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Heart 'O Lakes Conference honors Pequot Lakes players

Two Pequot Lakes’ seniors received special recognition in the Heart ‘O Lakes North Conference at the Patriots’ football team banquet on Thursday, Nov. 14. Justin Mackenthun was chosen most valuable linebacker while teammate Chris Westman received most valuable defensive lineman for the conference.

The two lineman helped Pequot Lakes advance to the Section 8AAA final where they were eliminated by Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. For the season, Mackenthun finished with a team-high 80 solo tackles and 60 assists while Westman was second with 66 solo tackles and 42 assists. Both also finished with eight quarterback sacks, which led the conference and is the most for a Patriot defensive player in the past decade.

Mackenthun and Westman joined junior teammate Alex Tangen as Heart O’ Lakes North All-Conference picks while sophomore quarterback C.J. Borleis along with seniors Cole Funk and Travis Jacobson all received honorable mention.

Mackenthun was also chosen the Patriots’ team and defensive MVPs while Tappe was selected offensive MVP. Other awards were Cole Funk, special teams MVP; Westman, most valuable lineman; Dillon Nichols, Scout MVP; and Tappe, Patriot Award.

“We played much better defense this year with 24 sacks, and we were second-best against the run in the 10 years that I’ve been here,” said Pequot Lakes’ defensive coordinator Nick Grunzke. “We also had Shane Zeidler with five fumble recoveries and Connor Davich with four pass interceptions.”

Head coach Chip Lohmiller also praised the efforts of the Patriots’ offensive unit, which featured Borleis passing for 963 yards and eight touchdowns and Tappe scoring 10 touchdowns.

“We played some good football in the playoffs and after we were down 26-0 late in the third quarter, we scored 44 points in eight minutes to beat Park Rapids,” he said of the section semifinal. “C.J. (Borleis) passed for almost 1,000 yards, and it’s great to know we will have him back for two more years. Tyler (Tappe) caught 28 passes for 570 yards and five touchdowns while Travis (Jacobson) caught 33 passes for 492 yards. These are usually career statistics.”

Despite missing time with an injury, Tappe still rushed for 581 yards and five scores.

“Shane Zeidler had a couple of big games filling in when Tyler was hurt,” Lohmiller said. “Tyler does end his career with 1,668 yards rushing.

Pequot Lakes junior varsity football coach Alex Konesh said his squad finished 2-3 overall, but “we lost a couple of close ones some good players coming up.”