Alexandria's Kristen Hoskins in elite company as Mr. Football Award finalist in Minnesota

The award goes to the best senior football player in the state, and will be presented at the Mr. Football Banquet on Dec. 5.

The Minnesota Football Coaches Association announced the 10 finalists for the Mr. Football Award this week, and Alexandria’s Kristen Hoskins has a chance to become the Cardinals' first winner of the award that goes to the best senior football player in Minnesota.

Alexandria natives Jaran Roste (QB, 2016) and Michael Empting (QB/DB, 2017) were also finalists for the Mr. Football Award. Antonio Montero of Eden Prairie won the honor in 2017, and Wade Sullivan of Lakeville North won it in 2016.

Hoskins, who will play collegiately in the Big Ten at the University of Minnesota, helped the Cardinals to the Class 5A state tournament this season as their leading receiver. He caught 83 balls for 1,185 yards and 15 touchdowns in 11 games played, averaging 14.28 yards per catch.

Hoskins also forced opposing coaches into making tough decisions with their kicking game. There were games where teams would not kick it to him, instead settling for giving up good field position to Alexandria by kicking short squib kicks to try to keep it out of Hoskins’ hands.


He still returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, including one for 89 yards in the state quarterfinals against Robbinsdale Cooper on Nov. 13. Hoskins racked up 449 yards on 18 total kick returns. He also started playing defensive back for Alexandria late in the playoffs where he totaled 5 tackles and had an interception to seal the Section 8-5A championship win at Bemidji.

The Mr. Football Award has been presented each season since 2004 when Nick Mertens of East Grand Forks became the inaugural winner of the award. The honor is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA) and the Minnesota Vikings. Jake Ratzlaff of Rosemount was the 2020 winner.

To be considered as a finalist, a player must be a graduating senior whose head coach is a current member of the MFCA. The athlete must not have any Minnesota State High School League violations. Each player is nominated by their sub-district/MFCA representative after being selected by the coaches in each sub-district.

This year’s award winner will be announced at the Mr. Football Banquet on Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Minneapolis Park Place Hotel.

Joining Hoskins as the 10 finalists for the award are Jack Boyle (RB) of Chaska, TJ Chiabotti (RB/LB) of North Woods, Connor Develice (QB) of Andover, Eli Gillman (RB/CB/KR) of Dassel-Cokato, Ryan Haley (RB/LB) of Mankato West, Lucas Heyer (OL/DL) of Hill-Murray, Derrick Jameson Jr. (RB/KR) of Maple Grove, Emmett Johnson (RB/SS) of the Academy of Holy Angels, and Blooming Prairie’s Drew Kittelson (QB/CB).

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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