Opposing Class AAA offenses knew blocking Tanner Gust would be key to moving the ball against Minot High's defense this season
Despite that gameplan, the Magicians' defensive end made his plays. Gust was the team's second-leading tackler and his play was rewarded with a second consecutive all-state selection.
"He has been one of our leaders on the defensive side," MHS coach Barry Holmen said. "I thought one of our strengths this year was our guys up front on the defensive side. That charge is certainly led by Tanner. He's certainly recognized by other coaches as someone they need to be aware of and scheme around."
Gust's season came with a couple of inherited roles. In past years, Gust had played fullback. In an effort to get him on the field more, Holmen moved Gust to the offensive line. On defense, Gust saw some time at linebacker after two-time all-state junior Kolton Larson suffered a season-ending lisfranc injury in the team's second game.
Gust fought through those adjustments and was recognized for his contributions.
"I definitely believe this year was a lot tougher than last year but it all came together," Gust said. "I feel like that everybody can (make all-state) once. Repeat bids are huge."
Joining Gust on the first team is junior quarterback Alex Yanosko. Yanosko ran for 14 touchdowns in his team's final nine games to help lead the Magicians to the West Region's No. 3 seed.
"It's probably my highest accomplishment I've gotten so far," Yanosko said. "It means a lot to me to be recognized as one of the best in the state."
Said Holmen: "In my mind, he is about as athletic a kid as we've had here in several years. Alex is truly one that a defense will have to make sure (they) contain this guy as a runner. He has the ability to throw the ball around, too."
Joining Yanosko and Gust on the all-state team are tailback Brady Lampert and kicker Ben Love, both juniors, and sophomore linebacker Zach Danelson. The latter three made the second team.
For a complete list of all-state performers, see page D2.