Local Sports Notebook: Nelson a record-setting QB at Winona State

Byron's Jack Nelson had a record-setting day for the Winona State football team on Saturday.

Byron's Jack Nelsonhad a record-setting day for the Winona State football team on Saturday.

The junior quarterback set two school records during a 51-30 loss to Sioux Falls, ranked No. 5 in Division II.

Nelson set all-time school marks for most touchdown passes and completions in a career. He threw his 65th touchdown pass — a 14-yard strike to Southland grad Alan May— during the contest and also went past the 500-completion mark.

Nelson finished the game with 304 yards passing and four touchdowns. This season he has completed 134 of 227 passes (59.0 percent) with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. He is averaging 315 yards passing per game for the 3-3 Warriors.

Nelson currently has passed for 7,448 yards with 66 touchdowns in his career at WSU.


May leads the team in receiving with 39 catches. He is averaging 14.8 yards per game and has caught five TD passes.

Winona features a number of other area players on its squad. Included are Cannon Falls' Spencer O'Reilly(senior, quarterback), Lake City's Elliot Cox(freshman, running back), Caledonia's Travis Frank(junior, linebacker), Harmony's Zach Olstad(junior, running back), Chatfield's Tyler Lund(junior, offensive lineman) and Rushford-Peterson's Cale Stensgard(freshman, defensive end).

Rochester's Isaiah Minnich(offensive lineman), Blooming Prairie's John Rumpza(quarterback) and Grand Meadow's Landon Jacobson(running back) are all redshirt freshman this season.

Cox is second on the team with 153 yards rushing (5.1) average. Frank, who played two years at RCTC, has appeared in all six games and has five tackles, an interception and one forced fumble.


St. John's University senior linebacker Drake Matuska, a Kasson-Mantorville grad, is one of the 135 semifinalists for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by Fidelity Investments. And he is now a candidate for the 2015 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame National Scholar-Athlete Awards.

Matuska is one of three football student-athletes from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to be honored by the NFF.

The award recognizes an individual as the top football scholar-athlete in the nation, and up to 16 of the candidates will be named recipients of a prestigious NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award. The program awards an $18,000 scholarship that can be used for the honorees' postgraduate education. This year's recipients will be announced Oct. 29.


Candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade-point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.

A Capital One Academic All-District and Academic All-MIAC honoree (minimum 3.50 GPA) in 2013, Matuska volunteered at Country Manor nursing home in Sartell during the 2014-15 academic year and is doing so again this year. He also helped out with the team's annual "Tackle Cancer" game and works as an anatomy and physiology teaching assistant and a security officer at the College of Saint Benedict.

A biology major (pre-medicine emphasis) with a 3.56 GPA, Matuska intends to attend medical school following graduation from St. John's in May. This past summer he studied abroad in Spain in May and interned for a general practitioner in June and July.


The Minnesota Vikings had their bye week this past weekend and Rochester's Marcus Sherelsreturned to the the city to spend some of his time off.

Sherels is in his fifth full-time season with the Vikings as the team's main punt returner and a backup defensive back. Sherels has averaged 10.3 yards on nine returns this season, which is close to his career average. He is also the gunner, defending on punt returns and the Vikings have allowed a mere nine yards on five punt returns this year (0.8 average).

Part of Sherels' time in Rochester was spent promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some of his friends have a "MS35" line of T-shirts for Sherels. The shirts can be ordered in pink this month to support cancer research with proceeds going to charity. For more information, or to order a T-shirt, contact Tim Nelaat 261-6604.

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