This fall, Canaan Fagerland set a Shiloh Christian school record for most yards rushing in a single season.
Austin Hartman helped him accomplish that feat.
Fagerland, a junior running back, rushed for 1,858 yards, while Hartman, a senior guard, anchored a solid offensive line.
Their efforts helped the Skyhawks to the 9-man state championship game and caught the attention of the state's 9-man coaches, who voted to have them placed on the 2017 all-state first team. Senior defensive end Bartholomew Ogbu is also a first-team selection. Fagerland and Ogbu were second-team picks in 2016.
Fagerland, who rushed for more than 100 yards in each of Shiloh's five postseason games, scored 24 touchdowns rushing and also caught 18 passes for 380 yards and four scores. He has more than 3,000 yards rushing and 700 receiving in his high school career.
"Canaan has one year left but he's already had a tremendous career for us," said Shiloh Christian coach Funnon Barker, whose team went 11-2. "He works very hard and he's so competitive. He's one of those guys who refuses to lose, and that's the attitude he takes to the football field, the basketball court and the baseball diamond. You always know that he's going to give you everything he has."
Fagerland, a linebacker, also excelled on defense, leading the Skyhawks with 64 tackles and three interceptions.
Hartman, a first-time all-state selection, was a three-year starter for the Skyhawks.
"Austin was a great leader for us and a big, big reason why we had so much success running the football," Barker said. "He was a great teacher, too. He helped other linemen learn and play their position. They knew they could go to him to get answers."
Ogbu, a Nigerian native who only started playing football his sophomore year, recorded 62 tackles, including 21 for a loss. Next stop: North Dakota State University.
"Bartholomew was a real game-changer the past couple of years," Barker said. "He was the one opposing coaches knew they had to scheme against. Teams ran away from him, and they usually had to double- or triple-team him in passing situations, which freed up other kids to make plays. He made so many big plays for us ... momentum-changing plays."
Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter has two first-team picks - junior quarterback Jamison Fettig and junior running back Nathan Weigel.
Fettig, a second-team all-state wide receiver last year, took over the starting quarterback duties this fall and led the Imperials to a 9-1 record and the 9-man quarterfinals. He connected on 51 of 98 passes for 850 yards and 14 touchdowns, and carried 147 times for 1,030 yards and seven scores.
"We needed a starting quarterback this year and we put our best athlete at that position. It worked out well for us," said Napoleon-GS coach Kelly McCleary. "What he did this season said a lot about his ability. He made plays with his arm and with his legs."
Weigel rushed for 1,755 yards and 22 touchdowns on 236 carries. He also had three touchdowns passing and two receiving.
"We had high expectations for Nathan and he came through with a big year," McCleary said. "He's a very explosive back who also runs with power. What's really exciting is both he and Jamison will be back next year."
Napoleon-GS lineman Tyler Long, another junior, was named to the second team.
New Salem-Almont-Glen Ullin quarterback Evan Henke earned first-team honors after leading the Holsteins to the Region 5 championship and the 9-man semifinals. The junior completed 96 of 185 passes for 2,036 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also rushed for 525 yards and 11 six-pointers.
A three-year starter, Henke has thrown for more than 5,000 yards.
"For Evan, it comes down to preparation. He's a very good athlete but he does so much work getting ready for games," said New Salem-AGU coach Steve Kleinjan, whose team won 10 of 11 games in 2017. "He takes pride in the fact that he has an opportunity to be a leader. In order for the team to be successful, he knows he has to be successful. We're excited to have him back next year."
Henke, a second-team selection in 2016, was also a force at linebacker, making 64 tackles -- 23.5 for a loss.
The Holsteins also have two second-team picks - senior running back-linebacker Brandon Schroeder and junior wide receiver Garret Soupir. Schroeder led the Holsteins with 70 tackles -- 19 for a loss. On offense, he rushed for 636 yards and six touchdowns, and caught 16 passes for 390 markers. Soupir had a team-high 40 receptions for 826 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Senior defensive lineman Lance Weiser of Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock and senior linebacker Josh Wallace of Mott-Regent-New England garnered first-team honors on defense.
Weiser led the Lions (7-2) with 89 tackles, including 12 for a loss. He also sacked the quarterback three times and recovered four fumbles.
"Lance was an imposing force on both sides of the ball, and the type of influential player that made teammates around him elevate their level of play," said Linton-HMB coach Paul Keeney. "He was a hard worker who approached practices and games with great effort, enthusiasm and a positive attitude. After experiencing a season-ending injury last year in our very first game, and injuries earlier in his high school career, he was a person who never took a day wearing his football pads for granted."
Two other Linton-HMB players are on the second team -- junior quarterback Cole Baumiller and senior tight end Jack McCrory. Baumiller completed 116 of 205 passes for 1,830 yards and 20 touchdowns. McCrory, Baumiller's favorite target, had 38 receptions for 729 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Wallace, a second-team selection last year, had a team-high 75 tackles for the Wildfire this season, raising his career total to 318.
"Josh was a starter since his eighth-grade year and our defensive leader the last three years. He's very deserving of this honor," said Mott-Regent-New England coach Ron Benson. "He had a motor that didn't quit. In every practice and in every game, he always gave 100 percent. It was a real treat to coach him."
Wallace was also a standout on offense, playing running back and quarterback. He racked up more than 8,000 all-purpose yards, including 5,411 rushing and 2,241 passing.
"Josh had an outstanding career here on both sides of the ball," Benson said. "What a player."
Other second-team picks include senior quarterback Josiah Orluck of Beach and senior running back Isaiah Kludt of Hettinger-Scranton.