Nine Knights earn Midwest Blue Sub-District honors

The West Central Area-Ashby football team went 5-2 overall this season, and did so with its nine Midwest Blue award winners.

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Jaden Norby braces for contact from a Crookston defender during his first touchdown run to tie the game 6-6. The West Central Area-Ashby Knights beat the Pirates 24-6 on Friday night in their home opener. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

For several reasons, the West Central Area-Ashby football team will never forget the 2020 football season. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, the Knights managed to take home the top seed in Section 6AA and had nine players earn Midwest Blue Sub-District honors after winning the league with a 3-0 record.

The Midwest Blue Sub-District awarded Jaden Norby with the Player of the Year honor following the 2020 season. He also took home specialist of the year during the seven-game campaign. He piled up 481 yards on the ground on 84 carries. He found the back of the end zone 10 times while averaging 5.7 yards per rushing attempt.

Not only was Norby a force on the offensive side of the ball, but was just as impactful on defense. He made a team-leading 40 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss.

Joining Norby out of the Knights' successful backfield was the Offensive Back of the Year. Sophomore Anthony Sykora ran for 772 yards and eight touchdowns on 111 carries. He also caught eight passes for 59 yards. Sykora was the Knight’s leading rusher on the season.

Jordan Lohse took home the sub-district Defensive Back of the Year Award. He made 26 tackles and was tied for the team lead in takeaways. His two interceptions led all Knights on the season.


Norby, Sykora and Lohse all made the sub-district first team, along with Shane Wrolson, Connor Nadgwick and Tate Christenson. The latter three combined for 24 total tackles on the year. Christenson made eight catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns out of the tight end position on offense. Hunter Norby, Tyler Stone and Brady Reeve were honorable mentions.

While WCA-Ashby impressed on the field, they showed they’re willing to make the same effort in the classroom. Reeve, Jaden Norby, Wrolson, Christenson, Nadgwick, Colton Lindquist, Evan Paulson and Sam Heeter made the all-academic team.

Staples-Motley, Pillager, Ottertail County and WCA-Ashby all represent the Midwest Blue Sub-District, and only one coach went 3-0. Nate Wood led the Knights to an undefeated district record, which earned him the sub-district Coach of the Year Award.

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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