Oskaloosa–Paced by six individuals on the first team, the Statesmen football program was rewarded handsomely as the 2015 all-Heart of America Athletic Conference North Division teams were announced Wednesday.
A total of 15 members of the navy and gold were honored, including six on the first team, six on the second squad, and three on the honorable-mention list. Seven players collected their first recognition.
WPU Offensive Coordinator Chris Stutzriem also took home honors by being named Heart North Assistant Coach of the Year. Grand View claimed the rest of the top accolades as quarterback Derek Fulton was named North Offensive Player of the Year, lineman Mike Erpelding was Defensive POY, and Mike Woodley was Coach of the Year.
Stutzriem guided the Statesmen (7-4, 3-2 North) to one of the program’s best offensive campaigns ever, including leading the NAIA with 352.2 rushing yards per game.
(Note: Any previous honors by William Penn athletes came in its time in the MSFA Midwest League)
Despite playing in the run-oriented offensive scheme, wide receiver Jatavius Stewart (Sr., Rock Hill, S.C., Biology) had a superb year. The now two-time first-teamer, Stewart caught 28 passes for 660 yards and nine touchdowns–all team highs. He was once named a Heart Offensive Player of the Week.
Senior offensive linemen Hea Tuifua (Salt Lake City, Utah, Industrial Technology) and J.T. Dotson (Jenks, Okla., Business Management) headlined the men in the offensive trenches; they helped the Statesmen average 37.5 points and 448.1 yards per game. Tuifua’s award is his third (second time on the first team), while Dotson is lauded for the second time (first nod on the top squad).
Defensive lineman Hunter Barry (Jr., Morris, Ill., Physical Education) joined Stewart and Tuifua with his second selection to the first team. Barry notched 27 tackles (10 solos, 17 assists), including 3.5 for a loss. He sacked the opposing quarterback twice and forced a fumble.
Seniors Isaac Samek (Bolivar, Mo., Industrial Technology) and Kevin Shrauger (Nixa, Mo., Physical Education) represented the linebacking corps as they returned to the all-conference teams; both are on the first team for the first time. Samek, who ends his career as a three-time pick, topped WPU with 86 tackles (46 solos, 40 assists) (six for loss), one sack, three interceptions, and two pass breakups. A two-time honoree (first time on the best group), Shrauger finished 2015 with 74 tackles (26 solos, 54 assists) (9.5 for loss) in addition to two sacks, a pick, and two pass breakups.
Quarterback Tyler Hafner (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Communications) put up the best numbers on the offensive side, recording team highs in rushing (742 yards, 13 touchdowns) and passing (909 yards, 11 TDs). The signal-caller was a one-time Heart Offensive POW.
Running back Nathan Tvedt (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Business Management) led four other Statesmen who garnered their first accolades. Tvedt notched 410 yards and four scores in the WPU running game.
Kalob Gist (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Business Management) was a versatile offensive lineman, starting at both the left tackle and left guard position this fall.
Cornerback Antonio Brown (Jr., Midwest City, Okla., Undecided) and punter Aaron Allen (Jr., Bolivar, Mo., Secondary Education) were also second-team picks. Brown posted 41 stops (29 solos, 12 assists) (1.5 for loss) and tied for the squad lead with four interceptions (four pass breakups as well). Allen punted 38 times for an average of 34.5 yards (long of 63).
Stewart doubled his awards season fun as a second-team Athlete. In addition to his receiving success, he also rushed for 70 yards (four TDs) and had 457 return yards (431 on kickoffs, 26 on punts).
Jarrett Rogers (Sr., Ozark, Mo., Business Management), who is a first-time honoree, gave William Penn its the fourth offensive lineman on the postseason teams, while on the other side of the ball, defensive linemen Taylan Ybarra (Sr., Wellington, Kan., Education) and Clayton Temaat (Sr., Alba, Mo., Industrial Technology) were also acknowledged.
Ybarra, selected for his first laurel, stopped 27 ball carriers (10 solos, 17 assists) (five for loss) along with 2.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup. Selected for his second career honor (both HMs), Temaat tallied 32 tackles (17 solos, 15 assists) (5.5 for loss), one sack, and two pass breakups.
For a complete list of the all-North Heart teams, go to http://www.haacsports.com/d/
Story provided by Wade Steinlage