Devils Lake Journal Athlete of the Week: Cade Stein

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE - The ballots are in, and the results are official. 

Nelson County’s very own Cade Stein took home the honor of being Devils Lake Daily Journal's Athlete of the Week after compiling over 70% of the 4,510 responses recorded. 

Nelson County QB Cade Stein

A brief glimpse at the box score would have given you a solidified idea as to why he was a nomination in the first place. During Friday’s home contest against the TGU Titans, the Chargers (2-0) scored 40 points in what amounted to a 40-8 rout. The 32-point margin of victory was Nelson County’s largest since they matched the total on Sep. 5, 2020 (54-22 against Benson County). 

Leading the offense was the signal-caller in Stein, who amassed six touchdowns on 303 yards of offense. Not only did the senior put together an MVP-caliber performance, but additionally did it in only his second game ever at quarterback. In his first game, Stein only collected one touchdown in a 14-8 win over St. John on Aug. 20. 

“I think it was probably confidence,” Nelson County Head Coach Beau Snyder said. “Last week was the first game he has ever played at quarterback. He is a senior, and it is his first year playing quarterback as a senior…last week, there were jitters, and the confidence came out this week. He is a kid who does not like to make mistakes. He is a big competitor, and he is always looking for ways to make the big play. He is not afraid to have a football in his hands when we need that big play.” 

Stein was eager to play after a knee injury sidelined the former running back for the entire 2020 campaign. Although he might not have been fully accustomed to the role initially, Stein has started to show his true colors on the gridiron as he looks to close out his high school career with a bang. 

From Snyder’s perspective, Stein’s ability to open up the field with the deep dime allows the offense to be much more lethal in scoring points at will. During Friday’s contest against TGU, four of Stein’s six touchdowns came from 20 yards or longer (20, 22, 28 and 53). 

“For us to be able to have that threat of the deep ball as well as the short passing game, along with the running attack, it is huge,” Snyder said. “It makes us much more dynamic, and Cade can do it all. He can throw that deep ball, and he can connect on short routes. He has very good vision of the field and sees the guys to get it to. He studies film. He can run, too.”

Congratulations to Stein, in addition to the other finalists in Zach Gibson (Nelson County), Dane Hagler (North Star/Starkweather) and Danielle Hagler (North Star/Starkweather). 

The Devils Lake Journal hosts its “Athlete of the Week” contest weekly. The athletes nominated and/or given the award are based on the athlete’s performance from the prior week. Ballot nominations are submitted from Saturday morning to Monday at 10:00 a.m. Finalist voting starts Monday at noon and ends Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. CT. 

The following programs can nominate an athlete for the honor: Devils Lake, Four Winds/Minnewaukan, North Star/Starkweather, Langdon/Edmore/Munich, Benson County, Nelson County, Dakota Prairie, Lakota, New Rockford-Sheyenne and Lake Region State College. Nominations will vary depending on the time of the season. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter for the release of the weekly ballot.