A trio of local football players and teams garnered state-wide recognition for their work off the field this season when the Minnesota Football Coaches Association announced its academic all-state awards.
In Faribault, Bethlehem Academy notched a silver all-academic award for finishing the year with a team GPA between 3.0 and 3.25, while senior captain Elliot Smith was one of 14 players placed on the Class A individual academic all-state team.
“Elliot’s ability to balance academics, athletics and numerous other activities is a testament to the drive and determination of this outstanding young man,” BA football coach Jim Beckmann said. “He is very well respected by his teammates and coaches and is highly deserving of recognition for his football, academic and community achievements.”
Joining Smith on the Class A individual academic all-state team was Blooming Prairie senior Luke Larkoski, while Medford senior Josiah Hedensten was selected for the Class AA individual academic all-state team.
As a team, Medford also picked up a silver all-academic award. In Class 5A, meanwhile, the Owatonna football team earned a gold all-academic award for finishing with a team GPA between 3.26 and 4.0.
The Huskies were one of six Class 5A schools to be recognized with a gold award, along with Alexandria, Northfield, Mankato West, Rochester Century and Waconia.