touchdowns in his junior campaign, 12 on the ground, as well as two receiving. In seven of nine games last season he ran for at least one score, while charting multiple touchdowns in three different games. The Cougars went 2-1 in games where he had multiple scores, and 3-1 in games where he ran for over 100 yards.
Gaining MVP honors on the defensive line was Mitch Zimmer, while his counterpart, Evan Beranek, was named MVP of the offensive line.
From his spot on the D-line, Zimmer finished fifth on the team in tackles with 60, and was second in assisted stops with 44. His three sacks tied for the team lead, while his 9.5 tackles for a loss were third. Among the league's best, Zimmer was near the top, placing fifth in sacks, and sixth in tackles for loss. In addition to his MVP honor, he was also bestowed the team's James Heikes Award.
Just a sophomore, Beranek has already established himself as one of the team's best offensive linemen. He earned All-Conference Honorable Mention status following the season, while leading the way for a rushing attack that topped the 1,500-yard mark in just nine games this season. Five times in 2010, the Cougars topped the 200-yard rushing mark, and in four games put up over 35 points. Beranek paved the way as the Cougar offense earned three UMAC Players of the Week awards on the season, while six times topping the 300-yard mark for a game.
Beranek's line mate up front on offense, Wyatt Nolan, was the team's winner of the Verne Chandler Award.
A trio of seniors won the Cougar Pride Award, with Adam Gertken, Josh Ledin, and John Russow all taking the honor.
Gertken and Ledin were the heart of linebacking core that held their opponent under 80 yards rushing three times in the season's first four games. On the season the Cougar defense finished fifth in the UMAC in yards allowed, but in a jam-packed top-five, they were closer to second than they were to sixth.
Gertken was also a First Team All-UMAC honoree, while Ledin earned Honorable Mention honors. With 11.5 tackles for a loss on the season, Ledin finished third in the conference.
Russow finished his senior season as the team's leading receiver, and was one of the UMAC's best. He caught 25 passes for 492 yards and three touchdowns. His 19.7 yards per catch average was the best mark in the league, while his 54.7 yards per game mark placed ninth in the league.
The final honor of the night was the announcement of the Team Captains for the 2011 season. Chosen to lead the Cougars next year were Matt Anderson, Daniel Camacho, Ted Hoffman, Devon Johnson, Max Matthews, Gabe Sturtz, and Zimmer.