After losing its first game of the season, Hillsboro-Central Valley went on an 11-game winning streak before falling to Kindred in the state championship game.
The Burros' impressive season can be seen by the large representation on the North Dakota 11B all-state team, which was released Tuesday by the North Dakota High School Coaches Association.
The Burros landed five players on the all-state team, including four first-team picks. Senior Jace Leshuk was a first-team selection at running back, senior Barrett Willison was a first-team pick on the offensive line. Senior Jack Paulsrud was a first-team pick at linebacker, while senior Parker Gallagher was a first-team choice at defensive back.
Junior Jake Swanson, a nose guard, was a second-team selection for the Burros.
Leshuk ran 121 times this season for 1,070 yards and 18 touchdowns. On defense, he had 70.5 tackles and 10.0 tackles for loss.
Willison, who was an all-state choice last season on defense, led the way for Leshuk and the triple option attack of the Burros. On defense, he had 39.5 tackles and 8.0 tackles for loss.
Paulsrud finished with a team-high 85 tackles for the Burros, who ended the year with four shutouts on the season. Paulsrud also had 11.0 tackles for loss.
Gallagher, who is a repeat choice as a first-team all-state pick at defensive back, finished the season with nine interceptions. On offense, the wide receiver caught 14 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns.
Swanson, who missed last season as a transfer from Thompson, broke out to record 31 tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss.
Other area selections
Carter Tetrault, Langdon-Edmore-Munich: The 5-foot-10 junior was a first-team selection at running back after finishing as a second-team all-state choice a year ago. Tetrault was productive in both rushing and receiving. He had 179 carries for 1,151 yards and 13 touchdowns, as well as 53 catches for 634 yards and six scores. He also had one interception and a kickoff returned for a touchdown.
Jack Romfo, Langdon-Edmore-Munich: The 6-foot-2 junior was a first-team pick on the defensive line for the second year in a row. Romfo had 25 solo tackles, 43 assisted tackles, 7.0 sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss.
Esgar Rios, Grafton: The senior is a remarkable four-time all-state selection. He was named as a first-team all-state linebacker this fall, where he finished with 103 tackles, 10.0 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and two interceptions. On offense, the running back had 156 carries for 935 yards and 10 touchdowns. In the passing game, he added 21 catches for 191 yards and two scores.
Marcus Kingzett, Langdon-Edmore-Munich: The 5-11 junior was a major contributor as a wide receiver and cornerback, landing on the all-state second team.
Josh Yon, Thompson: The 6-2, 205-pound senior was a second-team choice. On the defensive line, Yon finished the year with 95 tackles and 13.0 tackles for loss.
Jake Starcevic, Thompson: The 6-2, 190-pound freshman made an impact all over the field. He had 48 carries for 198 yards and three touchdowns. In the passing game, he had 44 catches for 657 yards and eight touchdowns. On defense, he had 71 tackles including 11.0 for loss. He also had two interceptions.
First team offense
QB -- Quaid Lardy, Bowman County; Isaac Friese, Harvey-Wells County; Max McQuillan, Kindred; RB -- Owen Wiersma, Central Cass; Caleb Rist, Des Lacs-Burlington; Jace Leshuk, Hillsboro-Central Valley; Carter Tetrault, Langdon-Edmore-Munich; WR -- Jake Deutsch, Central Cass; Madden Thorson, Harvey-Wells County; Clay Heimer, Bowman County; OL -- Armani Smith, Beulah; Jack Packer, Kindred; Barrett Willison, Hillsboro-Central Valley; Kaden Chadwick, Velva-Garrison
First team defense
DL -- Caleb Olson, Lisbon; Jack Romfo, Langdon-Edmore-Munich; Mitch Heinart, Nedrose; Mace Stuber, Bowman County; LB -- Trey Heinrich, Kindred; Jack Paulsrud, Hillsboro-Central Valley; Esgar Rios, Grafton; Trapper Skalsky, Beulah; DB -- Parker Gallagher, Hillsboro-Central Valley; Michael Fagerland, Bismarck Shiloh Christian; Zach Hendrickson, Minot Bishop Ryan
Dean Vetter, Linton-H-M-B; Riley Sunram, Kindred; Avery McFarland, Sargent County; David Schmitz, Oakes; Boeden Greenley, Lisbon; Tyler Cruchet, Central Cass; Kade McKinnon, Central Cass; Carsen Mertz, Harvey-Wells County; Alex Erickson, Harvey-Wells County; Marcus Kingzett, Langdon-Edmore-Munich; Jake Swanson, Hillsboro-Central Valley; Michael Clifton, Carrington; Josh Yon, Thompson; Jake Starcevic, Thompson; Josh Will, Minot Bishop Ryan; Cam Bailey, Nedrose; Chance Mickelson, Des Lacs-Burlington; Hank Bodin, Velva-Garrison; Coy Okeson, Minot Bishop Ryan; Brenden Hedges, Des Lacs-Burlington; Adin Jungers, Hazen; Carson Massey, Bowman County; Tayton Vondra, Beulah; Holden Duffield, Bowman County; Joey Dessir, Shiloh Christian; Grant Kees, Bowman County
Outstanding Senior Athlete of the Year -- Madden Thorson, Harvey-Wells County
Coach of the Year -- Nick Walker, Bowman County