CFHS All Conference and spring sport athletes are recognized for their remarkable accomplishments.
April 24, 2020
Trenton Matthies, Jack Dommeyer, Mason Duden, Kade Holt, and Jacob Hall made the All Conference.
Bombers lead running back, Trenton Matthies, was the team’s glue in his All Conference senior season. With an abundance of school records and a very impressive stat sheet, Matthies was one of the best running backs Cannon Falls has seen. Gaining 1,348 yards on 141 attempts (an average of 9.6 yards per carry), Matthies was the team’s spark plug on offense. Not only did he shine in the yards department, but he also scored a staggering 17 rushing touchdowns. These impressive numbers led him to the leaderboards in seven different categories on the stats sheet. When asked why he believed he was selected for All Conference, he stated that, “my leadership and all the hard work I put in throughout the year got me an All Conference spot.” Matthies was recruited by the College of St. Scholastica and will continue his football career as a Saint.
Bombers senior quarterback and defensive end, Jack Dommeyer, was one of the best athletes Cannon Falls has seen in recent years. Dommeyer accomplished the All Conference feat in an offense that starred the running backs over quarterbacks and receivers, which is a very impressive accomplishment. Throwing for 313 yards and 5 touchdowns, Dommeyer was a reliable quarterback in the Bombers’ run-first offense. Not only did Dommeyer change the game on the offensive side, but he was a monster on the other side of the football. Dommeyer made the all-time leaderboard in three defensive categories during his senior season. He became fourth in sacks in a single game with 3.5, third in sacks in a season with 7.5, and third in career sacks with 11.5. The blitzing presence of Dommeyer was a scary sight for opposing offensive tackles. Being such a versatile player, Dommeyer was able to play offensive and defensive snaps for almost the entirety of every game of the season. He was always part of the action, rarely on the sidelines. His pure athleticism led him to 335 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns as a quarterback. Sadly, Dommeyer will not be playing football in college, but he leaves Cannon Falls as one of the best hybrid players that the program has ever seen.
Coming into his senior season, Bombers running back and linebacker, Mason Duden, wanted to prove himself and leave his mark on the field. After a shoulder injury early in the season, Duden’s offensive play was cut short. Although his injury held him back on offense, he still wreaked havoc on opposing teams. Leading the team with 86 tackles, Duden was an elite defender. Along with these tackles, he also managed 2.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, and capped it off with a defensive touchdown. “I am an aggressive player,” Duden shared. “I didn’t care what happened to me as long as I was hitting the other guy as hard as I could,” he added. Duden’s style of play ultimately led him to an All Conference selection. After an injury riddled high school career, Duden was never able to play up to his full potential; however, he still made a massive impact when he was on the field. Despite his hardships, Duden leaves the team as the seventh most prolific tackler in Cannon Falls football history.
Bombers running back and safety, Kade Holt, was a menace on both sides of the football for his senior season. An All Conference selection for Holt was in the making from the first snap of the season. On offense, Holt gained 435 yards on 67 attempts while adding on two touchdowns. Being the second choice running back behind Trenton Matthies, Holt made the most of his opportunities on offense. On defense, Holt was roving the field for most plays, looking for balls to intercept or receivers to tackle. Holt made 47 tackles, two interceptions, one fumble recovery, and even blocked two kick attempts. When asked why he believed he was selected as an All Conference player, he credited it to his defensive leadership and his hard work day in and day out. Holt arguably leaves the 2019-20 season as the best hybrid player on the team and will hang up his cleats knowing that he left it all on the field.
In his final season in a Bombers jersey, offensive and defensive tackle, Jacob Hall, was his quarterback’s blind side dream and the opposing quarterback’s blind side nightmare. Holding his own on the exterior of the offensive line, Hall was the primary protection for fellow All Conference recipient, Quarterback Jack Dommeyer. When asked why he believed he was selected as an All Conference player, Hall felt his hard work in the weight room and his energy at every practice were major parts of what won him the recognition. Hall was especially dominant on the interior of the defensive line. Leading the charge on the defensive line, he racked up the most tackles with 41, while also adding five sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, and two passes knocked down. As Hall’s days in the red and black end, he hangs up his jersey on his football career to pursue a job in the trades.
Jaci Winchell and Makayla Bowen made the list.
Jaci Winchell is a sophomore in high school and is already accomplishing big things. During her 2019 volleyball season, she was able to reach the 1000 career set assist milestone and, at the end of the season, she was added to the All Conference team. She detailed that she felt extremely accomplished at these successes because she knew that all of her hard work had begun to pay off. With her mom as a coach, Winchell has grown up around the court for as long as she can remember. Being able to have countless hours in the gym her whole life has definitely paid off, she became a full time varsity player as just a freshman. As Wichell entered her sophomore season, she hoped to be known as the player who never gave less than 110% effort. With two seasons left in her high school volleyball career, Winchell will continue working hard to become an even stronger player and will surely continue to reach new heights. After she finishes her last couple of years of high school ball, she hopes to take her volleyball career to the college level.
Junior, Makayla Bowen, is a force to be reckoned with on the Cannon Falls volleyball team. She is a very strong player who continues to improve each and every day. Bowen has been playing volleyball since the third grade and it has now become one of the greatest passions in her life. As Bowen began her junior year, she was ready to make the most of her final season with the senior girls who she has connected with over the years. She has had the goal of becoming an All Conference athlete since she was on the c-squad team. When she was finally able to accomplish it, she proudly said, “It meant so much to me; it was like all my hard work paid off.” Bowen did her part on the team by constantly becoming the best she can be by giving her full effort to each day. Bowen’s ambitious personality will play a huge role in making her final mark on the team next season. She has always looked up to the older girls she had played with and now it is her time to fill their shoes. Bowen will be that positive outlet for the younger players just like she has had in her time.
Three seniors, Cameron Langdon, Chris Baszuro, and Blake Hernke, were recognized for boys’ soccer.
When the season started, senior forward, Cameron Langdon, hoped to leave his mark on the Cannon Falls Boys’ Soccer Team. He led the team this year in goals and assists, finding the back of the net 11 times (which is a new school record for goals in a season) and assisting seven more. One thing about Langdon that makes his All Conference selection unique was his unquestionable experience. He has been a varsity starter for the Bombers all four years of his high school career. Not only was he awarded All Conference this season, but he received the same recognition last season. “Various other soccer games and practices throughout my life helped me enhance my skills,” mentioned Langdon. As Langdon’s high school soccer career comes to a close, he doesn’t plan on continuing his career when he goes off to further his education at college. Yet his goal of leaving his mark on the program was undeniably accomplished.
Senior midfielder, Chris Baszuro, follows a quote said by his varsity coach, Tim Langdon: “The best goal you will ever score will come off of someone else’s foot.” This quote reflects the way Baszuro plays his game. He believes that the midfield is the glue that holds the offense and defense together. “The midfield can make or break a team,” Baszuro noted. “I think a lot of our team’s success came from the work rate our midfield had, Blake Hernke and I being the most pivotal, in the center of the park,” Baszuro added. Their main jobs as midfielders are to shield the defense while they string the attackers and defensemen together. These strings held by Baszuro and Hernke allowed their teammate at forward, like Cameron Langdon, to rack up a substantial amount of goals. After Baszuro leaves his high school career behind, he will be beginning his college soccer career at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.
Senior Blake Hernke, Baszuro’s center midfield partner, was looking to end his high school career with a bang. His main focus this year was his finishing accuracy. Out of all shots taken by the squad, he was in the top 10% of the team for most shots on target. Accuracy—on the net and in his passes—was everything to him. “I started a lot of passing possessions that led to a play,” Hernke noted. Another accomplishment of Hernke’s was his playing time on the field. Because this season was his last, he wanted to make the most out of his time on the field and ultimately propel his team to the playoffs. As Hernke moves on from the Bomber soccer program, he will most likely be playing on a club soccer team at Iowa State.
Aizlynn Thim made it for the girls.
Junior forward Aizlynn Thim had high hopes coming into the season as a starter in her favorite position for the second year in a row. . She wanted to prove herself at the pivotal spot. “I decided I was not going to take it for granted, so I had to put everything I had into the position to show my coach that forward was the best place for me,” Thim explained. “I had the absolute best time out on the field. Being able to have fun while I’m playing makes it so much easier to put in 110%,” she added. This year, Thim was a very reliable goalscorer with ten on the season, which is a big improvement from previous years. She said she only found the net because she had help from her teammates and coaches. Thim had nothing but praise for the tactical knowhow of her coach: “Coach Banks made some drastic changes throughout the beginning of the season, rearranging players like crazy, until he found the perfect place for all of us.” With another year ahead of her, the forward doesn’t plan on letting up any time soon.
Cooper Peterson, Ryan Linde, Colten Black, Gavin Peterson, and Riley Keenan were all named.
This winter, the Cannon Falls wrestling team saw more students get named as All Conference athletes than any other sports program on campus. Among the five wrestlers that were recognized was senior, Cooper Peterson, who played a massive role in the team’s success this season, with a mind bogglingly successful season. Peterson was utterly dominant in conference encounters, coming out on the losing side of just one match against a wrestler who went on to be the second best in the state. His overall record of 38-4 speaks for itself. Come the end of the season, his third All Conference award was inevitable. Raw ability would not have been enough to reach such heights, the senior acknowledged. Together, a strong work ethic and a drive to push himself to be the best version of himself both on and off the mats largely explain the dominance he dished out during his high school career. Another valuable skill that Peterson learned during his time wrestling for the Bombers was the importance of asking questions. “I encourage younger athletes who are chasing greatness to ask questions. The more prepared you are for a situation, the more likely you are to see a good outcome,” he advised. For years, Peterson epitomized what it means to lead by example. As hard as it may have been to close the curtains on an illustrious high school career, he now has set his sights on his next challenge: collegiate wrestling at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. As long as he maintains the work ethic, drive, and passion that spectators have seen from him on the mats for the last six seasons, Peterson will undoubtedly rise to the occasion.
Another soon to be high school graduate, Ryan Linde, was the other senior to be awarded a spot on the All Conference wrestling team this season. Linde was an integral part of the team’s success, as he picked up a large portion of the team’s points. He kicked the season off by tearing through the competition, going undefeated for his first 14 matchups. He and Peterson are credited with leading the team to its first winning record season in a number of years. Although having fun was the most important thing to Linde for his final season, he did buckle down and deliver the results his team needed. “I tried to have fun at practices and tournaments, but, when it came down to it, I got serious when I needed to be,” he said. As Linde closes this chapter in his life, he can hold his head high at what he brought to the Bomber wrestling team.
Despite losing two valuable team members, the future looks incredibly promising, as the squad will be retaining three more All Conference wrestlers for the next two years, and two of them for a year beyond that. As just freshmen, Colten Black, and Cooper’s younger brother, Gavin Peterson, were astonishingly named to the All Conference along with their sophomore teammate, Riley Keenan. Peterson was understandably ecstatic when asked how he felt about sharing the limelight with his little brother. “It was awesome to be able to share this honor with him. He is a very talented wrestler who has a very bright future ahead of him. He is going to do great things,” Cooper said, full of praise. The pair of seniors oozed nothing but delight at all the success that these three underclassmen were able to achieve so early on in their careers. People will likely be talking about these young wrestling sensations for the years to come.
On the court, Drew Otte, Luke Sjoquist, and Rhett Schaeffer, were chosen.
This season, Bombers small forward and team captain, Drew Otte, was on a mission. “My stats from last year to this year went up in points and rebounds,”Otte noted. Otte finished the season averaging 15.1 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Finishing the season with the second highest points per game average for the Bombers, Otte was a formidable force in the Cannon Falls offense. With a season high of 31 points and 15 rebounds, Otte wasn’t only known for his scoring, but was also known for his success on crashing the boards and picking up the loose ball. Not only did he receive recognition for his talent from his coaches and teammates, but also from coaches and players from around the Hiawatha Valley League. “The work I put in this offseason allowed for me to gain recognition from other coaches,” he said. When asked why he believed he was chosen as an All Conference selection, he said, “My role as a captain and a leader on and off the court helped me reach this point.” Sadly, Otte is hanging up his sneakers and will not continue his basketball career at the collegiate level. Going forward off of the court, Otte is bound to uphold the same leadership qualities.
Bombers shooting guard, Luke Sjoquist, had his eyes on the prize coming into the 2019-20 season. Coming off of an amazing junior season, Sjoquist was ready to show that he had only gotten better over the offseason. “I think what led me to All Conference was my work in the offseason,” Luke asserted. Refining his skills in Amateur Athletic Union leagues (AAU) and summer leagues, Sjoquist was working hard to leave a mark on the hardwood during his senior season of high school basketball. Needless to say, that goal was accomplished. Averaging 15.6 points , 3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game, Sjoquist was a well-rounded facilitator for the Bombers offense. Not only was he great on the offensive side, but he was an animal on the defensive side, leading his team with an average of 1.6 steals per game. Sjoquist was determined to keep his energy from the offseason as the season rolled around, without faltering. “I needed to carry that over to the regular season and perform well,” he said. After receiving offers from Concordia-Moorehead, Northland, RCTC, Crown College, and Minnesota State Tech, Sjoquist has not decided on what he is going to do after high school. Sjoquist will leave Cannon Falls as one of the most prominent players in recent memory.
Coming into the final season of his high school career, Bombers point guard, Rhett Schaeffer, was looking to bring his team to a Hiawatha Valley League title. Being the team’s main playmaker, Schaeffer led the team in assists with 6.8 per game, which is nearly half of the team’s average assists per game. Along with passing, Schaeffer was an excellent scorer and rebounder, averaging 9.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Along with his great offensive play, Schaeffer loved to swipe the ball from the opposing team. Schaeffer averaged 1.7 steals per game, which was the second highest tally on the Bombers team. In his final season, not only did Schaeffer earn an All Conference selection, but he set a new school record for assists in a single season. Schaeffer passed the ball for an automatic score a staggering 186 times, which led him to the number one spot on the team with ease. This barbaric season of play-making also led him to third place on the all time assists leaderboard with a total of 295 in his career. Unfortunately, the pass first point guard will not wow any more spectators as he has opted not to continue playing ball in college. Schaeffer will leave Cannon Falls as one of the finest examples of an unselfish player who put his team before himself.
Four seniors were named for dance: Vanessa Peer, Jada Krinke, Olivia Johnson, and Ali Larson.
Senior captain of the Cannon Falls dance team, Vanessa Peer, was awarded All Conference recognitions in both high kick and jazz. Peer has been a crucial part of the Cannon Falls dance team since making varsity in eighth grade. She is a very positive person who is always looking for a silver lining in negative situations. Peer explained how this year, the team changed the way they worked out and that she made every effort to be a positive reinforcement to push the girls through the change. As the season began, she and the rest of her teammates had the ultimate goal of making it to the state dance tournament, which they did, meaning Peer earned the opportunity to dance in her fifth state tournament. After putting her extremely successful high school dance career to a rest, she will attend St. Thomas University for Biology/Pre-optometry.
Jada Krinke has been dancing since she was just three years old. She has put in a seemingly endless number of hours working to perfect her skills, hard work that surely paid off. Krinke has been a varsity dancer since the eighth grade and was named an All Conference athlete in both high kick and jazz. Krinke began her final season ready to work, to have fun, and to be a positive leader. In her mind, the season was a successful one because she met her ultimate goal of dancing at state while acting as a positive role model for the younger girls on the team. After high school Jada is planning to continue dancing at St. Cloud State University.
Olivia Johnson has also been dancing since the age of three. She started out dancing in a studio and only grew in her abilities since then. She went into her senior season hoping to have the most unforgettable and successful season she could’ve had. Her goal was definitely met. She did her part by being a strong leader and positive role model for the younger dancers. Johnson has been a strong part of the varsity dance team since eighth grade and she will be missed in the years to come. After Johnson graduates high school, she will be attending North Dakota State University for nursing. She might be pushing pause on her dance career during college, but after she graduates she is hoping to become a coach or judge.
Alison Larson was one of the three senior captains for the Cannon Falls 2019-2020 dance season. She is a very successful dancer for the team and was awarded All Conference in high kick. Larson entered her senior season ready to work as hard as she could to leave her mark on the team she would be leaving behind. She thought of her teammates as sisters and made the younger team members know she was always there for them, whether it be about dance or something off the floor. Dance has been a passion in Larson’s life since she was three years old and couldn’t imagine life without it. As she finished her last moments of her highschool career and earned a spot on the All Conference team, she felt honored that her hard work had been recognized by coaches beyond her own team. Larson is attending the University of Minnesota after high school either for architecture or literature and is hoping to join a club dance team. She also plans to support the University of Minnesota’s dance team as much as possible because “they’re fantastic!”
Many seniors didn’t get a chance to be named All Conference.
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, all spring sports have been canceled. Although the tough decision by MSHSL has impacted many athletes, the call has specifically wounded seniors who don’t get the story book ending they had all dreamed of. Those athletes are the following:
Baseball: Jack Dommeyer, Drew Otte, Preston Heckmann, Luke Sjoquist, Brian Sindt, Cord Lingelbauch, Nick Bultena, Rhett Schaeffer, Cooper Peterson, Ty Schuttloffel, and Derek Robinson.
Softball: Ali Larson, Vanessa Peer, and Aiyana Boutin.
Girls’ Track and Field: Julia Jarvi, Ellie Stodden, Kristy Allen, Zoe Jesh, Ella Miller, and Ellie McKeag.
Boy’s Track and Field: Sanskar Bhakta, Alex Katterjohn, Xander Weinreich, Noah Salmonson, Nick Engebretsen, and Ryan Linde.
Trap Shooting: Anna Bentson, Blake Hernke, Grant Mech, Ryan Schlichting, Braxton Ulrich, Sara Twedt, Carlee Walker, Luke Langdon, Ella Miller, Vanessa Peer, and Nick Engebretsen.
Boys’ Golf: Luke Langdon.