by Eric Oslund
The 2016 season did not end the way the Zimmerman Thunder had hoped, losing in the semi-final round of the section tournament to the section champion, Orono. But that one game cannot define their season, overall it was great year.
They ended the regular season with a 7-1 record, their only loss coming in the fourth week of the season against Becker, where they were defeated 19-17. The Thunder would go on to win the remainder of their games, earning a share of the district title with Becker.
Multiple players received honor because of their successful regular-season campaig, which were presented to them on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Haydon Miller – RB/LB – Senior
Ben Schnellman – RB/DB – Senior
Brian Rajchel – RB/DB – Senior
Alex Riley – QB/SS – Senior
Calvin Waterhouse – OL/DL – Senior
Justin Robinson – OL/DL – Junior
Kolby Peacock – OL/DL – Senior
Isaac Fordahl – TE/LB – Senior
All-District Honorable Mention:
Nate Carlin – OL/DL – Junior
Tommy Laabs – QB/DB – Junior
Andrew Thompson – TE/LB – Junior
Thunder Heyer – K – Senior
District Level Awards:
Alex Riley – District MVP
Thunder Heyer – District Special Teams Player of the Year
Kolby Peacock – District Defensive Lineman Player of the Year
Chris Riley – District Assistant Coach of the Year
Tom Kish – District Coach of the Year
The Thunder coaching staff also handed out their team awards at their banquet. These awards included MVPs for offense, defense and special teams, along with the most improved player, the 100% Player of the Year – the player who gives it everything they have each day in practice and in every game – and the Thunder Award – the player who best represents how a Thunder football player should conduct themselves on the field, in the classroom and as a part of the community.
The coaching staff also gave out awards to the ninth grade football team, who went 8-0 during the regular season, and named the 2017 team captains.
Alex Riley – MVP – Offense
Kolby Peacock – MVP – Defense
Thunder Heyer – MVP – Special Teams
Aaron Koch – RB/DL – 100% Player of the Year
Tucker Budreau – OL/DL – Most Improved
Isaac Fordahl – Thunder Award
Ninth Grade Awards:
Jake Pool – MVP – Offense
Brett Howard – MVP – Defense
Tim Vorobyev – Thunder Award
Jackson Lietha – Most Improved
2017 Team Captains:
Nate Carlin – OL/DL
Tommy Laabs – QB/DB
Jake Pensinger – WR/DB
Justin Robinson – OL/DL
It should also be noted that Riley was selected to play in the 2016 Minnesota Football Showcase as a defensive back. This is an All-Star game that consists of the best seniors in the state of Minnesota and it will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m.