Devils Lake Journal Athlete of the Week: Garrett Haakenson

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE - And there you have it. Another week of voting is in the books.

For the second week in a row, a Nelson County athlete took home the “Athlete of the Week” honors as running back/linebacker Garrett Haakenson compiled over 77% of the 1,800 responses recorded.

Nelson County’s dynamic offense dominated on the gridiron once more as they routed the Dunseith Dragons 57-8 on Sep. 3. Although the Chargers’ (3-0) air raid offense helped facilitate the lopsided victory, so did the Haakenson-led rushing attack. Haakenson grounded and pounded away for 60 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown during the game. 

Nelson County RB/LB Garrett Haakenson

“Garrett brings a lot of leadership and really good vision,” Chargers’ head coach Beau Snyder said. “He has been a three-year starter for us, and every year he has been successful in the ground game. This year, he probably has not gotten as many touches as he has in the past because we have that passing option available, but it has also allowed us to spread him out and be involved in the passing game. Any time Haak touches the ball, good things usually happen. He is just a solid runner…has good speed and has really good vision.”

Snyder not only trusts Haakenson in doing damage with the football but also believes in the senior's ability to succeed in both the rushing and pass-catching game. It showed Friday night against Dunseith.

Although Haakenson got the rushing attack involved in the winning effort, the ability to catch a few passes enhanced his ability to make significant plays and keep the defense guessing. During Friday’s contest against the Dragons, Haakenson collected a pair of receiving touchdowns and amassed 80 receiving yards.

“It creates a difficult scout for opposing teams,” Snyder said. “He (Haakenson) can run the ball well and he can catch the ball well. Just because we can spread him out and put him into the flat or even have him run a deep route, it does not mean we cannot forget about him because he is a good pass-catcher, too. It gives other teams a lot tougher scout against us, and it allows us to have all of those weapons and tools in our toolbox that we can go to and trust multiple kids.”

Congratulations to Haakenson, in addition to the other finalists in Lexi Telehey (Lake Region State College), Kaden Jensen (New Rockford-Sheyenne) and Morgan Freije (Langdon/Edmore/Munich).

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.