The Gustavus Adolphus football team closed the books on the 2011 season with its annual banquet held Sunday, Dec. 11th in Alumni Hall. Highlighting the evening’s awards section were seniors Logan Becker (Easton, Minn.) and Todd Kremmin (Cottage Grove, Minn.).
Quarterback Logan Becker 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.
The dual threat capability of Becker set the framework for what the Gustavus offense was predicated on the past two seasons. Displaying the ability attack teams both on the ground and through the air, Becker accounted for over 60-percent of the Gustavus’ offense in his two seasons as the starting signal caller.
Becker went 145-for-250 for 1,544 yards through the air this season. He threw for nine touchdowns and averaged 154.4 yards per game. Logan threw for over 100 yards eight times this season, eclipsing 200 yards on three occasions. Becker also ran the ball 124 times for 357 yards and three touchdowns, finishing second on the team in rushing for the second-straight season.
In Becker’s four years donning the winged helmet, he has gone 314-for-535 for a total of 3,182 yards through the air. His passing yard total ranks 10th all-time at Gustavus behind Mark Pfundstein’s 1972-74 total of 3, 214 yards. Becker ends his career with the second-highest career completion percentage in Gustavus football history at 58.5-percent. Sean Smith (2000-03) holds the record at 64.1-percent. To go along with his career passing statistics, Becker also gained a total of 833 rushing yards on 286 attempts – running for a total of eight touchdowns. This season, the Easton native became just the second quarterback in the last 50 years of Gustavus football to rush for over 300 yards and pass for over 1,000 yards in a season. He joined Dean Kraus `89 who accomplished this feat in 1986 and 1988.
Defensive end Todd Kremmin 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.”
Todd Kremmin finished fourth on the team in tackles this season with 21 solo and 21 assisted for a total of 42. The Cottage Grove product tallied 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack in nine games. Kremmin’s constancy off the edge was key in Gustavus’ transition to a four-man front this year. Todd played in 28 games over his career, recording a total of 78 tackles (44 solo, 36 asst.), 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
Brad Kruckeberg (Ellendale, Minn.) was honored with the Student-Athlete Award for the second-straight season. Kruckeberg was recently named Capital One Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Kruckeberg, a safety, is a biology major with a GPA of 3.88. A key piece in the Gustavus secondary the past three seasons, Kruckeberg ranked second on the team in tackles with 48 (26 solo, 22 asst.) and intercepted a team-high two passes this season. He also defended six passes and had four break-ups. Brad played in a total of 36 games for Gustavus, registering 143 tackles (84 solo, 59 asst.) in his tenure. He intercepted a total of 10 passes over his career, ranking fifth all-time at Gustavus. Kruck took home All-MIAC Second Team honors for the second time this season while serving as one of the team’s captains.
Because of his versatility, consistency, and ability to make the play, Dan Opitz (Burnsville, Minn.) was named Special Teams Player-of-the-Year. At some point, and in some capacity, Opitz served on all special teams units this season. Opitz turned in a stand-out performance when he blocked a punt and two extra points against St. Olaf on Sept. 24. The blocked punt he picked up and returned one yard for a touchdown. He returned seven kicks for a total of 131 yards for an average of 18.7 yards per return and also served as the holder for kicker Tom Huepenbecker.
Elliot Herdina (Blooming Prairie, Minn.) was awarded the Service-Leadership award for his commitment off the field and in the classroom. Herdina has been the front-man in the organization of Gustavus’ annual Breast Cancer Awareness game, which has taken place in October the past two seasons. Herdina finished his career inside the top-10 in Gustavus football history in receptions, touchdown receptions, and receiving yards.
Spencer Chinnelly (Bloomington, Minn.), Calvin Samborski (Minnetonka, Minn.), and Jon Watts (Rush City, Minn.) were named Scout Player of the Year in their respective categories; Chinnelly on offense, Samborski on defense, and Watts on special teams.
Lyle Opdahl (Norwood Young America, Minn.) and Muresuk Mena (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) were also voted as team captains of the 2012 Gustavus football team. The final two captains will be announced after the team concludes its spring drills this May.