The McGregor Mercuries 9-Man football team saved the best for last in 2020.
The Mercs won their final two games after a slow start, but didn’t know the win over Ely would end up being their final game of the season.
The COVID-19 pandemic – and a positive test on the McGregor team – forced the Mercs out of its scheduled section game with South Ridge, and to a premature end of the season – and the end of the careers of the seniors on the team.
Despite the heartbreaking end of the season, the Mercs put up some impressive stats in their abbreviated season.
Drew Dean scored eight touchdowns this year and rushed for 702 yards on 89 carries – an average of almost 8 yards per carry. Colton Anderson rushed for 288 yards and Jacob Metzen had 117 yards as the Mercs ran for 1,286 yards on the year.
And these stats are for just five games. Ethan Bohn scored seven touchdowns, six of them on passes from Willie Glumz, who was 25-for-53 for 404 yards and just two interceptions.
Dean was on the receiving end of Glumz’ other scoring pass. Dean finished his career with some impressive numbers. He rushed for 3,382 yards and 40 touchdowns as a Merc. His career average of 7.1 yards per carry is outstanding.
He also caught two touchdown passes for a total of 42 touchdowns in his career. Dean was also strong on the defensive end, with a career total of 220 tackles, 135 solos and 85 assists.
Coach Bob Staska knows he’s going to miss a premier player.
“Drew had a great season and career and was very impressive,” Staska said. “It’s impossible to replace a player of his calibre.”
Dean, who had a tremendous all-around season, led the defense as well as he had 27 solo stops in his season total of 46 tackles.
He also added 19 assists. Glumz had 37 tackles, 25 of them solo and had a dozen assists and a sack. Bohn had 29 tackles, 19 of them solo and added 10 assists. Curtis Jackson had 23 tackles, 15 of them solo stops, and eight assists and Anderson added 22 tackles, 12 solo and ten assists.
Brennon Frederickson had three sacks to lead the Mercs and Landon Sorenson added two. Frederickson also led in tackles for loss with four, while Bohn and Jackson each had three. A.J. Johnson had a pair of interceptions while Jackson had two fumble recoveries.
Staska also singled out his other seniors.
“Brennon and A.J. were three-year starters and were solid on the offensive line again,” the coach said. “They both improved their defensive game tremendously this year. Aston Harmon had several injuries throughout his career, but did a great job this season in various roles.
“We will miss those guys and what they brought to the program,” Staska added.
McGregor, without the game against South Ridge, finished 2-3. They scored 133 points, averaging 26.6 points per game while giving up 132 points, an average of 26.4 points per game.
“It was unfortunate that we had a short season, especially when we were really starting to gel as a team,” Staska explained. “We got five games in that we didn’t think we would. It was tough to end the season in the classroom instead of on the field, but it’s 2020 and we have all had to deal with things that are not normal.
“The guys were awesome to work with and I’m very proud of them,” he added. Staska finished his 17th season at the helm and takes an overall record of 96-66 into 2021.