JAKE’S TAKE: Marshall continues area run at Minnesota football showcase
MARSHALL – For a 10th straight year, the Marshall football program will be represented at the annual Minnesota Football Showcase today at U.S. Bank Stadium with senior defensive tackle Yahya Black set to compete for the South team.
With Black’s inclusion in the historic game, he becomes the 11th player from Marshall to compete in the event over the last 10 years. Only Totino Grace (21), Lakeville North (17), Mankato West (16) and Minnetonka (13) have had more players participate during that span. Cretin-Derham Hall has also sent 11 players.
The 11 players for Marshall include: Black (2019), Isaac Schmitt (2018), Trey Lance (2017), Blaise Andries, Reece Winkelman and Jacob Falconer (2016), Brad Bahlmann (2015), Tyus DeBoer (2014), Alex Werner (2013), Beau Bofferding (2012) and Brennan Cable (2011).
A proud tradition
Since its inception in 1945, the southwest area of the state has been a fixture in the showcase event. In fact, Tracy and Canby were both represented on the very first All-Star South team as Luverne Weedman (Tracy) and Gerald Rhea (Canby) each participated in the inaugural game that ended in a 44-7 loss to the North.
The very first Marshall player to ever be selected to play in the All-Star game was James Reese, who was joined by Marshall Central Catholic’s Don Jerzak and Slayton’s Milan Nelson on the All-Star South’s very first winning team in 1955. The South defeated the North 20-13.
The following season, Marshall was represented by Richard (Dick) Larson of Marshall High School, and Duane Deutz of Marshall Central Catholic. Larson went on to become a national champion at tight end for the University of Minnesota in 1960, while Deutz was an All-American with St. John’s University.
The very first area player to earn the distinction of being the All-Star game’s Most Valuable Player was Russell-Tyler-Ruthton quarterback Todd Bouman in 1991. Bouman, as a part of the outstate team, rushed for 33 yards on five carries and threw for 32 yards on two completions. For his efforts, he was named the Outstate Offense MVP. Bouman went on to have a career in the NFL that spanned from 1997 to 2010.
The only other area player to win an MVP award was Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Isaiah Wahl, who suited up at linebacker for the outstate team in 2001. The outstate team fell 26-23 to the metro in the back and forth contest, but Wahl set an All-Star game record at the time with a 43-yard fumble recovery touchdown and added an interception in the loss.
In the early days of the All-Star game, college football coaches like Gopher legend Bernie Bierman were in charge of leading the teams. In 1974, high school coaches took the reigns and the tradition has continued to today.
The first area coach to be called upon to serve as an assistant coach of an All Star team was Granite Falls’ Paul Benson in 1977. Benson, a former Gopher football national champion, was named the state coach of the year that season after leading Granite Falls to its first state championship in a 44-6 victory over Stewartville.
Jump ahead to 1985, new Granite Falls head coach Dave Brokke became the very first in area history to be named the head coach of the outstate All-Star team. Brokke coached Granite Falls, Granite Falls-Clarkfield and Yellow Medicine East from 1978 to 2005. Over the course of his career, Brokke won two state championships and compiled 220 career wins.
In the years since, only Marshall’s Terry Bahlmann in 2007 has represented the area as the head coach of an All-Star team.