Hansana under center for 11-man East teamGrafton High School football coach Tom Maus said he likes the thought of moving the ball through the air today at the North Dakota Shrine Bowl. Those words are music to Josh Hansana’s ears.
By: By Glenn Pursley, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
MAYVILLE, N.D. — Grafton High School football coach Tom Maus said he likes the thought of moving the ball through the air today at the North Dakota Shrine Bowl. Those words are music to Josh Hansana’s ears.
Hansana, an all-state quarterback from Milnor-North Sargent, will be taking the snaps at quarterback for the 11-man East team in the 39th annual Shrine Bowl on Saturday at Fargo Shanley’s Sid Cichy Field. And he’ll be slinging the ball toward one of last year’s top Class 3A receiver in Jon Baune of Fargo South.
“They’ve been looking really good,” said Maus, who is coaching the 11-man East squad. “I know in practice our secondary has a tough time stopping him, so hopefully they can keep that connection going through the game”
Hansana’s career ended with a great senior year. He completed 95 passes for 1,594 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for 863 yards on 111 carries for 14 scores. He led the Bulldogs to a 6-4 record and a second-round berth in the state playoffs. A 28-14 loss to Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock in the Class 1A state quarterfinal ended his high school career.
“It feels pretty great,” said Hansana, who is headed to North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. “It’s fun getting together with the guys and getting to know each other and play as one team. During the season when you play you don’t really talk to them, but once you get together at an all-star game, you get to know them great and play really well together.”
Baune was the 2011 Eastern Dakota Conference top receiver last season, hauling in 627 yards off 37 receptions for Fargo South, four of which were for touchdowns.
“It’s an honor to be named a top player in the EDC and the state,” Baune said. “It’s fun to play with all these great athletes. It’s crazy how many there are in North Dakota.”
The Shrine Bowl is split up into 9-man and 11-man divisions, with players that were nominated by coaches and selected to play by the Shrine committee. It is made up of 120 athletes from North Dakota and 12 from northwestern Minnesota.
Shutting down the all-star pair, especially Hansana, will likely be a high priority for the West if it hopes to redeem itself after last year’s 39-0 loss.
“(Hansana) picked up the offense really well and has been a pretty good leader,” Maus said. “He throws a really nice ball, runs well and has a good arm. Hopefully he uses his arm and legs on Saturday.”
Baune has chosen to play football for Concordia this coming fall to peruse exercise science and one day coach football. After receiving scholarship offers from many Division II colleges, he decided to keep true to the family legacy and follow in his brother Brett Baune’s footsteps.
“My entire family went to Concordia … my dad, both my brothers,” Baune said. “One of my older brothers Brett is playing fullback at Concordia, so hopefully I’ll make in on the field next year, I’m excited.”
Pursley is a sports writer for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead