Featured Story

Football GPAC era best by number

By Jacob Knabel on Jun. 5, 2020 in Football

The purpose of this piece is to answer the question quite simply: who wore it best? Below is our list of top Concordia football performers at each jersey number during the GPAC era (first season in 2000). It should be noted that select jersey numbers were left off the list. Special consideration was given to players who earned multiple all-conference awards during their careers. A brief synopsis of athletic achievements is included with each athlete.

Top performers by number, GPAC era (20 seasons)

#1 – A transfer who arrived at Concordia prior to the 2015 season, Le’Dontrae Gooden initially wore No. 10 before switching to 1. The Sacramento native played defensive back and picked off seven passes and totaled 123 tackles over his two seasons as a Bulldog. He was named second team All-GPAC in back-to-back years (2015 and 2016). Receiver Derrick Woods (2006-09) was a four-year contributor who caught 45 passes for 443 yards and three touchdowns during his career and was a two-time honorable mention All-GPAC choice.

#2 – He wore 94 before switching to No. 2 for his senior season in 2003. Defensive end J.C. White totaled 110 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks over the 2001 through 2003 seasons and was named honorable mention All-GPAC in ’03. A two-year starter at linebacker, Nakemm Evans accumulated 121 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss over the 2012 through 2014 campaigns. He posted eight tackles for loss as a senior in 2014.

#3 – Not only a member of the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame, tight end Ross Wurdeman was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2019. He starred for the 2001 GPAC championship team and amassed career totals of 168 receptions, 2,458 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. Wurdeman garnered first team All-America honors in 2000 and 2001 and was named to the NAIA’s 2000s all-decade team by Victory Sports Network. A hard-hitting safety, Nick Cavalliero of Mesa, Ariz., produced a combined 140 tackles and five interceptions over the 2003 and 2004 seasons and earned honorable mention All-GPAC in ’04.

#4 – A Wailuku, Hawaii, native, Colten Quinabo developed into a dependable pass catcher and hauled in 47 receptions for 567 yards and four touchdowns as a senior in 2012 when he was named second team all-conference.

#5 – He was a man of many numbers (19, 2 and 5), but Tarence Roby wore 5 as a senior in 2017 when the AFCA recognized him as a second team All-American. A playmaker in the secondary and in the return game, Roby found the end zone in many ways during his career – via interception return, via kick return and via fumble return. The three-time first team All-GPAC choice notched career totals of 141 tackles, 27 pass breakups, nine interceptions and 1,720 kick return yards. Kicker Adam Meirose earned first team all-conference honors in 2014 when went 6-for-8 on field goals and 40-for-42 on PATs. Now a high school football coach, Jake Griedl caught a combined 47 passes over the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

#6 – One of the top receivers in school history, Jared Garcia owns career school records for receiving touchdowns (35) and receiving yards (2,495) while ranking second in catches (161). His 11 touchdown grabs in 2014 are a school single-season standard. In his career, Garcia collected two first team and two second team All-GPAC accolades. As the starting quarterback in 2005, Reggie Corbin (current offensive coordinator) threw for six touchdown passes and ran for six more. Kicker Jess Boyd earned first team all-conference honors in 2001 when he made 8/14 field goals and tallied 66 points.

#7 – Houston, Texas, native Jerrod Fleming enjoyed an incredibly productive career at linebacker. He picked up second team All-GPAC honors twice and first team All-GPAC recognition once and recorded career totals of 237 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and two interceptions. He registered 84 tackles as a senior in 2011.

#8 – A contributor from 2009-12, Zack Warner caught 23 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns in his Bulldog career. He reeled in 14 receptions in 2010.

#9 – This number is loaded with talent. A big-time hard-hitter at safety, Darnell Woods is the only player in school history to earn GPAC Defensive Player of the Year (2013) honors. The Phoenix, Ariz., native notched 88 tackles as a senior in picked off six passes in his collegiate career. He was twice named first team all-conference. Bryce Collins wore 28 as a freshman before moving to No. 9. He earned two first team All-GPAC honors (2014 and 2015) while racking up 3,547 rushing yards (second most in program history) and 37 total touchdowns in his career. He added another 809 receiving yards over his four seasons. Dominique Weatherspoon starred in the secondary and raked in two second team All-GPAC awards. As a senior in 2006, Weatherspoon recorded 84 tackles, eight pass breakups and seven tackles for loss and blocked two kicks.

#10 – Von Thomas is in the thick of the discussion for top quarterback in school history. His 49 career touchdown passes equal a school record while his 5,662 passing yards rank No. 2. He also holds quarterback career records for rushing yards (1,598) and rushing touchdowns (16) and is the school single-season standard bearer with 21 touchdown passes (2014). He garnered three All-GPAC mentions. Gothenburg, Neb., native Jeff Neujahr (transfer from Chadron State) did a little bit of everything. Neujahr was one of the nation’s top return men as a junior and senior when he combined for four return touchdowns over the 2006 and 2007 campaigns. He piled up 3,469 career all-purpose yards and 18 total touchdowns and was twice named an honorable mention All-American by Victory Sports Network.

#11 – A second team All-GPAC honoree in 2009 and first team all-conference selection in 2010, Preston Harris posted career totals of 171 tackles, 18 pass breakups, 10.5 tackles for loss and nine interceptions. He notched 50 tackles, nine pass breakups and three picks as a senior in 2010.

#12 – Jarrod Pimentel is the only quarterback to lead Concordia to a GPAC title. Also a star on the baseball diamond, Pimentel owns the school record for career passing yards (6,435) while sharing the school touchdown passes record with Von Thomas (49). Pimentel threw for 2,178 yards and 16 touchdowns for the 2001 GPAC championship team. He was twice named honorable mention All-GPAC. A three-time honorable mention All-GPAC performer, tight end Nate Sindt made 45 grabs for 461 yards and four touchdowns in his collegiate career (2009-11). Punter Matt Egger averaged nearly 42 yards per punt in 2004 when he was named an honorable mention All-American.

#13 – He hung around as a graduate assistant following his playing career. As a corner, Jim Landers topped the 2008 squad with 74 tackles to go along with two interceptions on his way to second team All-GPAC accolades. Landers compiled career totals of 227 tackles, 30 pass breakups and six interceptions in 39 games.

#14 – Current Activities Director at Lincoln Christian High School, Kurt Earl threw for 4,158 yards and 37 touchdowns as a quarterback during the 2001 through 2004 seasons. His shining moment on the playing field occurred when he led the Bulldogs back from a 17-7 deficit at Doane with 2:46 left in the game. Earl went 10-for-13 for 103 yards and two touchdowns on the final two drives and was named GPAC Offensive Player of the Week.

#15 – A rotational contributor at linebacker and defensive end, Parker Johnson (2015-18) posted 72 tackles and six tackles for loss over his Concordia career. He saw frequent playing time his sophomore through senior seasons.

#16 – A native of Merino, Colo., Brett Mertens made a unique transition from quarterback as a junior to free safety as a senior. It worked out well. Mertens garnered first team All-GPAC accolades in 2007 when he recorded 68 tackles, five interceptions and four pass breakups. The year prior he threw for 1,030 yards.

#17 – A Doniphan native, Riley Wiltfong became the team’s primary quarterback in 2016 and 2017 and threw for a combined 2,490 yards and 27 touchdowns while running for 533 yards and four scores in his career. As a safety, Charles Brewer had his best season in 2000 when he put up 60 tackles, including four for loss. We recommend trying Brewer’s Lincoln restaurant, Stur 22 Lounge.

#18 – Luke Kucera was a two-way player who made an impact as both a tight end and defensive end. He switched from No. 90 to 18 for his senior season and became the primary tight end once Ross Wurdeman graduated. In 2002 Kucera caught 20 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. As a defensive end that same season he put up 36 tackles (seven for loss) and 6.5 sacks. He was named second team All-GPAC in 2002. He registered four tackles for loss for the ’01 GPAC championship team.

#19 – There may not be a better all-around football player in program history than Sean Stewart. Now a member of the Coast Guard, Stewart told the crowd at his Hall of Fame induction speech that when he hit someone, he wanted to “steal their soul.” Stewart owns the program career record with 20 interceptions, to go along with 290 career tackles. The native of Beaumont, Texas, was a three-time first team All-GPAC choice and was tabbed an All-American by the Football Gazette in 2002. Stewart set the tone for a rugged 2001 GPAC championship defense. Sixth on the program’s all-time leading rushing list (2,525 career rushing yards), Ryan Durdon garnered back-to-back second team All-GPAC mentions (2017 and 2018). He found the end zone 22 times in his collegiate career. Current head coach Patrick Daberkow also wore 19 as a safety from 2003-06. Daberkow made 36 tackles and picked off a pass his senior year (three interceptions as a freshman in ’03).

#20 – David City native Brian Samek was an unsung contributor for the 2001 team. For that particular squad, the senior corner collected 39 tackles and led the team with six interceptions, including one that he took back for a touchdown. Samek was twice named an honorable mention All-GPAC player.

#21 – Derek Blessing was a playmaker. He began his collegiate career as a running back and ran for a 97-yard touchdown as a sophomore in 2011. He terrorized opposing special teams units in 2012 when he returned three punts for touchdowns. Blessing moved to cornerback and totaled 120 tackles and four interceptions over two seasons as a starter at that spot. He was named a first team All-GPAC honoree twice.

#22 – One of the top backs ever to wear Bulldog blue, JaMaine Lewis still owns the school single-season record with 1,265 rushing yards (as a senior in 2007). He galloped to 11 of his 25 career touchdowns in that campaign. His 2,731 career rushing yards rank fifth in program history. He garnered first team All-GPAC laurels twice. He once rushed for 261 yards and four touchdowns in a single game. Michael Hedlund was a converted quarterback who found a home at linebacker (and wore No. 6 later in his career) and turned in back-to-back seasons (2015 and 2016) with more than 100 tackles. He was named second team All-GPAC as a junior and first team as a senior. Also a big-time back, Alex Alvarez rushed for 2,959 career yards (fourth in school history). He ran for 11 touchdowns in both 2001 and 2003. He received second team all-conference accolades in ’01.

#23 – He still has one more year to play, but linebacker Lane Napier has already established himself as one of the greats. He owns 347 tackles, 31 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks over his first three seasons, all resulting in first team All-GPAC mention. He led the entire NAIA with 142 tackles in 2018 and was chosen as a first team All-American by the Associated Press. A solid linebacker in his own right, Jacob Bauer picked up second team All-GPAC honors in 2004 when he notched 81 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

#25 – A defensive back from Prairie Grove, Ark., Heath Broekemeier earned honorable mention All-GPAC honors in both 2010 and 2011. Over those two seasons he registered a combined 93 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 11 pass breakups and five interceptions. Two of his picks were returned for touchdowns.

#27 – A transfer via Waldorf College, Cory Evans earned a starting role as a safety and contributed 52 tackles, 13 pass breakups and two interceptions over his two seasons with the Bulldogs. He was tagged with second team All-GPAC honors in 2016 when Concordia finished nationally ranked.

#28 – Referred to as one of the smartest players to ever line up in the Bulldog secondary, D’Mauria Martin was a rock at either corner or safety during his career (2014-17). Martin was twice named first team All-GPAC. As a senior, he notched 52 tackles, eight pass breakups, six tackles for loss and five interceptions (three in one game). He totaled 136 tackles and 30 pass breakups for his career. Over the 2009 and 2010 campaigns, linebacker Austin Freudenberg amassed 97 combined tackles (12 for loss) and earned honorable mention All-GPAC both years.

#29 – A loaded group of 29s starts with Ben Klein, a four-year safety starter who racked up 246 tackles, 17 pass breakups, 10.5 tackles for loss and eight interceptions over his standout career (2008-11). Klein was a three-time all-conference selection (first team in 2011). Troy Schlueter helped oversee the program’s rise in the early 2000s with back-to-back second team All-GPAC mentions (2000 and 2001). Schlueter’s ’01 season included 77 tackles, five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. As a junior he notched 100 tackles (4.5 for loss). Tait Sibbel was productive at both safety and linebacker and was another four-year starter. He collected some form of all-conference honors all four years and totaled 234 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups and nine interceptions.

#30 – Darrin Suckstorf shared the backfield with Alex Alvarez on the ’01 squad and rushed for 626 yards and five touchdowns that season while earning second team All-GPAC honors. The Pierce, Neb., native also ran for 644 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior in 2000.

#31 – Another tough-nosed linebacker, Riley Bilstein put together a fine senior season when he put forth 69 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four pass breakups and 3.5 sacks. He was then chosen as an honorable mention All-GPAC pick. Bilstein posted 126 tackles for his career.

#32 – A 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker, CJ Rust pulled in honorable mention All-GPAC honors as a senior in 2004 when he notched 38 tackles, four tackles for loss, four pass breakups and an interception. Rust generated three sacks the previous campaign in ’03.

#33 – Seward native Dan Ellis made his biggest impact as a senior in 2000 when he played all over the field. He rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns and totaled 267 punt return yards and 348 kickoff return yards. He also chipped in defensively with 43 tackles. He was named first team All-GPAC as a return specialist.

#34 – After rushing for 464 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman, Seward native Trey Barnes began a transition into an All-American defensive end. Over his final two seasons as a Bulldog (2015 and 2016), Barnes filled the stat sheet with a combined 143 tackles, 42 tackles for loss and 19 sacks. He landed on the NAIA All-America second team as a junior and then on the first team as a senior. Barnes also earned an All-America award as a thrower in track and field.

#35 – A defensive back from Tucson, Ariz., Martin Rodriguez enjoyed a fine 2011 season when he broke up seven passes and picked off three more. He tallied 92 tackles in his collegiate career.

#36 – Kordell Glause mostly played linebacker but moved to safety when needed as a senior in 2018. Glause was an honorable mention All-GPAC performer in 2017 and then a second team honoree in 2018. Over 30 career games as a Bulldog, Glause recorded 145 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, five sacks and two interceptions.

#37 – Clay Mauro made tremendous strides in his career and became a starting linebacker. He made 78 stops in 2015 and was named honorable mention All-GPAC. He notched 137 tackles for his career.

#38 – A 2003 honorable mention All-GPAC linebacker, Matt Marty pitched in with 43 tackles and 1.5 stops for loss as a senior. Marty turned in 42 tackles as a junior.

#39 – Both two-time honorable mention All-GPAC choices, Tom Malander and Zac Walter wore 39 well at the linebacker position. Malander posted exactly 52 tackles three-straight seasons from 2010 through 2012 and added 13.5 tackles for loss and an interception in his career. Meanwhile, Walter recorded 171 career tackles and had 12.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage as a senior in 2019. One of his two interceptions in ’19 was returned for a touchdown. Walter had an impressive 28.5 tackles for loss (eight sacks) in his career.

#40 – Erik Small served as a Swiss army knife in playing both fullback and then defensive tackle. Small made the transition to defense look smooth in his senior year of 2017 when he posted 41 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. He was honored as a second team All-GPAC choice. He also found the end zone twice in his career.

#41 – Another of the ferocious linebackers on the list, Erik DeHaven joined the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019. As a senior on the ’01 GPAC championship squad, DeHaven logged 110 tackles (5.5 for loss) and was named first team All-GPAC and the Honorary Defensive Captain of the Omaha World-Herald’s All-Nebraska Team. Over his career, DeHaven compiled 238 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and six sacks and garnered three all-conference mentions. Phillip Elder put together one of the finest statistical years ever for a Concordia running back when he rushed for 903 yards (5.5 per carry) and 11 touchdowns in 2004. Named first team All-GPAC in ’04, Elder ranks seventh in program history with 2,027 career rushing yards.

#42 – Langston Jones collected first team All-GPAC honors in 2013 and two previous honorable mention awards while putting together a stellar career at linebacker. In his career, Jones racked up 209 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and an interception. He made 80 stops as a senior.

#43 – Okay, Dan Margritz did not put up big stats, but he did run for 67 yards and a touchdown as a senior in 2011 when he was a contributing role player. Margritz went on to appear on TV as part of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge and is currently the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Hope College in Michigan.

#44 – In a loaded linebacker group, Derek Tachovsky carved out a noteworthy career that included 206 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions. He notched 88 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and two sacks as a senior in 2019 and was rewarded with second team All-GPAC honors. As a defensive lineman, Rob Rathmann produced 53 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks for the 2001 GPAC championship squad. A two-time honorable mention All-GPAC choice, Rathmann put up 38 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss the previous season.

#45 – A linebacker from Peoria, Ariz., Rusty McConnell enjoyed an increased role as a senior in 2010 and recorded 42 tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage.

#46/48 – A Lincoln, Neb., native, Nathan Hannemann switched to 46 (from 48) as a senior. He was a regular contributor, especially as an upperclassman. He collected 36 tackles (2.5 for loss) as a senior and 31 tackles (six for loss) as a junior). He was a 2007 honorable mention All-GPAC selection.

#47 – Josh Slechta is the only one on this list who can also claim a national title. He was a weight throw national champion in 2015. As a tight end, Slechta amassed 52 catches for 788 yards and three touchdowns in his career. He garnered honorable mention All-GPAC recognition as a sophomore in 2013.

#49 – A Seward High School alum, Seth Fitzke played tight end with a mean streak. He was a first team All-GPAC choice in 2015 and was twice named second team all-conference – particularly because of his ability as a blocker. In his career, Fitzke caught 35 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns. Bryan White earned second team All-GPAC honors in both 2002 and 2003 as a linebacker. He topped the ’03 team with 96 tackles (7.5 for loss) and collected 84 tackles (seven for loss) in ’02. A Lincoln native, Jordan Brockman recorded 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 2010 and was honorable mention All-GPAC.

#50 – One of the program’s top offensive guards of the GPAC era, Josh Powell earned three career All-GPAC mentions: first team in 2014, second team in 2013 and honorable mention in 2012. His blocking helped Bryce Collins rush for 1,016 yards in 2014.

#51 – At 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, Andrew Schlueter had many opponents outmatched at the line of scrimmage. The son of longtime equipment manager Stan Schlueter, Andrew was named first team All-GPAC in 2000 (second team All-NIAC in 1999) as a dominant force on the offensive line. He even reportedly had 11 pancake blocks in a single game and was subsequently named GPAC Offensive Player of the Week. Another standout on the offensive line, Michael Voss was a second team All-GPAC performer in 2005 and earned two honorable mention awards (2003 and 2004).

#52 – Kyle Little made his largest impact in 2012 when he made 72 tackles (two for loss) and broke up six passes. He produced 114 career tackles and was named honorable mention All-GPAC as a senior.

#53 – Three-straight years (2004 through 2006), Jack Galusha raked in second team All-GPAC honors at the linebacker position. Over those three campaigns, Galusha complied 245 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, nine pass breakups and two interceptions. His top single-season tackle total was 88. Also at linebacker, Josh Conrad earned three All-GPAC honors (second team in 2000). As a sophomore, Conrad topped the team with 105 tackles (six for loss and 3.5 sacks). Conrad registered 75 tackles for the ’01 team.

#54 – Terrance Gillian anchored the offensive lines of 2003 and 2004 when he earned first team All-GPAC accolades both seasons. The 260-pounder from Lancaster, Texas, helped pave the way for the ’04 squad to average 5.1 yards per carry.

#55 – A native of Eaton, Colo., Mike Kelly lettered on the offensive line for the 2001 GPAC championship team. He also lettered the previous year.

#56 – A pain for opposing offenses to deal with, Dylan Heithoff made 35.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage throughout his career that saw him garner first team All-GPAC honors once and second team all-conference accolades twice. He added 182 tackles and 14.5 sacks throughout his career as both a defensive end and outside linebacker. A second team All-GPAC choice in 2007, Trent Laune notched 70 tackles as a senior.

#57 – Defensive lineman Michael Voelker amassed career totals of 156 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He was honored with second team All-GPAC accolades in 2012 when he collected 63 tackles.

#58 – A center from Lincoln, Neb., Craig Lundy was named a second team All-GPAC honoree on the 2002 squad.

#59 – A contributor on the defensive front, Cody Hawk made 4.5 tackles for loss and picked off a pass in 2013 when he garnered honorable mention All-GPAC accolades. He totaled 78 career tackles.

#60 – A key blocker for running back Alex Alvarez, Josh Turner (Geneva, Neb.) earned back-to-back honorable mention All-GPAC honors (2000 and 2001) as an offensive lineman.

#61 – A Columbus, Neb., native, Corby Osten started on the offensive line for the 2001 GPAC championship team. He is now the Defensive Coordinator for the Bulldogs.

#62 – Wes Amberger arrived at Concordia via Perryville, Mo., and reeled in second team All-GPAC honors as an offensive lineman in both 2001 and 2002. Adam Faulstich was named second team all-conference in 2012.

#63 – A multiple-year starter on the offensive line, Dylan Klassen was tabbed honorable mention All-GPAC in 2012 and 2013. The ’13 team began the year with a 6-0 mark.

#64 – A native of Centennial, Colo., Evrett Shaw earned a starting role as an offensive guard and helped steady a young offensive line as an upperclassman.

#65 – Andrew Sunderman (Norfolk, Neb.) pulled in second team All-GPAC accolades in 2007 and 2008. He was a key blocker for running back JaMaine Lewis, who ran for a program single-season record rushing total in 2007. Guard Matt Romero landed on the All-GPAC first team in 2017 and was an honorable mention choice in 2016.

#66 – From 2007 through 2009, Gothenburg native Dustin Ehlers earned honorable mention All-GPAC honors all three seasons as an offensive lineman.

#68 – A starter at left tackle, Glen Manninger was tabbed honorable mention All-GPAC in 2014.

#69 – A 6-foot-1, 300-pound offensive lineman as a senior in 2005, Matt Haack earned honorable mention all-conference laurels.

#70 – Ken Ruben of Beaumont, Texas, supplied push from his spot on the defensive line. He was chosen as a second team All-GPAC honoree in 2002 when he turned in 35 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Matt Ridge (Buckeye, Ariz.) was named honorable mention All-GPAC as both a junior and senior (2009 and 2010) defensive lineman. Over those two seasons he combined for 81 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss.

#71 – Another contributor to JaMaine Lewis’ record-breaking season, Tom Schutte garnered honorable mention all-conference recognition as an offensive lineman in 2007.

#73 – Houston native Charles Washington was named a second team All-GPAC offensive lineman in 2011 following honorable mention accolades in 2010. Meanwhile, O-lineman Grady Koch hauled in honorable mention awards three separate times (2016 through 2018).

#75 – A stalwart right tackle, Ben Balduc helped the Concordia ground attack to 1,672 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns in 2015 when he was selected to the All-GPAC fist team. He was named honorable mention a year earlier.

#76 – Joshua Krueger has the distinction of lettering at both defensive line and offensive line during his career, which spanned the 2000 through 2003 seasons.

#77 – The 6-foot-4 Albion, Neb., native became a starting tackle and honorable mention All-GPAC choice in 2017. Hallick Lehmann also was a CoSIDA Academic All-American.

#78 – Kyle Fittje of Columbus, Neb., bolstered the offensive line during a college career that spanned the 2003 through 2006 seasons.

#79 – A native of Torrance, Calif., Brandon Wormer helped the program trend upward and was a starting offensive lineman in 2000 when he was named honorable mention all-conference. Also an offensive lineman, Dennis Robbins picked up honorable mention All-GPAC accolades in 2004.

#80 – Receiver Patrick Clark wore 80 as a senior after switching from No. 10. He became more heavily involved in the offense over the 2002 and 2003 seasons when he combined for 29 catches, 468 receiving yards and four touchdown grabs. Clark also returned kicks and took a punt return back for a touchdown in 2001.

#81 – Regan Else of Mead, Neb., was the top pass catcher on the ’01 GPAC championship team. He hauled in 52 receptions for 664 yards and six touchdowns and was named second team all-conference that season. Else caught 107 passes over his final three collegiate seasons (honorable mention All-GPAC in 2000 and 2002).

#82 – A defensive end from North Platte, Neb., Ben Deutschman became a solid starter who notched a combined 99 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks over the 2005 and 2006 seasons. He was named honorable mention all-conference in 2006.

#84 – Tim Gast came to Concordia all the way from Baltimore Lutheran in Maryland. His role increased significantly as a senior when he caught 21 passes for 356 yards and a touchdown. He was rewarded with honorable mention All-GPAC laurels.

#85 – This number has been worn by recent contributors such as tight end Jordan Larrington, receiver Brandon Luetchens and tight end Jason Owens. Among Larrington’s 14 career catches were two touchdown receptions. As a secondary receiver in 2015, Luetchens reeled in 18 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.

#86 – He might be one of the few kickers to have worn gloves, but it worked. Kenny Zoeller enjoyed the top season ever for a Concordia kicker in 2012 when he made 15-of-20 field goal tries (school record for made field goals in a season) and tallied 72 points. He was named first team All-GPAC and a first team All-American by the AFCA. Zoeller successfully converted a school record 29 field goals throughout his career.

#87 – A native of Beatrice, Neb., Derek Klaus was a reliable pass catcher who reeled in 51 receptions for 452 yards and a touchdown over the 2011 through 2013 seasons. He caught 29 passes as a senior in 2013.

#88 – A 6-foot-3 receiver from Sutherland, Neb., Kirby Rising was a consistent threat who piled up 101 catches, 1,460 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns over his career. He caught 24 passes for the ’01 team and was named second team All-GPAC in 2002 when he snagged 37 balls for 534 yards and seven touchdowns.

#89 – Clint Gardels came into his own as a defensive end as a senior in 2015 when recorded 32 tackles, six tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries and 2.5 sacks. He even took one of those fumbles 70 yards for a touchdown versus Briar Cliff. Gardels began his career as a tight end.

#90 – The widespread appreciation for Derek “Rowdy” Rodine was made clear following his tragic death in July of 2013. On the football field, the 6-foot, 265-pound native of Polk, Neb., gave opposing offenses fits. Over his four seasons as a Bulldog, Rowdy amassed 129 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. Rodine was named second team All-GPAC in 2011. He was also a national qualifying thrower in track and field.

#91 – Aaron Rudloff improved by leaps and bounds from his junior to senior seasons while becoming one of the top defensive lineman in the GPAC. During a second team All-GPAC season in 2019, Rudloff posted 41 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and nine sacks. His career included 120 tackles and 12 sacks. Over all-conference junior and senior seasons (2003 and 2004), defensive lineman Justin Hanneman combined for 81 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and six sacks. He was named to the GPAC’s second team in 2004.

#92 – Anthony Porter of Temecula, Calif., helped clog up the middle from his position on the defensive front. He earned honorable mention All-GPAC accolades in 2000 and 2001 while totaling 48 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks over those two campaigns. The ’01 team allowed its opponents only 12.8 points per game.

#93 – One of the top pass rushers on the ’01 team, David Schmidt collected second team All-GPAC recognition twice. Over his final two seasons as a Bulldog, Schmidt put up a combined 98 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. An anchor for Concordia run D, Ron Jackson (5-11, 305) garnered second team All-GPAC honors in 2016 when he notched 38 tackles, including 3.5 for loss. He accumulated 105 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss in his career, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Jackson stayed in the program as a graduate assistant coach after his playing career.

#94 – A 6-foot-2, 280-pound nose guard, Matt Baller may be one of the strongest linemen to ever play at Concordia. His best season came in 2007 when he accumulated 39 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. As a result, he was named first team all-conference. Baller went on to compete in power lifting competitions after college.

#96 – Unfortunately an injury slowed him as a senior, but Michael Gill did fine work on the defensive line in 2013 and 2014 when he was named honorable mention All-GPAC both seasons. In 2014, he posted 64 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Aaron Hannemann also turned in two honorable mention campaigns. As a senior in 2010, he notched 41 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Finally, Seth Clemmer racked up 94 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and five sacks and was another two-time honorable mention choice (2004 and 2005).

#97 – Kyle Rakow of Milford, Neb., was a disruptive force at defensive end as a senior in 2014 when he made 15.5 tackles for loss. He also added 79 tackles and 4.5 sacks and was credited with second team All-GPAC honors. He totaled 124 tackles and 5.5 sacks for his career. Kyle Rust came on as a senior in 2007 and put up 38 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks that season (honorable mention All-GPAC).

#98 – Alex Melius served as a key piece of the defensive line in the 2012 through 2014 seasons when he contributed a combined 68 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

#99 – Brock Simonsen earned action all four years (2005-08) and piled up 98 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks over his career. He picked up honorable mention all-conference accolades in 2007 when he made 5.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. Nolan Schroeder increased his production as a senior in 2016 when he was an honorable mention All-GPAC choice. He collected 22 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks that season.