St. Thomas trio headlines 2016 MIAC Football Awards

St. Thomas trio headlines 2016 MIAC Football Awards

Photos by Mike Ekern and Mark Brown, University of St. Thomas

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The University of St. Thomas recently completed a perfect 10-0 regular season and an 8-0 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) campaign to win a second-straight conference championship, so it was no surprise Tuesday when the Tommies headlined the 2016 MIAC Football Awards.

St. Thomas swept the conference's top three individual honors, as senior quarterback Alex Fenske (Marshall, Minn.) was named the Jim Christopherson MIAC MVP, senior offensive lineman Will Hilbert (Mequon, Wis. / Milwaukee Marquette) was named the Mike Stam Award winner as the conference's top interior lineman, and Head Coach Glenn Caruso (ninth season) was voted the John Gagliardi MIAC Football Coach-of-the-Year by his peers.

In addition to the individual honors, the MIAC also announced the All-Conference selections, which include First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team were also announced.

Fenske received the conference's top honor for his outstanding play in 2016, as he piloted the Tommies to a conference championship, a perfect regular season, and into the NCAA Playoffs. The UST senior signal caller was great in conference play, completing 107 of 188 passes (56.9 percent) for 1,797 yards and 17 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He ranked second in the MIAC in passing yards, passing yards per game (224.6), passing TDs and fifth in completion percentage.

Overall, Fenske is 146-for-254 passing (57.5 percent) for 2,495 yards, 23 touchdowns and he's been picked off just four times, while also running for a touchdown. The MVP and All-Conference QB ranks second overall in the MIAC in passing yards, passing yards per game (226.8), passing TDs and he's third in completion percentage. Fenske has directed the Tommie offense to the top of the MIAC leader board in points, points per game and total offense.

Hilbert is the second-straight St. Thomas player to receive the Mike Stam Award as the league's top interior lineman, and he also received his second-straight All-MIAC First Team honor after appearing on the Second Team as a sophomore. Hilbert anchored a dominant offensive line that has surrendered just 10 sacks on 203 dropbacks in 2016 and has paved the way for the MIAC's No. 1 offense, both in terms of scoring and yardage.

Hilbert's impact has been felt in both the running game and the UST passing attack. In conference games only, he's led the Tommies to 1,771 rushing yards on 331 carries (5.4 average). The team led the MIAC with 30 rushing touchdowns, ranked second in yards per carry and third with an average of 221.4 rushing yards per game. The overall numbers are similar with a league-leading 39 rushing TDs, 4.8 yards per carry (2nd in MIAC) and 2,209 rushing yards on 460 carries.

Caruso received Coach-of-the-Year honors for the fifth time in his nine years leading the Tommies. He also won the honor three years in a row from 2010 to 2012, now in back-to-back years in 201 and 2016. Caruso guided the Tommies to a perfect 10-0 regular season, including an 8-0 conference record to capture UST's fifth MIAC title in the last seven seasons. The team is ranked third in the nation, and will host Coe College Saturday at noon in the second round of the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs.

In their eight MIAC wins, the Tommies were certainly impressive, leading the league in points scored (384), points per game (48.0), total offense (3,962 yards), yards per game (495.3), rushing touchdowns (30), punting average (38.8) and defensive touchdowns (three), and UST ranked second in nearly every defensive category, including points allowed, yards allowed, interceptions and sacks. Caruso coached the MIAC's MVP and Mike Stam Award winners and also guided 23 players to All-Conference accolades – 14 First-Team picks, five Second-Team selections and four Honorable Mention honorees.

The MIAC All-Conference First Team was led by Fenske and Hilbert, who received his second-straight First Team honor. Concordia offensive lineman Josh Berg and Saint John's linebacker Carter Hanson – who was named a Gagliardi Trophy semifinalist – were both named to the First Team for the third-straight season. Bethel tight end Drew Neuville, Carleton defensive lineman Pete Boerma, Saint John's defensive lineman Peyton Thiry, St. Thomas defensive lineman Ryan Winter, St. Thomas outside linebacker Jesse Addo and Concordia punter Eddie Clifton all joined Hilbert as back-to-back First Team honorees, and Hamline defensive back Anthony Hill and Saint John's kicker Alexi Johnson also received their second career First Team honor as both also earned the distinction in 2014.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the 11th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for football. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.

2016 MIAC Football Awards

Jim Christopherson MIAC MVP - Alex Fenske, QB, St. Thomas (Sr., Marshall, Minn.)

Mike Stam Award - Will Hilbert, OL, St. Thomas (Sr., Mequon, Wis. / Milwaukee Marquette)

John Gagliardi MIAC Football Coach-of-the-Year - Glenn Caruso, St. Thomas (9th Season)

2016 MIAC Football All-Conference First Team Offense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Alex Fenske St. Thomas Sr.        QB       Marshall, Minn. 
Michael Herzog Concordia Jr.  QB Detroit Lakes, Minn. 
Justice Spriggs Hamline So.  QB St. Anthony, Minn. / St. Anthony Village 
Chad Johnson Concordia Jr.  RB Glyndon, Minn. / Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 
Tucker Trettel St. Thomas So.  RB Lino Lakes, Minn. / Centennial 
Evan Clark Saint John's     Sr.  WR Phoenix, Ariz. / Apollo 
Bryce Marquardt Bethel Sr.  WR Champlin, Minn. / Champlin Park 
Nick Waldvogel St. Thomas Sr.  WR Mendota Heights, Minn. / St. Thomas Academy     
Jackson Hull St. Thomas Jr.  TE Mahtomedi, Minn. 
Drew Neuville Bethel Sr.  TE Green Bay, Wis. / Bayport 
Josh Berg Concordia Sr. OL Moorhead, Minn. / Fargo (N.D.) Shanley         
Ben Eli Saint John's Sr.  OL Avon, Minn. / Albany 
Will Hilbert  St. Thomas  Sr.  OL  Mequon, Wis. / Milwaukee Marquette 
Andrew Konieczny     Augsburg Sr.  OL Tomah, Wis. 
Ryan Ross Bethel Sr.  OL Champlin, Minn. / Champlin Park 
Sean Scharlau St. Thomas Sr.  OL Albertville, Minn. / St. Michael-Albertville 
Joe Theiler Gustavus Sr.  OL Maple Grove, Minn. / Totino-Grace  

2016 MIAC Football All-Conference First Team Defense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Pete Boerma Carleton Sr.        DL         Watertown, S.D. 
Nathan Brinker Saint John's So.  DL Avon, Minn. / Holdingford 
Anthony King-Foreman     St. Thomas Sr.  DL Eden Prairie, Minn.  
Mitchell Maday Hamline So.  DL Alexandria, Minn. / Jefferson 
Godfrey Mpetey Bethel Jr.  DL Farmington, Minn. 
Peyton Thiry Saint John's      Sr. DL Lester Prairie, Minn. / Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity        
Ryan Winter St. Thomas  Sr. DL Woodbury, Minn.  
Alex Berg Concordia So.  ILB Moorhead, Minn. / Fargo (N.D.) Shanley 
Adam Brant St. Thomas So.  ILB Maple Grove, Minn. 
Carter Hanson Saint John's  Sr. ILB Blue Earth, Minn.
Steve Harrell St. Thomas Jr.  ILB New Berlin, Wis. / West  
Hank Van Liew Concordia Sr.  ILB Snoqualmie, Wash. / Mount Si 
Jesse Addo St. Thomas Sr. OLB Plymouth, Minn. / Wayzata
Dawson Brown Bethel So.  OLB Becker, Minn. 
Casey Decker Gustavus Jr.  OLB Mapleton, Minn. / Maple River   
Jack Pietruszewski Saint John's Sr.  OLB South St. Paul, Minn.  
Michael Alada St. Thomas Sr.  CB St. Paul, Minn. / Hill-Murray 
Anthony Hill Hamline Sr.  CB Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Champlin Park 
Garrett Ackerman Saint John's Sr.  S Temecula, Calif. / Great Oak 
Bennett Celichowski St. Thomas Sr.  S Shorewood, Minn. / Minnetonka 

2016 MIAC Football All-Conference First Team Special Teams

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Alexi Johnson Saint John's       Sr.        K          Shakopee, Minn.
Eddie Clifton  Concordia Sr. P Buffalo, Minn. 
Nick Waldvogel     St. Thomas Sr. Ret.   Mendota Heights, Minn. / St. Thomas Academy      

2016 MIAC Football All-Conference Second Team Offense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Gunnar Bloom Bethel     So.       RB       Ostego, Minn. / Rogers
Luke Martinez Gustavus Sr.  RB Lenexa, Kan. / St. Thomas Aquinas   
Jeremy Molina St. Thomas Jr.  RB Chicago, Ill. / St. Patrick 
Jason Montonye Concordia Jr.  RB Graceville, Minn. / C-G-B 
Zack Sundly Saint John's     Sr.  RB Harris, Minn. / North Branch 
Zach Creighton Carleton Sr.  WR Lakeville, Minn. / North 
Nick Heenie Augsburg So.  WR Victoria, Minn. / Waconia 
Hunter Johnson Gustavus Jr.  WR Cannon Falls, Minn. 
Nick Kampa Hamline Sr.  WR St. Anthony, Minn. / St. Anthony Village     
Jon Pytlak Bethel So.  WR Mankato, Minn. / West 
Josiah Harris Hamline Sr.  TE River Falls, Wis. 
Matt Christenson     St. Thomas Jr.  TE Nicollet, Minn. 
Jon Asprey Concordia Sr.  OL Brainerd, Minn. 
Andrew Jarosz Saint John's Jr.  OL White Bear Lake, Minn. / Totino-Grace 
Ryan Landherr Gustavus Sr.  OL Prior Lake, Minn. 
Kevin Olson Bethel Sr.  OL Andover, Minn. 

2016 MIAC Football All-Conference Second Team Defense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Micah Hausman St. Thomas Sr.       DL        Eagan, Minn. 
Gunnar Kollman Concordia So.  DL Fargo, N.D. / Davies 
Chris Nelson Gustavus Jr.  DL New London, Minn. / New London-Spicer 
Daulton Olinger Augsburg Jr.  DL Spring Lake Park, Minn. 
Steven Plocker Bethel Sr.  DL Blue Earth, Minn. 
Parker Anderson     Saint John's Sr.  ILB Prior Lake, Minn. 
Josh Dalki Bethel Jr.  ILB Minnetonka, Minn. 
Zack Martinez Gustavus Sr.  ILB Lenexa, Kan. / St. Thomas Aquinas 
Jonny Nguyen Hamline Sr.  ILB Mounds View, Minn. / Irondale 
Cody Fox Concordia Jr.  OLB St. Michael, Minn. / St. Michael-Albertville      
Colten Yahn St. Olaf Sr.  OLB Longwood, Fla. / Bishop Moore 
Leonard Gutierrez     Saint John's     Jr.  CB Phoenix, Ariz. / Brophy College Prep 
Jordan Kahlow Gustavus So.  CB Le Sueur, Minn. / Le Sueur-Henderson 
Isiah Malone Augsburg Jr.  CB Brooklyn Center, Minn. / Park Center 
Matt Ahrndt Concordia Sr.  S Benson, Minn.
Lucas Glomb Saint John's Sr.  S Woodbury, Minn. / Hill-Murray 
Dallas Raftevold Concordia Jr.  S Fargo, N.D. / South 
Zach Schwalbach Hamline Sr.  S Stewartville, Minn. 
Isaac Seering St. Thomas Jr. S Green Bay, Wis. / Notre Dame Academy 

2016 MIAC Football All-Conference Second Team Special Teams

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Brendan Boche   Gustavus    Jr.        K           Lakeville, Minn. / South                          
Bryan Steinsapir     St. Thomas     Jr. K Santiago, Chile / The Grange School 
Kyle Johnson  Hamline  Jr. P Chandler, Ariz. / Seton Catholic 
Brady Bomsta Bethel So.  Ret. Waseca, Minn. 
Dylan Saline Carleton Sr.  Ret. Anoka, Minn. / Champlin Park 

2016 MIAC Football All-Conference Honorable Mention

Augsburg - Jabri Guy (Jr., DB, Moline, Ill. / Eagan), Lorenzo Hernandez (So., LB, New Ulm, Minn.), Christopher Lemke (So., Glencoe, Minn. / Glencoe-Silver Lake), Khoa Nguyen (Sr., DL, Rochester, Minn. / Lourdes)
Bethel - Mason Diedrick (Jr., OL, Norwood, Minn. / Mayer Lutheran), Jake Marsh (Fr., QB, Plymouth, Minn. / Wayzata), Brett Norling (So., DB, Loretto, Minn. / Delano), Andrew Ragsdale (So., LB, Waverly, Iowa / Waverly-Shell Rock)
Carleton - Hunter Brown (Sr., OL, Hingham, Mass.), Brandt Davis (Sr., K, La Verne, Calif. / Bonita), Mark Leedy (So., DB, Naples, Fla. / Barron Collier), Tyler Rolland (Jr., OL, Burnsville, Minn. / Apple Valley)
Concordia - Ethan Feil (Sr., OL, Fortuna, N.D. / Divide County), Joshua Kolar (Sr., DL, Coon Rapids, Minn.), Landon Moline (Sr., DB, Hanover, Minn. / Buffalo), Noah Welsh (So., DL, Spicer, Minn. / New London-Spicer)
Gustavus - Matt Berkner (So., LB, Sleepy Eye, Minn.), Leeland Lauti (Jr., LB, Ewa Beach, Hawaii / Damien Memorial), Karim Ortiz (Jr., RB, Cancun, Mexico / Leonaro da Vinci), Iker Ortiz-Hidalgo (Sr., DL, Cancun, Mexico / Universidad Tec Milenio)
Hamline - Deon Bishop (Sr., WR, Los Angeles, Calif. / Santa Monica), Chase Duwenhoegger (Sr., OL, Alexandria, Minn.), Naji El-Araby (Sr., RB, Blaine, Minn.), Jack Loughrey (So., DL, Bloomington, Minn. / Jefferson)
Saint John's - Ben Alvord (So., QB, St. Joseph, Minn. / St. Cloud Apollo), David Franta (Jr., LB, Winnebago, Minn. / Blue Earth Area), Ted Kalina (So., DL, Bloomington, Minn. / Jefferson), Dusty Krueger (Jr., RB, Lake Elmo, Minn. / Hill-Murray)
St. Olaf - Luke Dahl (So., LB, Rosemount, Minn.), Coleman Foley (Sr., DB, Edina, Minn.), Troy Peterson (Jr., WR, Edina, Minn.), Connor Yahn (Sr., WR, Longood, Fla. / Bishop Moore)
St. Thomas - Michael Blume (Sr., LS, Elk River, Minn. / Big Lake), Gavin Dauwalter (Jr., OL, Carver, Minn. / Belle Plaine), Austin Jochum (Jr., DL, Foley, Minn.), Joe Reed (Sr., WR, Woodbury, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall)

2016 Football All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team

Augsburg - Connor Helgeson (Sr., Onalaska, Wis.)
Bethel - Cameron Svihla (Sr., Foley, Minn.)
Carleton - Brett Sterk (Sr., Hermantown, Minn.)
Concordia - Cody Fox (Jr., St. Michael, Minn. / St. Michael-Albertville)
Gustavus - Jake Schmitz (Sr., North Branch, Minn.)
Hamline - Lucjan Januszewski (Sr., St. Paul, Minn. / Como Park)
Saint John's - Gunnar Anderson (Sr., International Falls, Minn.)
St. Olaf - Ted Deitz (Sr., Alexandria, Minn.)
St. Thomas - Luke Hermann (Sr. St. Paul, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall)

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