The 2012 All-BCR Football Team was well-armed to take the gridiron. Here’s a review of this year’s top talent.
Taggert Venegas (St. Bede): Going into the season, coach John Bellino said he didn’t know what he’d get out of his junior quarterback, but Taggert Venegas delivered. The First Team Big Rivers pick was steady behind center, completing 64 of 141 attempts for 1,041 yards and 10 TDs, both highs among area QBs.
Landon Piccatto (Hall): The 5-10, 170-pound senior speedster and First Team Big Rivers All-Conference pick, racked up 956 yards rushing on 136 attempts (5.3 ypc) with 12 touchdowns, leading all area running backs in both categories. Piccatto got into high gear with 344 yards and four touchdowns against Kewanee.
Bobby Morrow (St. Bede): The Big Rivers First Team running back was a go-to guy on offense for the Bruins, racking up 782 yards with 10 touchdowns rushing and 200 yards receiving with four TDs and 15 receptions.
Parker Neuhalfen (Bureau Valley): The Storm sophomore moved to the varsity full time after Week 2 and proved to be a triple threat with 339 yards and three touchdowns rushing, 14 catches, 223 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns. While he spent most of the season at running back, Neuhalfen’s future will be at quarterback where he took over late in the year.
Josh Kieffer (Princeton): The Tigers’ leading ground gainer (413 yards, 3 TDs) opened the season with a bang with 181 yards with two touchdowns rushing and another receiving. A two-way starter at running back and linebacker, Kieffer was the lone Tiger to receive First Team West Central All-Conference selection.
Brandon Pietrowski (St. Bede): The Bruins had a formidable right side of the offensive line and the 6-foot, 200-pound senior tackle was a big part of it. He was recognized by coaches around the Big Rivers as a First Team All-Conference selection.
Joe Pyszka (St. Bede): Another integral cog of the Bruins’ right side of the offensive line, the 6-foot-6, 260-pound senior tackle was selected as First Team Big Rivers as a All-Conference choice.
Michael Slingsby (St. Bede): The man in the middle for the Bruins “O” line, the 6-foot, 305-pound junior tackle center earned Second Team Big Rivers All-Conference honors.
Seth Sprouse (Prince-ton): Undersized perhaps, the 5-9, 185-pound senior played big at center for the Tigers on offense and nose guard and linebacker on defense. He received Honorable Mention West Central Conference honors.
Nathan Tonozzi (Hall): Capable of playing anywhere on the field, Hall coach Randy Tieman said the 5-10, 210-pound junior settled in at center for the Hall Hog Soldiers. He received Honorable Mention Big Rivers Conference honors.
Michael Bellino (St. Bede): The 6-foot, 230-pound junior end earned his keep on the Bruins’ offensive line as a solid blocker, one so recognized to earn First Team Big Rivers All-Conference honors.
Brad Groleau (St. Bede): With Bellino handling the blocking responsibilities on the end, Groleau was the top target in the Bruins’ passing attack with 24 receptions, 392 yards and three touchdowns. He earned First Team Big Rivers All-Conference selection.
Jordan Monier (Bureau Valley): The Storm’s top receiver with 10 receptions for 215 yards and one touchdown, BV coach Jeff Ohlson said he sacrificed stats as a solid blocker and team leader. He was a First Team Big Rivers All-Conference selection.
Austin Schwab (St. Bede): Another double-duty stalwart, the 5-9, 185-pound senior was a First Team Big Rivers All-Conference selection on the D line and second team at running back. He rushed for 626 yards.
Taylor Steele (Hall): A man on the move, Steele switched from nose guard to defensive end and played well enough to be named as Second Team Big Rivers All-Conference selection. The 6-3, 190-pound senior also made the switch on offense from tight end to guard.
Josh Lewis (Bureau Valley): A tackle/end talent, Lewis was the Storm’s leading tackler (90, 1 sack), making them from sideline to sideline. The 6-2, 255-pound senior received Second Team Big Rivers All-Conference honors.
Michael Bellino (St. Bede): The 6-foot, 230-pound junior was a force opposing ball carrier tried to avoid lining up against the Bruins. He pulled down First Team Big Rivers All-Conference honors at linebacker as well as offensive end.
Nick Catton (Bureau Valley): BV coach Jeff Ohlson said Catton was his best defensive player and made the calls on Friday nights. He led the area with 128 tackles. The 6-1, 190-pound senior received Honorable Big Rivers All-Conference honors at both linebacker and offensive line.
Will Harmon (Princeton): The Tigers top tackler with 101 takedowns, Harmon played big at linebacker for PHS. He received Honorable Mention West Central Conference honors.
Kristian Konneck (Bureau Valley): The outside linebacker made it difficult for opposing teams to run on the edges against the Storm. He made 87 tackles with a team-high six sacks. Konneck also received Honorable Big Rivers All-Conference honors.
Brandon Pietrowski (St. Bede): If opposing ball carriers didn’t run into Michael Bellino, they soon met up with the 6-foot, 210-pound Pietrowski. He received Second Team Big Rivers All-Conference honors at linebacker to go with his first team selection at offensive line.
Brian Lange (Bureau Valley): Simply put, BV coach Jeff Ohlson said the Storm would have been in trouble without Lange in the defensive backfield, calling him “my most valuable all-around player.” A three-year starter at corner, received Second Team Big Rivers All-Conference selection, making 73 tackles with three interceptions.
Bobby Morrow (St. Bede): The co-Player of the Year plays two-ways on the All-BCR Team as one of the defensive leaders for the Bruins. He was also a First Team Big Rivers All-Conference selection on this side of the ball.
Jordan Monier (Bureau Valley): Another two-way man, the Storm senior stepped up from honorable mention from his junior season to garner Second Team Big Rivers All-Conference selection this year.
Landon Piccatto (Hall): Speed kills when it comes to returns, and no one used it more effectively than the 5-10, 170-pound senior. Like at running back, he was named as a First Team Big Rivers All-Conference pick for returns.
Bureau Valley — Justin Buckman, Frank Gebeck, Tommy Johnston, Cody Mattingly, Josh Mead, Jake Smith.
Hall — Brett Fanning
Princeton — Matt Hayes, Zach Stroud.
St. Bede — Damin Smith, Brendan Zimmerman.
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