Finalists announced for 17th Annual Rochester Sports Banquet

[anvplayer video=”5151746″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – The finalists for the 2022 Rochester Sports Banquet have been named with the winners announced at the 17th annual awards ceremony on Monday, January 16.

Ben Leber, former Minnesota Vikings linebacker who spent 10 years in the NFL, playing for the San Diego Chargers (’02-’05), Minnesota Vikings (’06-’10), and St. Louis Rams (2011) will be the guest-speaker at the banquet. Leber currently works in the Minneapolis/St. Paul media market as a radio and television personality.

Five finalists in each of five categories were selected by a panel of Rochester media representatives and area sports experts. The 25 finalists represent a wide variety of sports. Two others will also be honored along with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Banquet tickets are now available for $50 each as well as business tables for $500 and can be purchased by calling the Rochester Sports office at 507-280-4701 or online at

Here are more details on the finalists: 

Team of the Year

  • Century girls track
  • Chatfield softball
  • Hayfield boys basketball
  • Rochester Lourdes girls tennis
  • Chatfield football

Coach of the Year

  • Jerry Chase, Chatfield softball
  • Charro Coleman, Byron gymnastics, and girls track and field
  • Chris Mensink, Fillmore Central football
  • Tage Puetz, St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura girls soccer
  • Ben Maes, Rochester Lourdes girls tennis.

Female Athlete of the Year

  • Claire Springer, Chatfield softball
  • Hannah Hanson, Mayo volleyball, basketball, track
  • Lilly Meister, John Marshall basketball
  • Anika Reiland, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostander/Kingsland track
  • Rylee Nelson, Zumbrota-Mazeppa volleyball

Male Athlete of the Year

  • Noah Billings, Rochester Nordic ski team, mountain bike team, triathlete
  • Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville wrestling
  • Gavin Gust, Dover-Eyota wrestling
  • Jarod White, Pine Island track and field, football
  • Joe Sperry, Rochester Lourdes baseball

Adaptive Athlete/Team of the Year

  • ZED Zorros, bowling
  • Tyler Gunnarson, track and field
  • Rochester Raiders adapted floor hockey
  • Goodhue County, ASD bowling
  • Will Adamson, Rochester Raiders adapted floor hockey

In addition to these awards there will be awards handed out to a Post-High School Male and Female Athlete of the Year as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award.

A sports-focused silent auction benefiting the Rochester Sports Foundation will be held prior to dinner.