Athlete of the week: Kyle Wiemann, Elk River, football: Pancake man

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Kyle Wiemann has been dumping people on their backsides for three years in varsity wrestling. This fall the Elk River senior extended that practice into football as well.

The 5-foot-10, 240-pound two-way tackle has made 44 “pancake” blocks in helping the Elks roll up a 6-2 record and 325 yards rushing per game.

Kyle Wiemann is a two-way starter at tackle for the Elk football team and a big cog in its running game.

“Kyle moves extremely well for his size. He plays both ways for us,  one of only a couple guys to do that,” said Elk coach Steve Hamilton, adding that Wiemann is blessed with “good strength, and great feet.”

Weimann has helped make wrestling one of ERHS’s strongest programs, posting a 72-50 record and 42 more pancakes (they call them “pins” in wrestling)  at 215 and heavyweight for the Elks.

His best stat is an 8-1 mark in matches that came down to heavyweight.

“We couldn’t ask for a better anchorman,” said coach Paul Nelson. “Kyle is the guy you want when the match is on the line.”

Wiemann’s roles in the Elks’ stampeding offense include: making the seal block on an interior D-lineman when the guards pull outside to lead a sweep; pulling out and sealing the back-side for runs like Moses Saygbe’s 80-yard TD burst at homecoming; and pounding guys backward with tight end Jordan Meyer on straight-ahead power plays.

Defensively, he says his main job is to try smack the center into the backfield and “disrupt things” by messing up the other team’s pulling guard. That means he’s not among the tackle leaders, but he does have 20 solo and 14 assisted, and no sacks but six “hurries” on the quarterback.

Weimann is obviously elated at the Elks’ big turnaround. “This could be our year,” he allowed himself to speculate after the Elks opened with two wins after going 0-9 last year. “It’s been a blast. So much more fun, and we get along a lot better.”

In wrestling the last two seasons, the Elks have gone 16-2 in NW Suburban Conference matches (they tied for first in 2009 and placed second in 2010) and 18-10 overall. He was 20-20 with 10 pins as a freshman, 25-18 with 18 pins as a soph, and 27-12 with 14 pins last year.

Asked how he gets so many sticks, Weimann explained, “I’m light for a heavyweight, I get down to around 220 pounds, and the majority of guys are much heavier, so I am a lot quicker.”

Competing in a power-packed section with four or five ranked teams, he’s placed fourth, sixth and third individually. Last year his 27 wins included four against state qualifiers, three of them at the Rumble on the Red in Fargo.

Ranked 10th in Class AAA at the end of his junior year, with six seniors above him, he lists his senior-year goal as “state champion,” adding that he’ll probably  be ranked fourth at the outset.

“Kyle does his homework,” said Nelson. “He wrestles freestyle in the off-season season which gives him more experience and greater confidence.”

Weimann’s other sports passions are deer hunting and fishing. He owns two shotguns and has bagged six deer, starting at age 12. It’s a Weimann guys thing as he hunts with his dad, two older brothers, uncle, cousin and grandpa.

Regarding his athletic future, Weimann reflects, “I’m probably better at wrestling, but I prefer football.” He plans to play at St. Cloud State.

THE WIEMANN SCORECARD

Kyle Wiemann

Personal file – Age: 17 … Family: parents Dan and Joleen; brothers Josh, 30, and Tyler, 23 … Sports: football, wrestling, track … Academics: 3.3 GPA … College plans: St. Cloud State, mechanical or electrical engineering, football

Favorite stuff – Class: AP statistics … TV show: “Tosh.0” … Movie: “Tommy Boy” …  Music: country, especially Jason Aldean … Food: Jack’s pepperoni pizza … Drink: pink lemonade .. Reading: “Field and Stream” … Team: Florida Gators … Athlete: Jared Allen … Kickback activities: hunting deer, fishing in Canada

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