Dakota Kerr heads down field after intercepting Viking pass. Photo by Jon Tanberg
Dakota Kerr heads down field after intercepting Viking pass. Photo by Jon Tanberg

SPRING VALLEY, WI - A share of the conference title is nice, making a run in the state playoffs is better. Now that the Spring Valley football season has come to an end, the individual accomplishments are a great barometer for the players to gauge how their hard work has paid off, both on and off the field.

That measurement is shown by being selected to All-Conference teams, as well as Academic teams, which many of the players did.

Junior quarterback Aaron Borgerding was a leader for the Cardinals on both sides of the ball. The offense runs through Borgerding as the quarterback and he is a true dual-threat quarterback. He completed 39-of-44 passes for 585 yards, six touchdowns and just three turnovers, best among every-game starters in the conference. He didn’t lead the conference in passing yards or completions or attempts, but when you factor in that Borgerding was the third leading rusher in the conference on a team that is very run-oriented, it explains a lot. The junior had 174 carries for 845 yards and 12 touchdowns with no fumbles on the season. Borgerding also earned first team honors defensively as he was third on the team in tackles with 67 on the season from the defensive backfield. For those reasons, Borgerding was the first team selection as quarterback.

“Aaron followed up his breakout sophomore season with an outstanding junior year,” said Head Coach Ryan Kapping. “He established himself as a dangerous dual threat qb and took control of the offense this year and ran it at high level.  Defensively, I thought Aaron was the best player in our conference because of his ability to play pass and run.  He has great cover skills and is really good at coming down into the box and making tackles.  It will be exciting to have him return as our leader next season.”

Also earning first team honors on both sides of the ball was senior Kenny Fesenmaier.  The senior was a solid offensive lineman, opening holes for the running game and protecting the quarterback on drop-backs. Gauging his stats on the offensive side is difficult.

“Kenny has been a model of consistency over the past three seasons.  He became a regular starter from game 1 of his sophomore season and he quickly became our most consistent performer in the OL over that time,” Kapping said. “Kenny has outstanding technique and he plays hard which has allowed him to play at a high level despite being what most would consider an undersized lineman.”

Defensively, Fesenmaier was moved from the interior line to defensive end this season and the move was a very good one for the Cardinals. Fesenmaier led the team with three sacks, was tied for the lead with six tackles for loss and was fifth on the team in tackles with 37 tackles.

“Defensively, Kenny moved out to end this year after playing mostly tackle a year ago and he had an outstanding senior season,” Kapping said. “He was very consistent and got better every week.”

Senior Dylan Bosshart was another first team selection, as he earned first team honors on offense and second team honors on defense. Bosshart was another dual-threat offensive weapon for the Cardinals, He was the team’s leading receiver but also a huge running threat with speed to the edges. Bosshart caught 14 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns, and carried the ball 77 times for 533 yards and four touchdowns.

The senior defensive back was also a big reason the Cardinals were conference champions this year. For the third year in a row, Bosshart was named to the second team All-Conference defense.

“He emerged as a starter at DB during his sophomore year and really was a great cover corner for us for three seasons,” Kapping said. “Other teams had to account for him on both sides of the ball because of his pure athletic ability. He stepped forward and really became a huge threat on the offensive side of the ball this season and he received a lot of attention from opposing defenses because he was a threat as a ball carrier and as a pass receiver.  His speed and ability to stretch the defense will be missed next season.”

Santana Schlegel was another senior that earned honors. The senior was a first team honor as a linebacker and second team selection as a defensive lineman, as well as the emotional leader of the team this year.

Schlegel led the defense with 104 tackles on the season and rarely ever came off the field.

“Santana played a lot of snaps over the past three seasons and was a key player for us during his senior season,” Kapping said. “Defensively he took some big steps forward this year and was a much more consistent player.  He was always around the ball in the run game and was a part of a lot of tackles.”

Senior Lance McMurrin was another two-way selection. He earned second team honors for his work on the offensive line and at defensive end. McMurrin had 21 total tackles on the season and five tackles for loss.

He did a really nice job of setting the edge and playing against trapping offenses that we saw often this season,” said Kapping. Offensively, “Lance came a long way in the past four years and overcame an injury that cost him a large part of his junior season to play some really good football during his senior season.  He was a solid offensive lineman and really made his presence felt on the defensive side of the ball.”

Kapping also mentioned that McMurrin was a key leader for the Cardinals this season.

“He was a very positive, vocal player whose leadership will be missed,” the coach said.

Senior Dakota Kerr earned second team honors as a defensive lineman. Kerr didn’t play football his sophomore and junior years, but came back out for his senior season and had an incredible impact for the Cardinals. He had 21 tackles and five tackles for loss as a defensive lineman this season, that was often pitted against much larger players.

“Dakota came back out as a senior, and we are very glad he did,” Kapping said. “He did a really nice job on both sides of the ball for us but in the defensive line was where he made his presence felt the most.  He had 3 interceptions and really played very consistently all season.  He worked really hard in the weight room over the past year and had a really good season because of the work he put in.”

The last, but certainly not least, honored Cardinal was sophomore Nate Fesenmaier. Fesenmaier battled some injuries throughout the season, but his grit and determination really shone through much of that. As the featured back as a sophomore, Fesenmaier showed he deserved to be there. He was a workhorse for the Cardinals, carrying the ball a team high 175 times for 789 yards, second only to Borgerding, and a team high 14 touchdowns.

“Nate was a little banged up at the beginning part of the season but he really was a huge part of our offense,” Kapping said. “When he got healthy and was the every down fullback our offense was much better and much more consistent.  We are excited that we have Nate for two more years.  It will be exciting to see what he can do in this offense over that time.”

In addition to the honors those players earned on the field, Kapping is just as proud of the honors they earned in the classroom.

The senior football players (Dylan Bosshart, Kenny Fesenmaier, Josh Hannack, Dakota Kerr, Lance McMurrin, and Santana Schlegel) were also named an Academic All-State Team by collectively earning a GPA of 3.33 or higher showing that they get the job done in the classroom as well.  Dylan Bosshart was recognized as an Academic All-State Individual for maintaining a GPA of 3.75 or higher.

Congratulations on a great season and some very well deserved accolades to all the players.