Hagen repeats among six Lions honored

Above from left are Kyle Hagen (All-District, 2nd year): Chandler Bergrud (All-District); Wyatt Murphy (All-District) and Caden Grinde (All-District). BELOW: John Koch (Honorable Mention) and Isaac Griffin (Honorable Mention). Photos by Aimee Murphy
S. Lee Epps

Football senior Kyle Hagen has been named All-Districtfor the second straight season - one of four Lions on the First Teamalong with seniors Wyatt Murphy and Chandler Bergrud plus junior Caden Grinde.

Receiving Honorable Mentionwere senior John Koch and junior Isaac Griffin

Hagen, among 27 First Team selections, was one of only seven to be so honored for a second consecutive season.  

The 6-foot-1 senior linebacker, was the Lions' leading tackler for the second straight season - this year with 113 stops, including six for loss. He graduates with 282 career tackles, the 13th best all-time total in the 50 years for which tackles have been a statistic. Hagen ranks ninth all-time with 8 career sacks.

On offense at tight end, Hagen was not only a key blocker but also a major factor in the passing game. He led the Lions in touchdown receptions with eight, tied for the eighth-best single season in the record book.

 Hagen tied a school single-game record with three TD catches against Kingsland. He was third on the team in number of receptions with 27, averaging 14.4 yards per catch. 

In the sub-district stats, he ranked sixth in receiving yardage and eighth in total receptions.

He was the team's second leading scorer with 54 points. And performing an often overlooked but essential duty, Hagen also was the deep snapper for punts and placekicks.

Murphy, a 6-5 senior, anchored the Lion line on both offense and defense. In a spread formation, the center snap is critical. On the defensive line at nose guard, Murphy was in on 55 tackles, including 3 for loss.

Murphy scored the Lions' only defensive touchdown of the season with a fumble recovery in the end zone. It was a key play in the fourth quarter of a come-from-behind win at Mabel-Canton. Overall, he forced two fumbles and recovered two along with breaking up two passes.

Bergrudhad the unenviable task of following the most prolific quarterback in Spring Grove history. But the 5-11 senior quarterback/corner back proved up to the challenge - leading the nine-team sub-district in passing completions, passing yardage and passing touchdowns.

In the Spring Grove record book, Bergrud had the fourth-best number of single-season completions (139), the fifth-best number of passing yards (1,813) and the sixth-most passing touchdowns (21). 

He graduates with the third-best career passing completion percentage in Lion history (.617). 

With only one season as the starter, Bergrud ranks sixth in career passing touchdowns (25) and seventh in passing yardage (2,425).

The Lions' second leading rusher ran for 328 yards, giving him 2,141 yards of total offense - the fifth-best single season on record

His five touchdown passes versus Kingsland ranks tied for second in the single-game records. In that same game, his 361 passing yards is the third-most in the record book.

When the opponents threw passes, Bergrud led Spring Grove in pass breakups with five from his cornerback position. He had one interception and two fumble recoveries in addition to 27 tackles (19 solo).

Grinde,a 6-4 receiver/safety, led the sub-district in pass receptions (50 in only eight games) and ranked second in receiving yards (694 yards or 87 yards per game).

Adding statistics from the two playoff games, Grinde's 64 receptions are the second most in a season for a Spring Grove receiver.

In single-game records, his 13 catches against Houston ranks second and the 192 yards against the Hurricanes is the third most in the record book.

With another season of eligibility, Grinde already ranks fifth in career receptions (78) and 6th in receiving yards (1,031)

On defense from his safety position, he led the Lions in solo tackles (63) and second in total tackles (102). He intercepted two passes with a team-high 81 yards of runbacks.

Grinde led the Lions with 1,207 yards of all-purpose running (receiving, rushing, returning) and was also the Spring Grove punter and placekick holder.

Koch, in his only season at Spring Grove, led the team in both tackles for loss (16) and quarterback sacks with five and a half. The 6-4 senior offensive guard/defensive end was the fourth leading tackler with 75 and broke up two passes.

Koch and junior teammate Tristan Hammel tied for third in sub-district stats with four sacks each during the regular season.

Griffin, a 6-0 junior receiver/cornerback, led the Lions in scoring (57 points). He kicked 10 extra points and booted the first successful Spring Grove field goal (28 yards) since 2016.

He reached the end zone for six touchdowns and a two-point conversion while catching 35 passes for 360 yards. Griffin added a rushing touchdown with one of only 11 carries. 

He led the team in interceptions with four and had 63 yards of returns. He was the fifth leading tackler with 58 stops, including two and half for loss.

Another Lion in sub-district statistics was junior running back Mitchell Reynolds, who was the league's sixth-leading rusher  (778 yards in eight games) despite missing some action with injury.

Sub-district champion LeRoy-Ostrander and section champion/sub-district runner-up Grand Meadow each had five selections. L-O players took two of the top three honors with sophomore quarterback/safety Chase Johnson the Back of the Yearand senior end Tanner Kasel the choice for Lineman of the Year. Southland senior Carter Schmitz was the Defensive Player of the Yearfor the second season after earning the same honor in 2018 in an 11-man sub-district.


9-man South District - East Sub-district

Back of the Year Chase Johnson (LeRoy-Ostrander)

Lineman of the Year – Tanner Kasel (LeRoy-Ostrander)

Defensive Player of Year Carter Schmitz 2nd yr. (Southland)

Coach of the Year Trevor Carrier (LeRoy-Ostrander)


First Team All-District


Riley Olson, sr. WR/DE/P Hon. Mention 2018, 2017

Tanner Kasel sr. TE/DE Hon. Mention 2018, 2017

Carter Johnson sr. RB/LB

Isaac Collier jr. WR/LB

Chase Johnson soph. QB/S


Nolan Skifter sr. RB/LB 2nd year

Wyatt Weiss sr. OL/DL 2nd year

Ben Kraft jr. TE/DE 2nd year

Cameron Sneed, jr. OL/DL Hon. Mention 2018

Dusty Copley soph. RB/DB/P


Kyle Hagen sr. TE/LB 2nd year

Chandler Bergrud sr. QB/DB

Wyatt Murphy sr. OL/DL

Caden Grinde jr. WR/S/P


Carter Schmitz sr. TE/LB 2nd year (11-man 2018)

Noah Lamp sr. TE/CB

Karter Jax jr. OL/DL

Nick Boe jr. RB/LB


Alec Francis sr. OL/DL Hon. Mention 2018

Alex VanGundy sr. WR/DB

Mikkel Schutte sr. QB/DB


Trevor Atkinson sr. OL/DL

Bodin Mayer jr. RB/OL/DE

Seth Semmen soph. QB/S


Lucas Howard sr. RB/LB


Jed Nelson jr. QB/WR/LB 2nd year


Gavin Johnson jr. RB/LB 2nd year



L-O: Kaleb Janssen, sr. OL/DL & Tanner Olson, soph. OL/DL

GM: Luke Speer, jr. WR/DB, First Team 2018 & Taylor Glynn, soph. TE/DB

Southland: Noah Sayles, jr. FB/DE & Brendan Kennedy, soph. RB/S

SG: John Koch, sr. OL, DL & Isaac Griffin, jr. WR/DB

Houston: Ben Walters, sr. RB/DB/P & Wyatt Walters, sr. RB/LB

Lanesboro: Nate Betz, sr. RB/DL & Ben Snyder, jr. TE/DE

Kingsland: Noah Watson, sr. RB/DT & Ashton Kohn, sr. TE/LB

L/P: Zach Bollingberg (2nd. Yr.), jr. WR/LB & Cole Walter, jr. WR/QB/DB

M-C: Randy Gerard, sr. OL/DL & Jack Arneson, jr. QB/DB


FIRST TEAM: 15 seniors, 9 juniors, 3 sophomores

On offense: 11 linemen, 5 quarterbacks, 7 running backs, 5 wide receivers

On defense: 10 linemen, 9 linebackers, 8 defensive backs (DB, S, CB)


East Sub-district 2018 (District 9-man South)

FOOTBALL dist. (season)

LeRoy-Ostrander*….7 - 0 (9 - 1)

Grand Meadow^…...6 - 1 (10 - 2)

Spring Grove ………5 - 2 (7 - 3)

Southland ………….5 - 2 (6 - 3)

Houston ……………4 - 3 (7 - 4)

Lanesboro …………3 - 4 (3 - 6)

Kingsland ………….1 - 6 (1 - 8)

Lyle/Pacelli…………1 - 7 (1 - 8)

Mabel-Canton……..0 - 7 (0 - 9)

* champion -sub-district ^ champion section