DEFENSE (players are seniors UNLESS NOTED)


Nate Becker, Maple Grove, 6-5, 250: Displayed his football passion through relentless play. Led a Crimson defense that didn't allow more than 14 points in a game with 45 tackles, including 14 for loss.

Deven Eastern, Shakopee, 6-6, 285: Constantly double- and triple-teamed but used quickness and strength to still record 42 tackles, 10 for loss and four sacks as a strong side end. Committed to the Gophers.

Josh Franklin, Fridley, 6-1, 220: A primary reason the Tigers finished No. 1 in the final Class 4A Associated Press poll. Franklin ravaged offenses with 32 tackles, 16 for loss, and five sacks.

Garrison Solliday, St. Thomas Academy, 6-1, 233: A repeat first-team selection, he registered 56 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks for the Cadets (6-0), ranked No. 2 in Class 5A in the final Associated Press poll.


RJ Chakolis, Hopkins, 5-10, 210: Drew raves as a two-way playmaker. Second-year team captain did his best work on defense, finishing with 78 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one recovery.

Nyle Dickel, Washburn, 6-3, 220: Tied for second in the state with 109 tackles. Opposing teams appreciated his old-school, physical style. A turbocharged motor and keen football sense kept him around the football.

Nick Flaskamp, Southwest, 5-11, 205: A tackling machine tied for second in the state with 109 stops. An aggressive, hard-hitting workhorse also excelled at running back.

Eli Mau, Chanhassen, 6-2, 225: Storm coach Cullen Nelson hailed Mau as "the best player I have coached in 19 years. He was the best player on the field every game we played." Set the tone in all three phases of the game.


Tyee Leske, Eden Prairie, 6-2, 195: Diagnosed plays and tackled with authority. As a safety, he took away opposition hopes for explosive plays. Big reason the Eagles allowed a paltry 6.9 points per game.

Ben North, East Ridge, 6-1, 205: East Ridge coach Dan Fritze considers North the program's finest all-around player to date. Dominated as a safety on a defense that carried the load for the Raptors much of the season.

Jake Ratzlaff, Rosemount, 6-3, 220: Linchpin of Class 6A's stingiest defense. The Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year led his team in tackles, interceptions, defensive touchdowns and interceptions.

Joey Sorenson, Spring Lake Park, 5-8, 160: Heart and soul of a defense that posted more shutouts (five) than touchdowns allowed (four). Rang up 80 tackles and six interceptions.


Noah Kiani, Irondale, 5-11, 150: Finished 12-for-12 on point-after kicks and made all four field-goal attempts. Coach Ben Fuller called him the "most consistent and clutch kicker I have ever coached or coached against."

David La Vaque