'Growing pains' should benefit Tigers in future

Going 1-8 while being outscored 313-107 in the eight losses wasn't what Shawn Klimek expected from the Nevis football team this season. However, the experience gained from this season should pay huge dividends next fall. "The 2008 season was a gr...

Mitch Rehkamp
Mitch Rehkamp (right) shared Most Valuable Player honors for the Nevis football team this season. (Vance Carlson / Enterprise)

Going 1-8 while being outscored 313-107 in the eight losses wasn't what Shawn Klimek expected from the Nevis football team this season.

However, the experience gained from this season should pay huge dividends next fall.

"The 2008 season was a growing year for the Tigers," said Klimek. "We started a lot of underclassmen. We had some growing pains this year, but I believe this year will help us in the future."

The Tigers opened the season with losses to McGregor (42-6) and Isle (44-20) before dropping Great Northern West Conference games to Hill City (40-33) and Kelliher/Northome (30-13). A 34-14 loss to Floodwood left the Tigers with a 0-5 record.

In those first five games, the Tigers had 14 turnovers and managed more than 250 yards in offense once. Nevis had 132 yards in offense and turned the ball over three times against McGregor, compiled 250 yards in offense and had three turnovers against Isle, gained 333 yards with two turnovers against Hill City, had 220 yards and two turnovers against N-K, and had 212 yards and four turnovers against Floodwood.


Nevis' offensive exploded for 398 yards, including 360 on the ground, in a 48-0 victory over Laporte in Week 6.

The Tigers closed conference play at 1-3 with a 52-14 loss to Northland Remer before ending the regular season with a 42-0 loss to Cromwell. Nevis had 176 yards in offense against Remer and was held to only 70 yards against Cromwell.

In the Section 6 9-man playoffs, the Tigers were seeded No. 6 and had their season end with a 29-7 loss to No. 3 Win-E-Mac. The Tigers had 173 yards in offense and two turnovers in that game.

"This year's team was very competitive in most games," said Klimek. "We are looking to take this year's experience to improve on next year's record."

Providing the leadership for the Tigers this season were the seniors: Adam Yliniemi, Matt Beach, Casey Charmoli, Josh Edwards, Tom Frank, Chris Kirschman and Wesley Snyder. Leading the Tigers on offense and defense were the five players who received all-conference honors: Yliniemi, junior Mitch Rehkamp, and sophomores Garret Edelman, Nick Halfmann and Anthony Becker.

Other key players were juniors Nolan Toft and Garrett Annexstad; sophomores Sean Howes, Zach Anderson, Dylan Stenberg, Billy Andrus, Beau Daniels and Pat Beach; and freshmen Matt Gustafson and Josh Haas.

Yliniemi shared the team's Most Valuable Player award and earned all-conference honorable mention honors after catching seven passes for 78 yards, rushing 43 times for 251 yards and a touchdown, and returning two kickoffs for touchdowns. Yliniemi also received the team's Offensive Back of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year honors.

Rehkamp earned all-conference honors after leading the Tigers with 21 receptions for 331 yards and four touchdowns and finishing fifth on the team with 51 tackles. He also recovered three fumbles. Rehkamp was named the team's Offensive Lineman of the Year and shared the Most Valuable Player award.


Edelman earned all-conference honors after anchoring the Tigers' offensive and defensive lines. Edelman led the Tigers with eight quarterback sacks while finishing fourth with 53 tackles. Edelman was named the Tigers' Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Halfmann was the Tigers' other all-conference player while leading the team with 94 tackles and three fumble recoveries. Halfmann also caught eight passes for 96 yards and rushed 43 times for 251 yards and a touchdown.

Becker, who earned all-conference honorable mention honors, finished sixth on the team with 48 tackles and had three fumble recoveries.

Snyder received the team's Coaches Award for Outstanding Work and Effort. Snyder was third in tackles with 61 and rushed 26 times for 69 yards and a TD.

Toft led the Tigers in rushing with 46 carries for 253 yards and two touchdowns and had five catches for 64 yards. Defensively, Toft contributed 24 tackles.

Stenberg received the team's Defensive Back of the Year award after making 47 tackles and intercepting two passes. Offensively, Stenberg was second on the team with 19 catches for 206 yards and two TDs.

Andrus finished third on the team with 125 yards on six receptions with three TDs.

Matt Beach was second in tackles with 68 and shared the team lead with three fumble recoveries.


Snyder gained 26 yards on 69 carries with a TD and was third in tackles with 61.

Edwards had five catches for 72 yards and a TD and was in on 12 tackles.

Charmoli was in on 30 tackles and rushed 13 times for 34 yards and a TD.

Anderson completed 73 of 177 passes for 940 yards and 10 TDs.

Howes completed 4 of 6 passes for 65 yards and one TD, had one rushing TD and kicked 17 extra points.

Daniels was in on 33 tackles, Frank made 14 tackles while Annexstad, Pat Beach and Kirschman made nine tackles each.

Hass rushed 15 times for 79 yards while Gustafson gained 71 yards on 17 carries with two TDs.

Looking ahead to next season, the Tigers graduate seven seniors, but return 27 players.


"The seniors put in a lot of time and effort into this program and will be sorely missed," said Klimek, who was assisted by Sherm Anderson and Dan Halfmann. "Our biggest focus is continuing to improve ourselves. We need to make ourselves stronger and faster and we need to spend this off-season in the weight room. If we take care of ourselves, we can be a very competitive team next fall."

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