Morningside swept the major awards on the 2015 All-GPAC Football Team.
Morningside College dominated the 2015 All-Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) football selections by placing 10 players on the first team and sweeping the conferences’ three major awards.
The Mustangs’ Ryan Kasdorf was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Offensive Player of the Year, Zac Schleuger was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, and Steve Ryan was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Coach of the Year.
Their efforts helped lead the Mustangs to a 10-1 record during the regular season, including a perfect 9-0 mark in the GPAC en route to their fifth consecutive league championship. Morningside will take a No. 1 NAIA national ranking into this Saturday’s NAIA Championship Series First Round Game against No. 16 Saint Xavier University slated for a 1 p.m. start at Elwood Olsen Stadium.
Kasdorf, a 6-1, 215 lb. senior quarterback from Newhall, Calif., has completed 163 of 239 pass attempts for 2901 yards and 36 touchdowns. He has a completion rate of 68.2 percent and has thrown only two interceptions while leading the NAIA in pass efficiency for the third year in a row. He threw seven touchdown passes in games against Dakota Wesleyan and Doane this season to tie a Morningside single-game record and ranks among the NAIA national leaders with averages of 311.2 yards total offense and 290.1 yards passing per game. Kasdorf was named to the All-GPAC First Team for the third time in his career.
Kasdorf has passed for 9880 yards and a school-record 112 touchdowns during his Morningside career.
Schleuger, a 6-2, 220 lb. senior linebacker from Wesley, Iowa, has team-high totals of 42 solos and 50 assists for 92 tackles to top the Mustangs’ tackle chart for the third year in a row. He has six tackles behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 20 yards, five pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, two interceptions, and one quarterback sack. Both of Schleuger’s interceptions were returned for touchdowns with runbacks of 38 yards against Northwestern and 32 yards against Hastings.
Schleuger, a repeat first-team All-GPAC selection, has 322 tackles, including 46.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 133 yards, during his career and is one of only six players in Morningside history to amass over 300 career tackles.
Ryan, named the GPAC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career, has a 130-36 record for a .783 winning percentage during his 14 seasons at Morningside for the most victories and the highest victory rate in Morningside history. Ryan has led the Mustangs to six GPAC Championships and to 12 consecutive post-season appearances in the NAIA Championship Series for the nation’s longest active streak.
Kasdorf and Schleuger are joined on the All-GPAC First Team Offense by Joe Brummer, Blake Frank, Tyler Kavan, and Connor Niles.
Brummer, a 6-2, 275 lb. senior offensive lineman from Harlan, Iowa, and Frank, a 6-3, 285 lb. junior offensive lineman from Mapleton, Minn., are blocking standouts for a Morningside offense that leads the nation with averages of 61.1 points and 605.4 yards total offense per game. Brummer received first-team All-GPAC honors for the second year in a row.
Kavan, a 5-11, 205 lb. junior running back from Weston, Neb., is the Mustangs’ leading rusher with 1033 yards and 21 touchdowns for an average of 7.1 yards per carry. Kavan also has eight pass receptions for 143 yards and two touchdowns. His 23 touchdowns is the second highest total in the nation.
Niles, a 5-11, 185 lb. sophomore wide receiver from Sioux City, is one of the top pass catching threats in the nation with 66 receptions for 1259 yards and 15 touchdowns for an average of 19.1 yards per catch. He ranks among the NAIA national leaders with an average of 114.5 reception yards per game. Niles also made the All-GPAC First Team as a punt return specialist. He has 12 returns for 214 yards for an average of 17.8 yards per return, including touchdown returns of 60 yards against Dordt and 67 yards against Midland.
Aside from Schleuger, the Mustangs also placed Sean Fitzgerald, Ethan Stofferan, and Christian Walker on the first-team All-GPAC defensive unit.
Fitzgerald, a 6-1, 240 lb. senior defensive lineman from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, has seven solos and 25 assists for 32 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for losses of 13 yards, to go along with five quarterback hurries and a team-high two fumble recoveries and two blocked kicks.
Stofferan, a 6-3, 235 lb. senior linebacker from Sibley, Iowa, is a repeat first-team All-GPAC selection. Stofferan tops the Mustangs with seven quarterback hurries and is their second leading tackler with 31 solos and 46 assists for 77 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for losses of 25 yards. He has three pass breakups, two interceptions, and one quarterback sack.
Walker, a 5-11, 175 lb. senior defensive back from Brooklyn, N.Y., leads the Mustangs with three interceptions, 10 pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and two blocked kicks. He has 26 solos and 10 assists for 36 tackles. Walker also received honorable mention All-GPAC honors as a kickoff return specialist with an average of 29.4 yards per return.
Spencer Wyant, a 6-1, 205 lb. freshman from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, was named to the All-GPAC First Team as a punter. Wyant ranks among the national leaders with an average of 42.3 yards per punt with a long of 60 yards.
Morningside’s Nate Crnkovich, Weslee Dvorak, Briar Evans, Logan Rozeboom, Jason Vander Kooi, and Chad Willer were all named to the All-GPAC Second Team.
Crnkovich, a 6-4, 235 lb. junior defensive lineman from Papillion, Neb., has 10 solos and 12 assists for 22 tackles and is second on the team with six quarterback hurries. He has 2.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 16 yards, including two quarterback sacks.
Dvorak, a 6-0, 170 lb. freshman running back from Parkston, S.D., is the Mustangs’ second leading rusher with 663 yards and five touchdowns in 104 attempts for an average of 6.4 yards per carry to go along with eight pass receptions for 163 yards and two touchdowns for an average of 20.4 yards per catch.
Evans, a 6-3, 245 lb. freshman slot receiver from Creston, Iowa, has 26 pass receptions for 369 yards and four touchdowns for an average of 14.2 yards per catch.
Rozeboom, a 5-11, 205 lb. sophomore defensive back from Hartley, Iowa, leads the Mustangs with 12.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 31 yards. He has 32 solos and 22 assists for 54 tackles to go along with three quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, one quarterback sack, and one fumble recovery.
Vander Kooi, a 6-3, 205 lb. junior wide receiver from Merrill, Iowa, has 27 pass receptions for 555 yards and five touchdowns and leads the team with an average of 20.6 yards per catch.
Willer, a 6-3, 280 lb. junior offensive lineman from Lawton, Iowa, is a blocking standout for a Mustang offense that has scored over 70 points in five of their 10 games and has amassed over 600 yards total offense in 16 of their last 24 games dating back to last season.
In addition to their first and second team selections, the Mustangs placed Jared Amundson, a 6-2, 215 lb. freshman kicker from Sioux City; Austin Anfinson, a 6-1, 270 lb. junior offensive lineman from Hinton, Iowa; Derrick Dison, a 6-0, 175 lb. senior defensive back from Ridgecrest, Calif.; Tony Heimer, a 6-2, 240 lb. senior defensive lineman from Saint Ansgar, Iowa; Kendall Lindeman, a 6-2, 220 lb. senior slot receiver from Ethan, S.D.; Jackson Steinberg, a 6-3, 290 lb. senior offensive lineman from Saint Ansgar, Iowa; and Michael Whitehead, a 5-11, 190 lb. junior wide receiver from Le Mars, Iowa, on the All-GPAC honorable mention list.
Click here for the complete 2015 All-GPAC Football Team.