Seventeen Bulldog football players receive all-conference mentions
SEWARD, Neb. – A total of 17 Concordia football players collected all-conference honors, including four first team selections, as announced by the GPAC on Tuesday. Senior safety Darnell Woods, named to the league’s first team for the second-straight season, received the conference’s highest honor for a defensive player as he garnered Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Defensive Player of the Year recognition.
Defensive teammates in senior defensive lineman Dylan Heithoff and senior linebacker Langston Jones joined Woods on the GPAC’s first team. Electrifying senior Derek Blessing garnered first team honors as a returner.
Representing the Bulldogs on the second team were sophomore kicker Adam Meirose, junior offensive lineman Josh Powell and sophomore safety Tait Sibbel. An additional 11 players found themselves placed among the list of honorable mention choices, junior quarterback Von Thomas included (see full list below).
Woods, Heithoff and Jones were cornerstones of a unit that led the NAIA in pass defense (134.7) while ranking fifth in total defense (285.5) and fifth in scoring defense (17.0). The Bulldogs did not allow a rushing touchdown until the seventh game of the season, went three-straight games without giving up a touchdown (Sept. 25 – Oct. 12) and surrendered more than 300 total yards only twice all season.
Woods (Phoenix, Ariz.) topped the team with 88 tackles on the season. Heithoff (Elgin, Neb.) led Concordia with a career high 5.5 sacks to move up from second team all-conference honors in both 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, Jones registered a career best 80 tackles to headline a stout linebacker group.
Blessing, who also earned honorable mention as a cornerback, starred as the GPAC’s top return man for the second-straight year. The native of Ogallala, Neb., piled up 679 total return yards in 2013. He averaged 12.5 yards on 22 punt returns and 22.4 yards on 18 kickoff returns.
Powell (Kennesaw, Neb.), an honorable mention pick last season, elevates to second team honors as the anchor of the offensive line. Sibbel (O’Neill, Neb.) made 54 tackles and snared a team high four interceptions. Lastly, Meirose (Lincoln, Neb.) did an excellent job of replacing 2012 All-American Kenny Zoeller. Meirose made 9 of 13 field goals (long 37) and 31 of 33 extra points for 58 total points.
2013 Concordia football all-conference selections:
Derek Blessing (KR/PR)
Dylan Heithoff (DL)
Langston Jones (LB)
Darnell Woods (DB)
Adam Meirose (K)
Josh Powell (OL)
Tait Sibbel (DB)
Trey Barnes (RB)
Drew Baxter (LB)
Derek Blessing (DB)
Chevarius Curry-Felix (WR)
Bryce Collins (RB)
Michael Gill (DL)
Cody Hawk (DL)
Dylan Klassen (OL)
Colton Schneider (LB)
Josh Slechta (TE)
Von Thomas (QB)
19 November 2013
Senior defensive lineman Dylan Heithoff (No. 56)
Senior linebacker Langston Jones (No. 42)
Junior offensive lineman Josh Powell (No. 50)