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Two Harbors football wraps up

The Two Harbors Football teams wrapped up their seasons with a program-wide pizza party. Submitted

Varsity football

The Agates played their last game on Tuesday, Oct. 23 against the Moose Lake/Willow River Rebels. They playoff game matched the Agates against the number 1 seed, and they finished with a loss 0-40.

Sophomore quarterback Kyler Kinn lead the Agates offense with 47 yards rushing on 10 carries. Sophomore running back Ricky Hietala added 10 carries for 40 yards rushing.

Defensively, sophomore Lucas Kempffer led the Agates with 9 tackles. Senior linebacker Austyn Wasko and freshman linebacker Jonah Alm contributed 7 tackles each, and both recovered Rebel fumbles. Junior Mike Nordean had 6 tackles and senior Skylar Lysaker added 5 tackles for the Agates. Freshman defensive back Tanner Aho had 3 tackles to go along with his pass interception in the 2nd quarter.

This marked the final high school football game for Agate seniors Austyn Wasko, Skylar Lysaker, Bryan Deming, Asher Jenkins and Swedish exchange student David Fagrell.

Junior running back Mike Nordean finished the season as the Agates' leading rusher, with 556 yards on 113 carries. Nordean also led the team in scoring, with 7 touchdowns. Sophomore Lucas Kempffer led the team in receiving with 11 catches for 138 yards. Sophomore Kyler Kinn was the leading passer, completing 30 of 69 pass attempts for 371 yards and 4 passing touchdowns. Senior Austyn Wasko led the defense with 76 tackles. Lucas Kempffer had the most sacks with 2, and 5 Agates had interceptions (Tanner Aho, Kyler Kinn, Alex Lemke, Mike Nordean, and Nick Johnson).

It was a very challenging year for the young Agate football squad. The Agates finished the season without a win-- the first time that has happened in the 12 years that head coach Tom Nelson has been with the team. Nelson says he doesn't want it to happen again.

Nelson, however, did give credit to his players and coaches for battling to the very end.

"Even though we did not win a game, it was still a very enjoyable experience as I was able to work with a great group of young men, coaches, and parents this past season," he said.

Nelson pointed out that only two seniors saw playing time the last half of the season. Instead of a roster of younger players, including eight sophomores and one freshman, started for the Agates this fall, which Nelson said bodes well for the future.

"I am extremely excited and interested to see how we improve from now until next season. We have a lot of work ahead of us but I have faith we will get it done and see a nice turnaround next season," he said.

Junior varsity

Nelson commented that the JV had a very solid season. They steadily improved throughout the year and finished with a 4-2 record.

Coaches for the Agates 9-12 squads include Tom Nelson, Ryan McIntyre, Steve Wasko, Justin Voss, Roy Levitt, Rick Hogenson, Derrick Hietala, Luke Heikkila and Todd Beck. Kyle Anderson was the manager with Rick Ray and Bill Anderson taking stats on game nights.

Seventh and eighth grade football

The coaches of the seventh and eighth grade team summed up their season this way:

"With a record of 7-3-1, the seventh and eighth grade football team ended their season with a big upset victory over the Proctor Rails. This football season was filled with character, hard work, and Agate pride. As the year went on these 34 fine young men molded into a family, something a lot of young kids don't experience in a sport.

"Good luck to the eighth graders who will be freshmen next year. We are very excited for this year's sixth graders to join the junior high squad as seventh graders next year," they added.

The coaches for junior high were Derrick Hietala, Shannon Larson, Sylas Walker and Mike Levitt.

Pony football

The pony football team, made up of fifth and sixth graders from Two Harbors and North Shore Community School, had a good turnout of players and did a great job this past season. They once again participated in the East Duluth Tackle League where they improved throughout the year.

There were 23 players out for the squad this year and the coaches said they are a fine group of young men with a very bright future. Coaching the pony football squad were Casey Hyopponen, Nik Edlund and Logan Gow. Special thanks to football mom Farah Rustad for all of her help.

Flag football

This year was the first year of the kindergarten through fourth grade flag football program and it was a huge success with nearly 50 students participating! The highlight of the season for the future Agates was playing at halftime during the final varsity home game.

Coaches for the flag football program were Scott Libal, Chris Lemke, Tom Bott, Mike McGrath, Dale Anderson and Mark Pearson.

Coach Nelson would like to thank all the coaches at all levels for the outstanding job they did this year! He would also like to thank the parents, students, fans, cheerleaders, band, teachers, bus drivers, game workers, and administration for all of their support! GO AGATES!!