Six honored by New Ulm Club

NEW ULM – Six student athletes were honored at the Athletic Appreciation Banquet sponsored by the New Ulm Club Saturday at Martin Luther College.

Two student athletes from each high school were honored by the club. Judd Davis and Ellie Schneider were honored by New Ulm High School, Russ Hoffman and Karlee Pfaff were honored by New Ulm Cathedral and Chad Lease and Nicole Moldstad were honored by Minnesota Valley Lutheran.

The guest speaker was John Millea, media specialist for the Minnesota State High School League.

Millea grew up in Graettinger, Iowa, and worked as a journalist after graduating from Drake University and Arizona State. He worked as a reporter in multiple Iowa locales before getting hired on at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix.

Millea had since spent 20 years at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where he covered all four major professional sports as well as high school and college athletics.

The following is a brief summary for each of the athletes honored on Saturday:


Boy’s winner: Judd Davis

Davis earned four letters on the boy’s hockey team and will earn a fourth letter on the baseball team this spring, which will give him eight total.

In hockey, he was an All-Conference selection as a junior and senior as well as a first-team All-Section selection in 2014. For his career, he scored 57 goals, notched 66 assists and tallied 123 total points.

In his three years on varsity so far, Davis has been a two-time All-Conference selection. He has played in 55 games so far with a .302 batting average and a .933 fielding percentage.

The son of Pat and Kay Davis, Judd has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at St. Cloud State University after graduating.

Girl’s winner: Ellie Schneider

Ever since her sophomore year, Schneider has been a staple in varsity girl’s sports for all three seasons at New Ulm High School. She will finish her career with 10 total letters while maintaining a 3.9 GPA in the classroom.

In volleyball, Schneider earned three letters while accumulating 243 kills, 170 digs and 72 blocks.

She was also a three-time letterwinner in girl’s basketball as well as an All-Conference selection as a senior.

Schneider will earn her fourth letter in softball this spring. She was part of the teams that won back-to-back Class AA state titles.

Schneider will play softball at Dakota County Technical College, where she plans to major in business management after graduation. She is the daughter of Dan and Lisa Schneider.


Boy’s winner: Russ Hoffman

Hoffman will finish his career as a five-time letterwinner at New Ulm Cathedral – with three in football and two in baseball.

In football, Hoffman was a three-year starter on the offensive and defensive lines. As a senior, Hoffman was second on the team in total tackles with 75 and was an anchor on the offensive line that helped the team rush for 3,714 yards this season.

He was a key component in helping lead Cathedral to its sixth-straight Section 2A championship game.

“Russ’ contribution to our football team’s success in the past and in the future has been so valuable,” said football coach Denny Lux. “During his junior and senior year, we had a lot of new players starting varsity for the first time. His example and leadership were evident as we were able to continue with our style of football.”

In baseball, Russ started as a pitcher and first baseman. On the mound, he went 1-0 with an ERA of 3.23. He will earn his second letter this season.

“Last year, he was asked to transition from catcher to first base and pitcher and did so very nicely,” said baseball coach Bob Weier. “This is a credit to his coachability and desire to be the best player he can be.”

He is the son of Steve and Kerry Hoffman.

Girl’s winner: Karlee Pfaff

By the time she graduates, Karlee Pfaff will be an 11-time letterwinner for New Ulm Cathedral. She has four letters in basketball and softball as well as three in volleyball.

In volleyball, Pfaff played every position on the floor while totaling 188 kills, 402 digs and 605 set assists in her career.

“Karlee is a hard-working, dedicated, mature athlete that shows the desire to be a leader on and off the court,” said volleyball coach Stef Dietz. “Her positive attitude, coachability and work ethic are some of her best qualities.”

Pfaff was a four-year letterwinner on the Cathedral girl’s basketball team. She finished her career with 830 points, 303 rebounds and 106 steals.

As the starting catcher, Pfaff has been an integral part of a Cathedral softball team that has placed at state for the past three seasons. As a junior, Pfaff batted .440 with 32 RBIs. Through her three seasons, Pfaff is a .374 hitter with 71 RBIs and 56 runs scored.

“Karlee is one of those rare three-sport athletes who plays each sport with a passion,” said softball coach Bob Mertz. “It is a coach’s dream to be able to position your best athlete behind the plate.”

The daughter of Todd and Kelly Pfaff, Karlee will play softball next year at the College of St. Benedict.


Boy’s winner: Chad Lease

A three-sport athlete, Lease will finish his career at MVL with six varsity letters – two for each sport in his junior and senior seasons. He also maintained a 3.9 GPA throughout high school.

In football, Lease amassed a total of 186 tackles, six interceptions and six fumble recoveries for his career as a two-year starter at linebacker. His senior season was his best, tallying 102 tackles, three interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

“He has been very durable and never missed a game during his four years,” said football coach Jim Buboltz. “The most rewarding aspect of all of Chad’s success is that he never played a down of football before coming to high school.”

Lease was a staple on the boy’s basketball team, accumulating 714 points, 324 rebounds, 78 steals and 57 assists in his varsity career.

“Chad was the type of player who if a loose ball was rolling on the floor, you would expect to see Chad right behind – either running after it or diving to collect it for his team,” said boy’s basketball coach Craig Morgan. “After practice, Chad is one of those guys you have to kick out of the gym so you can go home at night.”

In baseball, Chad has batted .241 with 14 hits and eight stolen bases. He will earn his second varsity letter in baseball this spring.

Chad is the son of Pat and Lynn Lease. After high school, he will be going to Minnesota State University,Mankato to major in athletic training.

Girl’s winner: Nicole Moldstad

Moldstad finished her time at MVL with six varsity letters – four in soccer and two in basketball. She also maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school.

She was a four-year starter on the New Ulm girl’s co-op soccer team, for which she started 72 games while tallying 32 goals and 17 assists. She was also an All-Conference honorable mention as a sophomore and a two-time All-Conference selection as a junior and senior.

“She plays a fast-paced game, has great foot skills and ball control,” said girl’s soccer coach Jonathan Johnson. “Her knowledge of the game is tops and her shots are blistering.”

Moldstad spent two seasons as the Chargers’ point guard on the girl’s basketball team. From there, she amassed 323 points, 228 rebounds, 114 assists and 101 steals for her career.

“Probably the most important thing that Nicole provided for our team was her calm demeanor,” said girl’s basketball coach David Biedenbender. “She just never looked rattled out on the basketball court.”

She is the daughter of Jonathan and Janet Moldstad. She will play soccer next year at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato.

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