MITCHELL, S.D. – Thirteen members of the Dakota Wesleyan University football team earned All-Great Plains Athletic Conference honors at 14 positions, it was announced Tuesday morning by the league.
Headlining this year’s All-GPAC selections are seniors Josh Endres and Nathan Little, who both earned All-GPAC First Team Offense accolades. This is the third straight honor for both athletes. Craig Henglefelt and Dustin Bergmeier both earned All-GPAC Second Team Defense honors and Derek Carlson was named to the second team special teams.
Jon Bane, Michael Brown, Arthur Brown, Carlson, Kyle Hencke, Mike Barnaud, Brady Bonte, Anthony Cervantes and Jeff Maassen all earned honorable mention status. This is the seventh consecutive season the Tigers have had 10 or more players earn All-GPAC honors.
This is the third straight first team honor for Endres, who wrapped up his season Saturday by setting two school records and scoring the eventual game-winning touchdown. The 6-foot-2 running back from Ethan, S.D., led the GPAC and was fifth in the NAIA with 1,302 total rushing yards this season. He averaged 130.2 yards per game – fifth-best in the nation – and was also sixth in the nation in all-purpose yards per game (159.7). He set the school’s single-season and career rushing records, and finished his four-year career with 3,329 rushing yards.
As well as running for more than 1,300 yards this season, Endres also caught 25 passes for 295 yards and one touchdown. He ran for nine touchdowns and scored 60 points this season, putting him second on the school’s career scoring list with 248 points in four seasons.
Little, an offensive lineman from Aberdeen, S.D., earned the third honor of his career after helping the Tiger offense become one of the top offenses in the league. He earned second team honors as a sophomore and first team honors last season. This season, Little was a part of an offensive line that allowed the Tigers to run for 1,251 yards and throw for 2,397 more. Dakota Wesleyan finished fourth in the league in pass offense per game (239.7) and fifth in total offense (364.8).
Henglefelt, a defensive lineman from Alexandria, S.D., earned the first GPAC honor of his career in his final season with the team. He finished ninth on the team with 47 total tackles in his third season with the team. He had 15 solo tackles, and 4.5 tackles for a loss of 16 yards. He also recorded 1.5 sacks this season and recovered one fumble.
This marks the second GPAC honor for Bergmeier, who earned second team honors in 2011 in his first season with the Tigers. The Omaha, Neb., native was a leader for Dakota Wesleyan at defensive back this season, and proved to be a playmaker in the backfield. He finished seventh on the team with 50 total tackles, including 34 solo tackles, and had two tackles for a loss. He recorded a team-high four interceptions, and tied the school record with three interceptions in a game against Concordia this season. He also had four pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
Carlson earned the third and fourth GPAC honors of his career after a successful senior season as both the team’s punter and tight end. The Sioux Falls, S.D., native earned second team special teams honors for his play at punter and honorable mention status as a tight end. Carlson punted the ball 56 times for 2,302 yards and was first in the conference and sixth in the NAIA with an average 41.1 yards per punt. He had a long punt of 75 yards, seven touchbacks and 12 punts inside the 20-yard line.
On offense, Carlson caught 23 passes for 519 yards, and led the team with an average 22.6 yards per catch. He was second on the team with nine touchdowns, and scored a career-high four touchdowns against Dordt this season. He finished the year with 54 points.
Bane earns honorable mention accolades after setting two career records in his third season with the Tigers. The quarterback from Temple, Texas – who earned All-GPAC Second Team honors as a sophomore – became the school’s career passing and total offense leader this season. He has 6,894 passing yards and 6,982 yards of total offense. This season, Bane went 159-for-309 for 2,157 yards, 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He was 13th in the NAIA with 239.7 passing yards per game.
Four Tiger linebackers earned honorable mention status. This is the second GPAC honor for Maassen and Barnaud, and the first for both Bonte and Cervantes. Barnaud, who earned second team honors as a junior, led the team and was fourth in the league with 103 total tackles this season. The Belle Fourche, S.D., native had 39 solo tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and one sack. Maassen, a sophomore from Brandon, S.D., finished fifth on the team with 54 tackles. He had eight tackles for a loss of 20 yards, one sack, one interception and two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
Bonte had a huge freshman season, and finished second on the team with 96 tackles. The Garretson, S.D., native led the team with 44 solo tackles, and was second with nine tackles for a loss of 26 yards. He had one interception and returned one fumble for a touchdown. Cervantes, a Burbank, Calif., native, finished the year third on the team with 62 tackles, and led the squad with 13.5 tackles for a loss of 55 yards and four sacks. He also had one interception returned for a touchdown.
Michael Brown and Arthur Brown both earned All-GPAC accolades for the first time after being key components in the Tigers’ receiving corps. Michael Brown, a junior from Palmdale, Calif., earned the honors as a receiver after catching 32 passes for 451 yards. He averaged 14.1 yards per catch and scored three touchdowns. Arthur Brown, a Rosemead, Calif., native, was recognized as a slot receiver. The sophomore caught 54 passes for 579 yards, scored six touchdowns and led the team with an average 57.9 yards per game.
Hencke, a sophomore from Sturgis, S.D., was honored for the first time this season for his play on the offensive line. This season, Hencke was a part of an offensive line that allowed the Tigers to run for 1,251 yards and throw for 2,397 more. Dakota Wesleyan finished fourth in the league in pass offense per game (239.7) and fifth in total offense (364.8).
Dakota Wesleyan finished the year 6-4 overall and 5-4 in the GPAC. The Tigers lose 14 seniors to graduation in May, but return seven All-GPAC honorees. Bonte, Cervantes and Maassen return to lead the DWU linebackers, and Bane is back for his fourth and final season as the team’s quarterback in 2013.