MITCHELL, S.D. – Two senior members of the Dakota Wesleyan University football team have one more chance to play football before hanging up their pads for good.
Sunday afternoon, Nathan Little and Derek Carlson will take the field one last time for the National Bowl Game in Allentown, Pa. They will play alongside All-American and all-conference senior football players from NCAA and NAIA colleges and universities from around the country.
Carlson, a 6-foot-4 punter and tight end, will compete for the Red Team. This season, the Sioux Falls, S.D., native earned All-Great Plains Athletic Conference Second Team Special Teams honors as a punter and honorable mention accolades as a tight end. He punted 56 times for 2,302 yards and averaged 41.1 yards per punt. He had seven touchbacks and 12 punts inside the 20.
On offense, Carlson caught 23 passes for 519 yards and nine touchdowns. He caught four touchdown passes in one game against Dordt College this season and finished second on the team in scoring with 54 points.
Little – who will compete for the Blue Team – earned All-GPAC First Team Offense honors for the second time as a senior. It was his third honor overall; he earned second-team accolades as a sophomore. The Aberdeen, S.D., native helped DWU’s offense become one of the top offenses in the league. He was a part of an offensive line that allowed the Tigers to run for 1,251 yards and throw for 2,397 more. The Tigers finished fourth in the league in pass offense per game (239.7) and fifth in total offense (364.8).
Mike Stock, former special teams coordinator for the Green Bay Packers, will coach the Red Team and Chris Thompson – a coach for the Lehig Valley Steelhawks, an AFL team – will coach the Blue Team. Players report to Pennsylvania on Friday, Dec. 7, and participate in practices and meetings Friday and Saturday before taking the field for the game at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. The game will be played at the J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, Pa.