MIAC announces 2021 Football Awards

Alston, Jakes, Morem

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The 2021 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) football regular season concluded earlier this month and on Tuesday, the conference recognized the top performers from another outstanding campaign with the announcement of the 2021 MIAC Football Awards.

Saint John's wide receiver Ravi Alston earned the conference's top prize, being named Jim Christopherson Player of the Year, while Gustavus defensive lineman Zachary Jakes and Saint John's defensive lineman Seth Morem shared the Mike Stam Award as the most outstanding linemen in the league. Saint John's head coach Gary Faschinwas honored by his peers with the John Gagliardi Coach of the Year.

Alston (Sr. | Lake Elsinore, Calif. | Vista Murrieta) was named the MIAC Jim Christopherson Player of the Year recipient after helping Saint John's to a perfect 8-0 record in conference play this fall. Alston caught 51 passes for 725 yards and seven touchdowns against MIAC opponents this season. He is the second Johnnie in the last three seasons to receive top individual MIAC honors, joining his former SJU quarterback Jackson Erdmann, who received the award in 2018. Alston is the first wide receiver to be named MIAC Player of the Year since former St. Thomas standout Fritz Waldvogel in 2011. The award was renamed in honor of former Concordia player and longtime coach Jim Christopherson in 2001.

Jakes (Sr. | Mankato, Minn. | West) was a co-recipient of the MIAC Mike Stam Award for Top Lineman after anchoring the Gustie defensive line with 40 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four sacks, and a forced fumble in eight MIAC games this fall. In addition to lining up along the defensive line, Jakes also saw time on the offensive line and at fullback in 2021. He is the second Gustavus lineman ever to receive the Stam Award, joining 1998 recipient Brent Staples. The Mike Stam Award was created in 1990 in memory of the former Carleton All-MIAC defensive lineman who died in a snowmobiling accident after his junior season.

Morem (Sr. | Red Wing, Minn.) was a co-recipient of the MIAC Mike Stam Award for Top Lineman after leading the conference with 6.5 sacks in league play this season. Morem helped Saint John's to a perfect 8-0 mark against conference opponents, totaling 31 tackles and 10 tackles for loss on the year. He is the third consecutive Johnnie to receive the Stam Award, joining Nathan Brinker (2018) and current Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Ben Bartch (2019).

Fasching received his fourth consecutive John Gagliardi Coach of the Year honor and the fifth of his career after guiding the Johnnies to an undefeated regular-season record and the program's 35th MIAC championship. Saint John's 2021 MIAC title also earned the team its seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Football Playoffs. A former MIAC student-athlete himself, Fasching was a three-year starter at linebacker for Gagliardi's Johnnies before spending 17 years as an assistant on the legendary coach's SJU staff. The MIAC Coach of the Year Award was renamed in honor of Gagliardi - college football's all-time wins leader - in 2013.

In addition to individual honors, the MIAC also announced First Team, Second Team, and honorable mention All-Conference selections, as well as the members of the 15th annual MIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. Thirty-seven players were honored with First Team All-MIAC distinction. The honorees included 22 seniors, nine juniors, three sophomores, and three first-year selections. Saint John's led all programs with 11 First Team selections, followed by Bethel and Gustavus with eight each. Carleton had three First Team honorees, Hamline and St. Olaf both had two, and Augsburg, Concordia, and Macalester each had one. 

Bethel offensive lineman Jack Fiedler became the conference's tenth man on record to be named to four All-MIAC squads, having been selected to the Second Team in 2017 and the First Team in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Saint Johns' offensive lineman Nick Neumann received First Team honors for the third consecutive season, while Bethel quarterback Jaran Roste joined Carleton safety Travis Brown as two-time Second Team picks who moved up to the First Team in 2021. Neumann, Roste, and Brown now join the exclusive list of just 110 individuals in recorded MIAC history to have earned three First or Second Team All-Conference selections in football.

Eight players also received All-MIAC distinction for the second time in their careers. Saint John's wide receiver Ravi Alston joined Gustavus defenders Zachary Jakes and Kaleb Scott in being First Team selections in both 2019 and 2021, while Hamline wide receiver Tristan Thomas, Gustavus offensive lineman Gunnar Johnson, and Bethel cornerback Tavian Swanson were all Second Team picks in 2019 and First Team honorees in 2021. St. Olaf tight end Isaac Coutier and defensive tackle Jordan Bartholomew repeated as Second Team selections in 2019 and 2021. 

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 15th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for football. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.


2021 MIAC Football Awards

 2021 MIAC Football Jim Christopherson Player of the Year
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School Previous Selections
WR Ravi Alston Saint John's Sr. Lake Elsinore, Calif. | Vista Murrieta --
 2021 MIAC Football Mike Stam Award - Co-Linemen of the Year
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School Previous Selections
DL Zachary Jakes Gustavus Sr. Mankato, Minn. | West --
DL Seth Morem Saint John's Sr. Red Wing, Minn. --
 2021 MIAC Football John Gagliardi Coach of the Year
Name Institution Previous Selections
Gary Fasching Saint John's 2014 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019

 2021 MIAC Football First Team Offense
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School Previous Selections
QB Jaran Roste Bethel Jr. Alexandria, Minn. | Jefferson 2018 (2T) | 2019 (2T)
RB Bryce Kunkle Bethel So. Yuba City, Calif. | Sutter Union --
RB Henry Trost Saint John's Sr. Lindstrom, Minn. | Chisago Lakes --
RB Jordan Embry St. Olaf Jr. Birmingham, Ala. | Ramsay --
WR Dominic Smith Augsburg Fy. White Bear Lake, Minn. --
WR Joey Kidder Bethel Fy. New Richmond, Wis. --
WR Dalton Thelen Gustavus Sr. Cold Spring, Minn. | Rocori --
WR Triston Thomas Hamline Sr. Kissimmee, Fla. | Gateway 2019 (2T)
WR Rex Desso Macalester Sr. Evergreen, Colo. | Lakewood --
WR Ravi Alston Saint John's Sr. Lake Elsinore, Calif. | Vista Murrieta 2019 (1T)
WR Matt Mohr Saint John's Sr. Chisago City, Minn. | Chisago Lakes --
TE Alex Larson Saint John's Jr. Woodbury, Minn. | East Ridge --
OL Jack Fiedler Bethel Sr. St. Michael, Minn. | St. Michael-Albertville 2017 (2T) | 2018 (1T) | 2019 (1T)
OL Travis Sinclair Bethel Jr. Rogers, Minn. --
OL Collin Fleisch Concordia Sr. Fall City, Wash. | Mount Si --
OL Mitchell Borchardt Gustavus Sr. Le Sueur, Minn. | Le Sueur-Henderson --
OL Gunnar Johnson Gustavus Sr. St. Cloud, Minn. | Tech 2019 (2T)
OL Tyler Johnson Saint John's Sr. Willmar, Minn. --
OL Nick Neumann Saint John's Sr. Inver Grove Heights, Minn. | Cretin-Derham Hall 2018 (1T) | 2019 (1T)

 2021 MIAC Football First Team Defense
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School Previous Selections
DL Zachary Jakes Gustavus Sr. Mankato, Minn. | West 2019 (1T)
DL Metoriah Faoliu Saint John's Sr. Wildomar, Calif. | Vista Murrieta --
DL Seth Morem Saint John's Sr. Red Wing, Minn. --
DL Michael Wozniak Saint John's Jr. New Hope, Minn. | Robbinsdale Armstrong --
ILB Isaac Simons Carleton Jr. Oconomowoc, Wis. | Lake Country Lutheran --
ILB Carson Dekam Gustavus So. Owatonna, Minn. --
ILB Erik Bjork Saint John's Jr. Mahtomedi, Minn. --
OLB Kyle Kornovich Saint John's Sr. Rogers, Minn. --
CB Tavian Swanson Bethel Sr. Burlington, Wash. | Burlington-Edison 2019 (2T)
CB Kaleb Scott Gustavus Sr. Gardena, Calif. | Verbum Dei 2019 (1T)
CB Adrian Cracolici Hamline Sr. Waddell, Ariz. | Verrado --
S Nate Farm Bethel So. Arden Hills, Minn. | Mounds View --
S Matt Feldick Bethel Jr. St. Michael, Minn. | St. Michael-Albertville 2019 (HM)
S Travis Brown Carleton Sr. St. Michael, Minn. | St. Michael-Albertville 2018 (2T) | 2019 (2T)
S Ezekiel Sundberg Gustavus Sr. Lakewood, Colo. --

 2021 MIAC Football First Team Specialists
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School Previous Selections
K Andrew Abegglen Gustavus Jr. Mound, Minn. | Mound-Westonka --
P Tyler Huettel St. Olaf Fy. McKinney, Texas | North --
RET Travis Brown Carleton Sr. St. Michael, Minn. | St. Michael-Albertville --

 2021 MIAC Football Second Team Offense
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School Previous Selections
QB Cade Sheehan Augsburg Fy. Rochester, Minn. | Mayo --
QB Jonathan Singleton Carleton Jr. San Martin, Calif. | Live Oak --
QB Michael Nadeau Macalester So. Garden Grove, Calif. | La Quinta --
RB Peyton Mortenson Concordia Sr. Marietta, Minn. | Lac Qui Parle Valley --
RB David Peal Gustavus Sr. Worcester, Mass. | Holy Name Central Catholic --
WR Braden Tretter Augsburg Fy. Sauk Rapids, Minn. | Sauk Rapids-Rice --
WR Jake Breitbach Gustavus So. Golden Valley, Minn. | Armstrong --
WR Jimmy Buck Saint John's So. Orono, Minn. --
WR Mitchell Adrian St. Scholastica Sr. Altoona, Wis. --
TE Isaac Coutier St. Olaf So. Minneapolis, Minn. | Kennedy 2019 (2T)
OL Evan Ginter Bethel So. Chisago Lakes, Minn. --
OL Matthew Rasmussen Carleton Sr. Oberlin, Ohio --
OL T.J. Duerr Saint John's Jr. Buffalo, Minn. | St. Michael-Albertville --

 2021 MIAC Football Second Team Defense
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School Previous Selections
DL Aidan Thomas Bethel Jr. Sioux Falls, S.D. | O'Gorman --
DL Michael Carey Carleton So. Haddonfield, N.J. | Memorial --
DL Chase Dockter Concordia Jr. Bismarck, N.D. --
DL Sam Jones Gustavus Sr. Jacksonville, Fla. | Trinity Christian Academy --
DL John Newton Macalester Sr. Highland Village, Texas | Coram Deo Academy --
DL Collin Franz Saint John's Sr. Otsego, Minn. | Rogers --
DL Jordan Bartholomew St. Olaf Sr. Kilkenny, Minn. | Tri-City United 2018 (HM) | 2019 (2T)
DL Tandrell Foster St. Scholastica Sr. Hurley, Wis. --
ILB Thomas Wurdemann Bethel So. North Branch, Minn. --
OLB Brayden Finkbeiner Bethel Jr. Gilbert, Ariz. | Christian --
OLB Jacob Holmen Bethel Fy. Spicer, Minn. | New London-Spicer --
OLB Nicolas Negron Gustavus Sr. Dallas, Texas | Naaman Forest --
CB Tommy Deters Saint John's Sr. Maple Plain, Minn. | Orono --
S Ryan McGregor Carleton Sr. Ellsworth, Wis. --
S Ethan Stark Saint John's Jr. Sartell, Minn. | Sartell-St. Stephen --

 2021 MIAC Football Second Team Specialists
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School Previous Selections
K Damien Silus Concordia Fy. Glencoe, Minn. | Glencoe-Silver Lake --
P Damien Silus Concordia Fy. Glencoe, Minn. | Glencoe-Silver Lake --
RET Triston Thomas Hamline Sr. Kissimmee, Fla. | Gateway --

 2021 MIAC Football Honorable Mention
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School Previous Selections
RB Aaron Ellingson Bethel Fy. St. Louis Park, Minn. --
RB Devin Vouk Saint John's Sr. Sartell, Minn. | Sartell-St. Stephen --
WR Micah Niewald Bethel Fy. Fridley, Minn. --
WR Beau Nelson Carleton Sr. San Diego, Calif. | Westview --
WR Ty Bruckner Macalester Sr. Bel Aire, Kan. | Wichita North --
WR Gabe Alada St. Olaf Sr. Minneapolis, Minn. | Benilde-St. Margaret's 2018 (HM)
TE Ethan Sindelir Gustavus Sr. Wells, Minn. | Maple River --
TE Charlie Wilson Hamline So. Woodbury, Minn. --
OL Paul Lemke Augsburg Jr. Glencoe, Minn. | Glencoe-Silver Lake --
OL Ben Pham Carleton Jr. Lombard, Ill. | Glenbard East --
OL Abel Perry Concordia Sr. New Effington, S.D. | Rosholt --
OL Tommy Bigaouette Gustavus Sr. North Mankato, Minn. | Mankato West --
OL Will Conzet Hamline Sr. St. Paul, Minn. | Highland Park --
OL Jarod Fike Saint John's Sr. White Bear Lake, Minn. --
DL Shaquille Young Augsburg So. St. Paul, Minn. | Tartan 2019 (HM)
DL Ethan Herron Bethel So. Weatherford, Texas --
DL Anthony Vo St. Scholastica Fy. St. Paul, Minn. | Roseville --
ILB Brandon Sjostrand Augsburg So. Bloomington, Minn. | Kennedy --
ILB Noah Jenson Concordia Sr. Broomfield, Colo. --
ILB Ty Moser Concordia Jr. Perham, Minn. --
ILB Sam Fritz Hamline Jr. Blaine, Minn. | Spring Lake Park --
ILB Brandon Foster St. Olaf Sr. Faribault, Minn. | Northfield --
ILB Jamari Thompson St. Scholastica Fy. Little Rock, Ark. | Waller --
OLB Noah Bresson Macalester So. Homosassa, Fla. | Crystal River --
CB Jackson Cleveland Carleton Jr. River Falls, Wis. --
CB Andrey Denson Gustavus So. El Paso, Texas | Pebble Hills --
S Nick Sabatino St. Olaf Sr. Villa Park, Ill. | Willowbrook --
S Jake Kukowski St. Scholastica Jr. Aitkin, Minn. --
K/P Jon Neve Macalester Sr. Minnetrista, Minn. | Mound-Westonka --
K Conor Pavelko Saint John's Fy. Sioux Falls, S.D. | O'Gorman --

 2021 MIAC Football All-Sportsmanship Team
Position Name Institution Class Hometown | High School
WR Josiah Ferguson Augsburg Sr. St. Michael, Minn. | St. Michael-Albertville
RB Sid Boros Bethel Sr. Becker, Minn.
WR Carl Marvin Carleton Sr. Wilmington, Del. | The Tatnall School
OL Collin Fleisch Concordia Sr. Fall City, Wash. | Mount Si
WR Brett Hufendick Gustavus Sr. Edina, Minn.
TE Eli Danielson Hamline Sr. Hayward, Wis.
OL Jacob Bulling Macalester Sr. Albuquerque, N.M. | Volcano Vista
QB Chris Backes Saint John's Sr. St. Cloud, Minn. | Tech
QB Lars Prestemon St. Olaf Sr. Northfield, Minn.
LB Mack Nelson St. Scholastica Jr. Sandstone, Minn. | East Central