Wietzema tabbed AFCA All-America First Team

Wietzema tabbed AFCA All-America First Team

WACO, Texas - Senior offensive lineman Trevor Wietzema was named to the AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America First Team, it was announced by the American Football Coaches Association Tuesday.

 The Worthington, Minn., native completed his collegiate career with one of the highest honors as he was named to the AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America First Team for the first time in his career. Throughout his four years, Wietzema has been named All-GPAC First Team twice and All-GPAC Second Team once.

 He helped pave the way for one of the nation's most prolific offensive attacks in his four years. In 2017, the Tiger offense finished the regular season ranked second in the NAIA in total offense per game with 560.7 yards, fifth in first downs per game with 28, seventh in total passing offense with 3,499 passing yards, eighth in total scoring offense with 480 points, ninth in passing offense per game with 318 yards per game and 10th in scoring offense per game with 44 points per game.

 This season, Wietzema led the Tiger offensive line as the offense ranked 20th in the NAIA in total passing offense with 2,643 passing yards. The offense also averaged 240.3 passing yards per game, which ranked 27th in the nation.

 The senior offensive lineman will be completing his collegiate career at the D1-FCS Senior Scout Bowl at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

 The following is the press released by the American Football Coaches Association:


WACO, TEXAS — Morningside (Iowa) quarterback Trent Solsma and Evangel (Mo.) defensive lineman Andreas Moeller headline the 2018 AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Teams announced today by the American Football Coaches Association.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.

Solsma, who has helped lead Morningside to the NAIA National Championship game, had a record-setting senior year. He led the nation with 5,097 yards passing, 365 completions, 68 touchdowns and 5,040 yards in total offense. The 68 touchdowns are a single-season NAIA record, as is his 72.6 completion percentage. Moeller set a school record and finished second in the nation with 27.5 tackles for loss. He also finished seventh in the country with 12 sacks and tied for second with five forced fumbles on the season. Moeller also added 69 total tackles and one interception.


2018 AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team - First Team


Pos.   Name                              Ht.      Wt.     Cl.      School                                  Coach                                                    Hometown (High School)

QB     Trent Solsma                6-0     215     Sr.      Morningside (Iowa)           Steve Ryan   Dakota Dunes, S.D. (Bishop Heelan Catholic)

RB     Joe Conner                   6-0     215     Jr.       Concordia (Mich.)             Joshua Schumacher                    Flat Rock, Mich. (Flat Rock)

RB     Demarco Prewitt          5-10   204     Jr.       Kansas Wesleyan             Matt Drinkall                            Menifee, Calif. (Paloma Valley)

WR    Darrion Dillard             6-4     205     Sr.      Ottawa (Kan.)                     Kent Kessinger                                   St. Louis, Mo. (McCluer)

WR    Brenden Kelly              6-2     205     R-Sr.  Eastern Oregon                 Tim Camp                               Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge)

TE     Brandon Dillon             6-5     250     Sr.      Marian (Ind.)                       Mark Henninger                                  Bringhurst, Ind. (Carroll)

OL     *Garrett Bader              6-5     293     Sr.      Benedictine (Kan.)            Larry Wilcox                                                               Aurora, Mo. (Aurora)                                  

OL     Anthony Vereen           6-4     290     Sr.      Jamestown (N.D.)             Josh Kittell                                        Las Vegas, Nev. (Mojave)

OL     Shabari Jones              6-2     300     Sr.      Avila (Mo.)                          Marc Benavidez                           Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County)

OL     Dustin Rivera               5-11   250     Jr.       Southwestern (Kan.)         Brad Griffin                                         Buckeye, Ariz. (Buckeye)

OL     Trevor Wietzema         6-2     290     Sr.      Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)  Ross Cimpl                          Worthington, Minn. (Worthington)



Pos.   Name                              Ht.      Wt.     Cl.      School                                  Coach                                                    Hometown (High School)

DL     *Curt Boeke                  6-5     265     Sr.      Dakota State (S.D.)           Josh Anderson                                   Clear Lake, S.D. (Deuel)

DL     Kenneth Steele, Jr.      6-0     212     Sr.      Ottawa (Ariz.)                     Mike Nesbitt                                           Tampa, Fla. (Tolleson)

DL     JT Graydon                   6-0     215     R-So. Reinhardt (Ga.)                  James Miller                                          Tifton, Ga. (Tift County)

DL     Andreas Moeller          6-1     245     Jr.       Evangel (Mo.)                    Chuck Hepola                                        Hebo, Ore. (Nestucca)

LB     Jason Ferris                  6-3     215     R-Jr.  Montana Western              Ryan Nourse                    Dillon, Mont. (Beaverhead County)

LB     Damarcus Wimbush   5-10   211     R-So. Bluefield (Va.)                    Dewey Lusk                                           Danville, Va. (Tunstall)

LB     Caleb Coe                    6-1     210     Sr.      Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)         Eric Hehman                               Cedarville, Ohio (Cedarville)

DB     Nicholas Holmes         5-11   207     So.     St. Mary (Kan.)                   Jay Osborne                           Lansing, Kan. (Pleasant Ridge)

DB     Anthony Murray           5-8     170     Sr.      Hastings (Neb.)                 Tony Harper                             Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail)

DB     Jay Liggins                   6-2     200     Sr.      Dickinson St. (N.D.)          Pete Stanton                                    Bismarck, N.D. (Bismarck)

DB     Wilmer Cole                  6-1     194     Sr.      Saint Francis (Ind.)            Kevin Donley                                   Indianapolis, Ind. (Warren Central)                                   



Pos.   Name                              Ht.      Wt.     Cl.      School                                  Coach                                                    Hometown (High School)

P        Drake Higgins              6-2     257     Jr.       Missouri Valley                  Paul Troth                                               Lathrop, Mo. (Lathrop)

PK     Marcus Montano          6-1     205     Sr.      Southern Oregon              Charlie Hall                                      Manteca, Calif. (Manteca)

AP     J'Kobi Reddick             5-8     183     So.     Bethel (Tenn.)                    Brent Dearmon                Tampa, Fla. (Cambridge Christian)


*-2017 AFCA All-American


2018 AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team - Second Team


Pos.   Name                          Ht.     Wt.     Cl.      School                                             Coach                                              Hometown (High School)

QB     Jaylen Lowe             6-0     200    Sr.      Langston (Okla.)                          Quinton Morgan                     Collinsville, Okla. (Owasso)

RB     Milton Shelton          5-10  190    Jr.       Cumberlands (Ky.)                      Matt Rhymer        Roswell, Ga. (Blessed Trinity Catholic)

RB     Drevion Cooper       5-7     170    Sr.      Tabor (Kan.)                                  Mike Gardner                      Coldspring, Texas (Oakhurst)

WR    Aaron Jackson         6-2     187    Sr.      Benedictine (Kan.)                       Larry Wilcox                                  Frankfort, Ky. (Frankfort)

WR    *Connor Niles          5-11  195    Sr.      Morningside (Iowa)                     Steve Ryan   Sioux City, Iowa (Bishop Heelan Catholic)

TE     Devante Jimenez    6-5     277    Sr.      Bethel (Tenn.)                               Brent Dearmon                    Pulaski, Tenn. (Giles County)

OL     Tre Coney                 6-1     275    Jr.       Reinhardt (Ga.)                            James Miller                                                         Dublin, Ga. (Dublin)                               

OL     Mick Wilson              6-5     285    R-Sr.  Eastern Oregon                            Tim Camp                                     Council, Idaho (Council)

OL     Jordan Heldreth       6-5     310    Sr.      Southeastern (Fla.)                      Keith Barefield        Port Orange, Fla. (Warner Christian)

OL     Jarin Bush                 6-4     295    Sr.      Marian (Ind.)                                 Mark Henninger                                     Flora, Ind. (Carroll)

OL     D.J. Loving                6-2     280    Sr.      Grand View (Iowa)                       Mike Woodley                      St. Louis, Mo. (East St. Louis)



Pos.   Name                          Ht.     Wt.     Cl.      School                                             Coach                                              Hometown (High School)

DL     Mike Mitchell            6-4     270    Sr.      Southeastern (Fla.)                      Keith Barefield     Plano, Texas (Prestonwood Christian)

DL     Shaq Bradford          5-10  219    Jr.       Kansas Wesleyan                        Matt Drinkall                              San Diego, Calif. (Hoover)

DL     Dmitri Joe                  6-3     285    Sr.      St. Xavier (Ill.)                               Mike Feminis   La Grange Park, Ill. (Nazareth Academy)

DL     Ryder Rice                6-6     220    Jr.       Rocky Mountain (Mont.)             Jason Petrino                               Savage, Mont. (Savage)

LB     Ben Slavens             5-10  215    Jr.       Grand View (Iowa)                       Mike Woodley             Bettendorf, Iowa (Pleasant Valley)

LB     *Trent Mueller          6-0     225    Gr.      Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)                   Chris Oliver                             Nashville, Tenn. (Christian)

LB     Eric Dunten               6-2     220    Sr.      Saint Francis (Ind.)                      Kevin Donley                              Fort Wayne, Ind. (Carroll)

DB     Bryce Van Beek       6-0     175    Sr.      Northwestern (Iowa)                    Matt McCarty                   Rock Valley, Iowa (Rock Valley)

DB     Landon Jones          6-1     215    Jr.       Southwestern Assemblies (Tex.)                                                                                        Ryan Smith                                    Waco, Texas (Midway)

DB     Xavier Spann           6-1     185    Sr.      Morningside (Iowa)                     Steve Ryan                                 Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland)

DB     #Cain Boschee        6-3     185    Sr.      Dickinson St. (N.D.)                     Pete Stanton                                                 Kalispell, Mont. (Glacier)                              



Pos.   Name                          Ht.     Wt.     Cl.      School                                             Coach                                              Hometown (High School)

P        Austin Bohn              6-4     180    Jr.       Ottawa (Ariz.)                                Mike Nesbitt                                                Erie, Colo. (Erie)

PK     Jared Amundson     6-3     220    Sr.      Morningside (Iowa)                     Steve Ryan                                      Sioux City, Iowa (East)

AP     Nate McLaurin         5-11  190    Sr.      Baker (Kan.)                                  Mike Grossner                                      Erie, Pa. (Cathedral Prep)

*-2017 AFCA All-American      #-2016 AFCA All-American


Team Background: The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams – University Division and College Division – were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams — FBS and FCS. In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III, respectively.

From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997, a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team. The return specialist position was replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006. In 2016, the AFCA added a second team All-America. 

 Selection Process: The AFCA's NAIA All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA's seven districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts prior to a conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which the team is chosen. 

 The Award: Members of the AFCA Coaches' All-America First Team will receive a plaque commemorating their selection to the team, while members of the Second Team will receive a certificate. 

 AFCA NAIA Player Selection History: NAIA players who were selected to AFCA All-America teams were named to the AFCA College Division team from 1967-71. In 1972, the AFCA College Division was split to College I and College II. Players from NAIA Division I teams were placed in AFCA College I, while players from NAIA Division II were placed in AFCA College II. That process lasted until 1996, when College I and College II were renamed Division II and Division III. From 1996-2005, all NAIA players who were selected as AFCA All-Americans were placed on the AFCA Division II team. In 2006, the AFCA started selecting an NAIA-only team. 

 Top Teams: Morningside has been represented a total of 22 times with 21 different players on AFCA Coaches' All-America Teams to lead all schools in NAIA. In second is Carroll (Mont.), which has had 21 different players selected as All-Americans on 19 different occasions. Trailing Morningside and Carroll (Mont.) are: Georgetown (Ky.) (18/15), Saint Francis (Ind.) (16/15), Baker (14/12), Saint Xavier (13/12), Marian (12/11), Southern Oregon (11/11), Northwestern (Iowa) (11/9), Grand View (10/10), Benedictine (Kan.) (10/8), Bethel (Tenn.) (10/8), Missouri Valley (10/8), St. Ambrose (9/9), Montana Tech (9/7), Dickinson State (8/7), Dakota Wesleyan (7/7), Friends (7/6), Tabor (7/5), Eastern Oregon (6/6), Southwestern (Kan.) (6/6), Sterling (6/6), Doane (6/5), MidAmerica Nazarene (6/5), St. Francis (Ill.) (6/5), Hastings (5/5), Jamestown (5/5), Kansas Wesleyan (5/5), Dakota State (5/4), Faulkner (5/4), Nebraska Wesleyan (5/4), Ottawa (Kan.) (5/4), Reinhardt (5/4) and Rocky Mountain (5/4). 

 First Time Schools: This year, offensive lineman Shabari Jones of Avila, linebacker Damarcus Wimbush of Bluefield and defensive lineman Kenneth Steele, Jr. and punter Austin Bohn of Ottawa (Ariz.) have earned their schools AFCA All-America honors for the first time. 

 Consecutive Years: Morningside has had at least one player named to the AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team for 13 straight seasons, from 2006 to present, the longest streak by any team in NAIA history. Following Morningside is Carroll (Mont.) with 11 straight selections from 2005 to 2015. Grand View and Marian are tied for third on the list with eight straight AFCA All-Americans. Grand View's selections came from 2009 to 2016, while Marian's is from 2011 to present. 

 Five Time: Morningside joined Baker as the only schools to have five AFCA All-Americans named in one season. Morningside achieved the feat in 2017 with Caden McDonald (LB-first team), Bubba Jenkins (RB-second team), Connor Niles (WR-second team), Trae Bradburn (OL-second team) and Spencer Wyant (P-second team). Baker earned its five selections in 2016 with Logan Brettell (QB-first team), Clarence Clark (PK-second team), Josh Kock (DL-second team), Darrain Winston (DB-second team) and Cornell Brown (AP-second team). 

 Three-peat: With his second team All-America selection in 2017, College of Idaho defensive back Nate Moore became the first NAIA player to be named to three straight AFCA NAIA All-America Teams. Moore was a first team selection in 2015 and 2016. 

 Repeat After Me: Offensive lineman Garrett Bader of Benedictine (Kan.), defensive lineman Curt Boeke of Dakota State, wide receiver Connor Niles of Morningside and linebacker Trent Mueller of Lindsey Wilson earned AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America honors for the second consecutive season in 2018. Cain Boschee of Dickinson State earned his second honor in 2018 after being named All-America in 2016. 

 Class Distinction: This year's AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team is made up of 32 seniors, 13 juniors, four sophomores and one graduate student. 

 One Player, Two Positions: Bethel's (Tenn.) Stoney Burns and Baker's Clarence Clark are the only players in AFCA All-America Team history at all levels to repeat as AFCA All-Americans at two different positions. Burns was named to the 2013 squad as a defensive back, then earned 2014 honors at all-purpose. Clark was named to the 2015 squad as a receiver, then earned 2016 honors as a place-kicker. 

 Two Players, Two Schools: Punter Mark Bounds and placekicker Greg Zuerlein are the only players to earn AFCA Coaches' All-America honors at two different schools. Bounds was named to the AFCA College Division I team in 1990 while playing for West Texas A&M. He transferred to Texas Tech after West Texas dropped football and earned I-A All-America honors as a Red Raider in 1991. Zuerlein was named to the Division II Coaches' All-America Team in 2009 while playing for Nebraska-Omaha. He transferred to Missouri Western State after Nebraska-Omaha dropped its football program and earned Division II honors in 2011 as a Griffon.

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