ROCHELLE — The Rochelle football program was well represented on the Interstate 8 All-Conference roster this season. Four Hubs received First-Team recognition while five more boys took home Honorable Mentions for their efforts this fall.
Seniors Charlie Jandak, Gavin Ansteth and Nick Albers each earned First-Team honors while Ethan Albers was the only Rochelle junior to make the First Team. Honorable Mentions include seniors Keegan Davis-Carter, Austin Greifenkamp, Ethan Etes, Cole Hensley and junior Noah Messer. Jandak finishes his high school career as a two-time All-Conference First Team player after bringing home the honor in the Northern Illinois Big 12 last fall.
“It’s definitely a huge honor for me,” Jandak said. “I wanted to be an All-Conference player for two years in a row and I was happy to earn All-Conference on the defensive line this year since I was only an All-Conference offensive lineman last year… I felt like I was the voice of the players and I was able to help get the message from our coaches across to the players.”
Ansteth led the Rochelle offense with 155 carries for 720 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. The senior also started at inside linebacker, recording 16 tackles and one interception. Ansteth made his mark during Rochelle’s 35-21 win against Pekin, running for 137 yards and five touchdowns. He rushed for a season-high 172 yards in the team’s victory over Plano.
“I was surprised to earn All-Conference at both running back and linebacker,” Ansteth said. “It means a lot to me and it showed that all of the hard work we put in this season paid off… I’m going to miss the pregame moments with my teammates.”
The Albers combination wreaked havoc on defense this season, combining for 67 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and six sacks. The senior Nick led Rochelle with four takeaways including two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, and he added two rushing touchdowns on offense. The junior Ethan totaled a team-leading seven tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
“I was really surprised when I found out,” Ethan said. “My parents were really surprised too and they were really happy for me. I definitely want to get faster and add more strength next season so I can push people off the ball better on offense and get more sacks on defense.”
“RTHS football was an event to remember,” Nick said. “It taught me to never quit even when things aren’t going the way we want during practice or game situations… Our coaches helped me continue working hard on the field and in the weight room.”