The Gustavus football team brought the 2010 season to a close with its annual banquet on Sunday, Jan. 9th in Alumni Hall. Seniors Dustin Kammerer, Brandon Jonker, and Zach Lundquist highlighted the event’s keynote awards section.
Dustin Kammerer earned the Richard Paulson Team MVP Award. Richard Paulson was an All-Conference linebacker from Red Wing, Minn. who came to Gustavus as a Navy veteran and died prior to his senior year. This award is for the team’s most valuable player and is selected by a team vote. Kammerer, a three-year starter at outside linebacker, led the team with 86 tackles (44 solo, 42 asst.), finishing third in the MIAC with 76 (9.5 avg. per game). He recorded double-figure tackles in four games this season, including a game-high of 14 twice against St. Olaf and St. Thomas. In his four-year career at Gustavus, the Watertown, Minn. native amassed a total of 239 tackles, ranking him 12th all-time in program history. He finished his career with 24.5 tackles for loss, two and a half sacks, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles.
“Dustin gave his heart and soul to the Gustie football program, and his leadership will be missed. He led our team in tackles and was a key piece of our defense’s success this season at outside linebacker. His quiet confidence, athleticism, and consistency were truly special. The level of respect that our players and coaches have for Dustin speaks to his character and commitment to our football family at Gustavus. Dustin joins an elite group of Gustavus linebackers who have come from Watertown,” said Head Coach Peter Haugen.
Defensive tackle Brandon Jonker was awarded the Craig Olson Award. Craig Olson was an offensive tackle from Owatonna who died of cancer his senior year. This award winner is selected by the coaching staff, and is given to the athlete who most represents this statement, “There is no greater achievement then to surpass God-given talent through desire, dedication, inspiration, and courage.” Jonker, a native Inver Grove Heights, Minn., led the defensive line with 28 tackles (10 solo, 12 asst.), while recording a team-high 3.5 sacks.
Linebacker Zach Lundquist was the recipient of the Lee Krough Award. The Lee Krough Award was established in 1977 by Angie Krough as a memorial to her late husband Lee Krough, the beloved coach, athletic trainer, and teacher. The honor is awarded to the player who has most exemplified the concept of team, and who, through the behind the scenes dedication, effort, and caring for his teammates, has provided the glue that binds them as one. The award is not given annually, but only when a player clearly lives up to the characteristics that Lee exemplified. Lundquist, a three-year starter at inside linebacker, finished third on the team in tackles this season with 81. He led the team in tackles for loss with 9.5; finishing second in sacks with three. Lundquist led the team in tackles in two games this season, while recording double-digits tackles on three occassions. The Pelican Rapids, Minn. native registered a total of 228 tackles in his career and six sacks in his career.
Special teams veteran Greg Lane was recognized as the Denny Rarrup Special Teams Player of the Year. Lane finished the season with eight special teams tackles, and 220 yards on 11 kick returns for an average of 20.0 yards per return. He also tallied a 25-yard scoop-and-score touchdown off a blocked punt in Gustavus’ 42-14 win over Hamline. Lane has quietly become one the best kick returners in the history of Gustavus football. The Chaska, Minn. native ranks third all-time in kick return yards with 1,107, sitting behind the likes of Andy Traetow (1,270) and Chris McCartney (1,151). Lane’s two kick return touchdowns (the most in GAC history) both came in the final contest of the season—one in the 2007, and the other in the 2009.
Junior Brad Kruckeberg earned the Student-Athlete Award for his performance in the classroom and on the field. Kruckeberg is a biology major with 3.88 GPA who is a member of the Tau Psi Omega (REDS) fraternity at Gustavus and a volunteer at the Special Olympics, Relay For Life, and St. Peter Food Shelf. On the field, the free safety from Ellendale, Minn. led the league in both interceptions (6) and passes defended (12), while starting in all 10 games and recording 54 tackles (4th on team). Kruckeberg was named second team All-Conference as well as D3football.com All-West Region Third Team Defense at the conclusion of the season.
Wide receiver Cody Sukalski earned the Sportsmanship Award for his commitment to fair play on the season. Sukalski finished the season with a team-high 490 yards on 32 receptions. In his career, the Blue Earth, Minn. product has played in 36 games, totaling 1,141 yards on 99 catches for an average of 14.25 yards per catch and 39.19 yards per game.
Jay Rogotzke, Pat Tracy, and Mitch Moore earned Scout Player of the Year honors; Rogotzke on offense, Tracy on defense, and Moore on special teams.
Seniors Logan Becker and Brad Kruckeberg were also voted as team captains of the 2011 Gustavus football team. The final two captains will be announced after the team concludes its spring drills this May.