Herald-Journal_313733

Thibault’s record-setting career earns her All-Area Volleyball Player of The Year BY KIP KOVAR Sports Editor WATERTOWN – When fans walk into the gym at Watertown-Mayer High School, they know it will be a show as long as Kate Thibault is on the floor. The do it all senior for the Royals capped off an incredible career with another big season for the Royals earning her All-Area Volleyball Player of The Year. Thibault started this season as an out- side hitter for the Royals. She was then moved back to her libero position. Even with the switch, Thibault was still second on the team in kills with 185 as her versa- tility was a huge part of the success of the Royals. Thibault has been the libero for W-M since her eighth-grade season. She was part of the 2018 and 2019 state tournament teams for the Royals. She was a Class AA All-State selection and has earned five All-Conference honors throughout her high school career. She was also one of five finalists for the Ms. Baden Award, an award given out to the top senior player in the state. Thibault set a state record this season for most ca- reer digs with 2,263. In her high school ca- reer, she finished with a record of 105-29. Thibault will continue her volleyball ca- reer next year at the University of Oregon. Kate Thibault’s record setting season earns her the 2022 All-Area Volleyball Player of The Year. PHOTO BY KIP KOVAR D-C’s Tate Link runs away with All-Area Football Player of e Year BY KIP KOVAR Sports Editor COKATO – Many wondered how the Dassel- Cokato football team would replace superstar Eli Gillman from last year’s state championship team. The answer was Tate Link. The senior for the Chargers stepped right into the lead running back role for the Chargers and never missed a beat on his way to a monster sea- son earning him All-Area Football Player of The Year. “He rarely missed a play on offense while making some big plays when needed on de- fense,” D-C coach Ryan Weinandt said. “When- ever he was on the field, he was arguably the best player on the field.” Link’s presence went beyond running the ball. While not needed much as a punter with the ef- ficient D-C offense, Link was also the punter for the Chargers and returned kicks as well. He was the workhorse in the backfield for D- C carrying the ball 300 times. He finished with 2,190 yards and 32 touchdowns. In his career for D-C, Link and the Chargers had a 14-3 record in the playoffs winning one state title and finishing as runner-ups in Class AAA another time. D-C’s Tate Link is the 2022 All-Area Football Player of The Year. PHOTO BY BRAD SALMEN Hamberger’s skilset and leadership earn him All-Area Boys Soccer Player of The Year BY KIP KOVAR Sports Editor WATERTOWN – What a year it was for the Watertown- Mayer/Mayer Lutheran boys soccer team. Along with the team’s success, W-M’s Jonah Hamberger put together an impressive season of his own earning him All-Area Boys Soccer Player of The Year. The senior for the Royals had things working all season long. He finished with 20 goals on the year to go along with 14 assists, both team highs. On the year, he had five multi-goal games for the Roy- als. Watertown-Mayer’s Jonah Hamberger is the 2022 All-Area Boys Soccer Player of The Year. PHOTO BY KIP KOVAR Menk ’s monster season earns her All-Area Girls Soccer Player of The Year BY KIP KOVAR Sports Editor DELANO – Senior year is always a special time. For Del- ano’s Abby Menk, everything just seemed to come together at the right time. Menk had a big year for the Tigers in her final season at Delano earning her All-Area Girls Soccer Player of The Year. In 15 games this season, Menk tallied an impressive 18 goals to go along with 15 as- sists. She had six games with two or more goals this season including a four-goal perfor- mance against Rockford in a 10-0 win for the Tigers. Menk was on fire at the midpoint of the season. After her four-goal game against Rockford, she followed that up with three more goals against Park Center and scored three more the following game against Heritage Christian. Menk was a Class AA All- State selection and will contin- ue her soccer career at Colora- do State University at Pueblo. Delano’s Abby Menk is the 2022 All-Area Girls Soccer Player of The Year. PHOTO BY KIP KOVAR ALL-AREA VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR ALL-AREA SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR ALL-AREA SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR Lommel’s return to the top earns her All- Area Girls Swim & Dive Athlete of The Year BY KIP KOVAR Sports Editor DELANO – What a ride it has been for Delano’s Avery Lommel this season. From the possibility of not being able to compete to become one of the state’s top divers, Lommel’s inspirational and im- pressive season earns her All-Area Girls Swim and Dive Athlete of The Year. “She has just been on fire this season,” Delano coach Karen Shallbetter said. “Almost every meet we’ve been at she’s broken the pool record. Every meet, she just keeps getting better and better. She’s just very precise and has a great feel for the board. She’s just unstoppable.” After losing sight in one eye, Lommel hasn’t let that stop her. She worked herself back and now has become one of the top divers in the state in Class A. After setting new school and pool re- cords in almost every meet this season, Lommel secured a spot at the Class A state meet. At the Section 3A meet, she took first place for the Tigers posting a score of 417.35 in the finals. Lommel and her teammates will com- pete in the Class A state meet this week- end at the University of Minnesota. “She will definitely be in the top eight at state if not the top three,” Shallbetter said. “Potentially, we really feel like she could be the top diver in the state. She’s got that drive and talent. It’s all there. I just think she’s going to do fantastic at the end of the season.” Delano’s Avery Lommel is the 2022 All-Area Girls Swimming and Diving Athlete of The Year. PHOTO BY KIP KOVAR ALL-AREA GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING ATHLETE OF THE YEAR ��������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� � ��� �� ��� �� ����� �� ����� ����� ALL-AREA FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

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