Owatonna High School senior Sam Henson was named First-Team All-State at a weekend banquet. Henson was a captain for the Huskies, who went 6-6-4 on the season and lost a close battle 2-1 to Lakeville South in the Section 1AA playoffs. The Huskies compiled a 4-2-1 record through a tough stretch toward the end of the regular season.

Longtime coach Bob Waypa said the seniors took on a great leadership role for a young team, "I tip my hat to the seniors. They had to do a lot more than seniors typically will do. Not only continue to develop their game, but also the development of the next players, the next generation of players. Their focus was not only on this season, but to continue the success of Owatonna soccer."

Waypa said the returning group of seniors went over and above the call of duty, "They really went out of their way. If they had to come early or stay late, just to talk to guys and show them at practice what it means to be a top varsity player." Henson handled most of the goal kicks for the Huskies this fall.

Henson also recently was recognized as one of the top special teams football players in Minnesota as a kicker for the top-rated Huskies. He is 35-of-37 on extra point tries this season and 5-for-5 on field goals. Henson kicked two field goals during Owatonna's season-ending 54-7 win over Rochester John Marshall.

On Saturday's KRFO High School Coaches Show, coach Jeff Williams also commented on Henson's ability to put each kick off deep last Wednesday, "What's great is our ability to score and then have Sam kick it into the end zone. Or have Sam kick it down to the one-yard line which forced them to return it and our coverage was great...That is a huge, huge weapon to force a team that has just been scored upon to now go 80 yards plus for their touchdown against our defense. That's an underrated part of what we are trying to accomplish."

Owatonna opens the football playoffs Saturday, October 26 in the Section 1-5A semifinals. The Huskies are the two-time defending state champions.



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