Monday, November 30, 2015

NDSU Lands League-Best Seven on All-MVFC First Team

ST. LOUIS - North Dakota State had 11 players named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first and second teams Monday, Nov. 30, by a vote of the league's head coaches, sports information directors and media.

NDSU led the league with seven selections on the first team.  They were fullback Andrew Bonnet, left tackle Joe Haeg, left guard Zack Johnson, defensive end Greg Menard, middle linebacker Nick DeLuca, cornerback CJ Smith and punter Ben LeCompte.

On the second team from NDSU were running back King Frazier, tight end Luke Albers, right guard Jeremy Kelly and long snapper James Fisher.  Bison quarterback Carson Wentz, wide receiver RJ Urzendowski and defensive tackle Nate Tanguay were honorable mention.

LeCompte was selected to the all-conference team for the third straight year, Bonnet and Haeg were named for the second straight year, and Johnson was named for the second time in three seasons.

Last week, Illinois State running back Marshaun Coprich was named Offensive Player of the Year, Northern Iowa cornerback Deiondre Hall was named Defensive Player of the Year, Northern Iowa quarterback Aaron Bailey was named Newcomer of the Year, South Dakota defensive end Andrew Van Ginkel was named Freshman of the Year, and Bob Nielson of Western Illinois was named Bruce Craddock Valley Football Coach of the Year.

North Dakota State (9-2) won a share of its fifth straight conference championship with a 7-1 league record and earned the No. 3 seed for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.  The Bison host Montana (8-4) in a second round game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

Bonnet, a senior from Council Bluffs, Iowa, has been a key blocker for NDSU's league-leading rushing offense that averages 244.0 yards per game.  Bonnet has seven pass receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns this year.  In his career, he has 52 catches for 530 yards and seven TDs.

Haeg, a senior from Lake Shore, Minn., is a finalist for STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year and two-time MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week this season.  Haeg graded out at 91 percent and had 45 knockdowns for an offensive line that allows the fewest sacks and tackles for loss in the MVFC.

Johnson, a junior from Apple Valley, Minn., battled through a foot injury and started seven of eight games played this season.  He graded out at 84 percent and helped the Bison lead the Missouri Valley Football Conference in rushing (244.0), time of possession (36:20) and third down conversions (50%).

Menard, a sophomore from Lakeville, Minn., made all 11 starts at right end and ranked third in the MVFC in sacks (8.0) and sixth in tackles for loss (12.5) while finishing with 43 tackles, 11 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

DeLuca, a junior from Omaha, Neb., is NDSU's leading tackler with 96 stops including 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.  He has one interception, five pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble.  DeLuca made double-digit tackles three times and was MVFC Defensive Player of the Week after a career-high 20 tackles at Southern Illinois.

Smith, a senior from Savage, Minn., was third in the league in passes defended (1.11/game) with eight pass breakups and two interceptions.  He made 28 tackles and led a defensive secondary that limited eight of the MVFC's top 10 receivers to an average of three catches for 39 yards with only two touchdowns.

LeCompte, a senior from Barrington, Ill., leads the MVFC and ranks second in the FCS with a 46.1 punting average.  His 44.5 career punting average ranks No. 1 in NDSU and MVFC history and No. 4 in FCS history.  The Bison lead the league and rank fourth nationally in net punting (39.25).  LeCompte has punted 48 times with 20 inside the 20-yard line, 17 punts of 50-plus yards, and a season-long of 73 yards.

Frazier, a junior from Greenwood, Mo., averaged 5.4 yards per carry and 71.8 yards per game to lead a four-man running back rotation for NDSU.  He carried 147 times for 790 yards and seven touchdowns.  Frazier was MVFC Offensive Player of the Week after a career-high 177 yards at Southern Illinois, where he had a 50-yard TD and two other runs of 41 and 51 yards.

Albers, a senior from Iola, Wis., was NDSU's leading tight end with eight receptions for 70 yards and one touchdown.  A key blocker for NDSU's league-leading rushing offense, he emerged as a clutch receiver in last year's playoff run with go-ahead TD catches in the national quarterfinal and championship victories.

Kelly, a senior from Somerset, Wis., led the NDSU offensive line for the second straight year with 68 knockdowns.  He graded out at 85 percent and was named MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week after getting nine knockdowns in the win at Southern Illinois, where he helped the Bison rush for 397 yards.

Fisher, a sophomore from Bloomington, Minn., delivered 45 of 48 snaps on-target for the NDSU punt team with zero fumbles.  Fisher has excelled in downfield coverage for the No. 4 net punting team in the FCS, and the Bison have allowed zero blocks while converting 8 of 13 field goals and 52 of 53 PATs.

Dan O’Brien Added to Gophers FB Coaching Staff

University of Minnesota head football coach Tracy Claeys announced today the hiring of Dan O’Brien to fill an open coaching position on the defensive side of the ball. The position was created when Claeys was named head coach.

The Winthrop, Minn., native had previously served as Minnesota’s director of football operations from 2008-14 and was most recently a senior associate athletic director for the Gophers with oversight of the football program. 

O’Brien now joins the Minnesota staff in a coaching capacity, as he will fill the roles of co-special teams coordinator, assistant defensive backs coach and assistant to the head coach. He will begin his new role immediately.

“I tried to get Dan to join the coaching staff the last time we had an opening, but the timing was not right for him and his family,” said Claeys. “Dan has been a head coach, a coordinator and an assistant coach at the collegiate and high school level and nobody knows our state and Minnesota football better than him. He will certainly make us better on the field, but will also help us succeed off the field in fundraising, community engagement and recruiting Minnesota.”

O’Brien, who has longstanding ties with the Minnesota Football Coaches Association, will recruit the state of Minnesota along with linebacker coach and Gopher alum Mike Sherels. Running back coach Pat Poore will also be a co-special teams coordinator for the Gophers.

O’Brien is a fixture in Minnesota football and has experience working at the high school, NAIA, NCAA Division III, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division I levels.

“I have always considered myself a coach, and the opportunity to join Coach Claeys and his staff is not one I could pass up,” said O’Brien. “I am excited to get on the field and work with our student-athletes and to help deliver a product that will make our fans proud. I also want to thank interim athletics director Beth Goetz, as I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an administrator. I am also looking forward to continuing some of those same duties as assistant to the head coach.”

O'Brien came to Minnesota after spending nearly six years as director of athletics at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. During his time at Hamline, O'Brien saw the number of student-athletes competing in postseason competition rise from one to 121.
Under O'Brien's leadership, 23 Hamline teams qualified for MIAC or national postseason play or finished the season in the top four in the conference.
Prior to joining Hamline, O'Brien worked at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn., from 1995-2002 and was both the head football coach and director of athletics. He was instrumental in moving the Golden Bears athletic program from the NAIA level to NCAA Division II.
As the head football coach, O'Brien led Concordia to its first two football wins as a member of NCAA Division II. He began his tenure at Concordia as assistant head football coach and defensive coordinator and was promoted to and served as head coach in 1999 and 2000, while also working as director of athletics. O'Brien was inducted into Concordia's Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 5, 2012.
O'Brien was the head football coach and defensive coordinator at Bemidji High School from 1993-95 and was an assistant coach at Lakeville High School from 1989-93. He was the defensive coordinator at Lakeville when it won a state title in 1992. O’Brien began his coaching career in 1987 at Benilde-St. Margaret's High School.
O'Brien received his bachelor's degree in 1987 from the University of St. Thomas and later earned his master's degree from the school. He played football at St. Thomas and earned All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors as a defensive back. O’Brien was a member of the Tommies for three seasons and was a team captain as a junior and senior. Prior to his time at St. Thomas, he earned all-conference honors at Normandale Community College and played in the Midwest Bowl.
2015- Co-special Teams Coordinator / Assistant Defensive Backs Coach / Assistant to the Head coach.
2014-15 Senior Associate Athletic Director / Football
2008-14 Minnesota Director of Football Operations
2002-07 Hamline University Director of Athletics
1999-2002 Concordia-St. Paul Director of Athletics
1999-2000 Concordia-St. Paul Head Football Coach / Defensive Coordinator
1995-1999 Concordia-St. Paul Assistant Head Football Coach / Defensive Coordinator
1993-1995 Bemidji High School Head Football Coach / Defensive Coordinator
1989-1993 Lakeville High School Assistant Coach / Defensive Coordinator
1987-1989 Benilde-St. Margaret's High School Assistant Coach

Monday, November 23, 2015

2015 9-man Football All-State Team

QB: Michael Stejskal – Grand Meadow
QB: Peyton Syverson – Waubun
RB: Christopher Bain – Grand Meadow
RB: Coy Thorson – Underwood
RB: Kyle Schultz – Madelia
RB: Michael Kolness – Ada-Borup
E-WR: Alex Engelhart – Spring Grove
E-WR: Darius Woods-Steichen – Waubun
Line: Matt Biegler – Underwood
Line: Austin Stueve – C-G-B
Line: Trevor Heagle – McGregor

Line: Connor Harston – Grand Meadow
Line: Joe Onstad – Underwood
Line: Austin Denn – Madelia
Line: Brady Schuttemeier – Spring Grove
LB: Justin Yutzrenka – Stephen-Argyle
LB: Ethan Orlando – Verndale
LB: Chris Tungseth – Hillcrest
LB: Skyler Quinn – Brandon-Evansville
DB: Cal Roostdett – Kelliher-Nothome
DB: Kiefer Miller – Nevis
DB: Hayden Johnson – RCW
Special teams: Dexter Pelzman – Ada-Borup

Honorable Mention:

Mitchell Blaha - Verndale, Josh Heiman - Ely, Michael Lah - Ely, Jordan Osborne - Medelia, Derrick Van Hee - Medelia, Garrett Snidarich - North Woods, George Bibeau - North Woods, Johnathan Calkins - Onamia, Sam Virnig - Onamia, Justin Bellefeuille - Waubun, Chris Boyd - Mt. Lake Area, Logan Bring - Northern Freeze, Carter LeBlanc - Silver Bay, Michael Fischer - Silver Bay, Dylan Olsonawski - Kittson County Central, Sam Lavin - Clearbrook-Gonvick, Zion Smith - Cromwell, McKenon Plaster - Brandon-Evansville, Dylan Kalenze - Underwood, Taylor Zeltwanger - Hancock

Monday, November 16, 2015

NDSU Holiday Toy Drive

FARGO, N.D. - The North Dakota State University Student-Athlete Advisory Council is hosting its inaugural holiday toy drive benefiting Sanford Children's Hospital.

Collection of new, unwrapped, non-wooden toys will take place November 16 through December 9 during regular business hours at the Fargodome administrative offices.

The NDSU SAAC will also collect toys at the Fargodome east and west entrances for the November 21 football game against Missouri State, and at the main entrances for the November 28 men's basketball game at Scheels Arena and the December 8 women's basketball game at the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse.

For more information, please contact the NDSU athletic department at (701) 231-5614.

UND ranked fourth nationally after sweep of Miami

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The latest national men’s hockey polls released on Monday have set up next weekend’s North Dakota-St. Cloud State series to be a clash of two top-10 teams.

North Dakota was ranked fourth in both the and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, while St. Cloud State was ranked seventh in both. Defending national champion Providence topped both polls once again this week.

St. Cloud State will host UND on Friday and Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. UND is coming off of a National Collegiate Hockey Conference sweep of Miami, while the Huskies picked up a conference sweep at Western Michigan. Division I Men’s Poll

Rk.      School (First place votes)       Record           Pts.         PR
1.         Providence (17)                                 6-0-3            933            1
2.         Boston College (14)                         9-1-0            926            2
3.         Quinnipiac (12)                                10-0-0            913            4
4.         North Dakota (7)                         9-1-2           891            3
5.         Massachusetts-Lowell                      8-1-2            791            5
6.         Omaha                                                8-2-0            735            6
7.         St. Cloud State                                  8-2-0            671            9
8.         Harvard                                              4-1-1            630            7
9.         Denver                                               6-3-1            593            8
10.       Boston University                             5-3-2            534          11
11.       Yale                                                    4-1-1            502          10
12.       Michigan                                            5-1-1            475          12
13.       Merrimack                                          6-1-3            395          14
14.       St. Lawrence                                      7-3-1            351          15
15.       Bowling Green                                   5-3-3            257          15
16.       Notre Dame                                       5-2-3            215          18
17.       Minnesota Duluth                              3-5-3            173          13
18.       Cornell                                               5-1-0            164         NR
19.       Michigan Tech                                    6-4-0            112          20
20.       Clarkson                                            5-3-1              56          19

Others receiving votes: Miami 50, Penn State 36, Robert Morris 25, Massachusetts 24, Rensselaer 21, Minnesota State 20, Alaska Anchorage 4, Wisconsin 2, Minnesota 1.
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll

Rk.      School (1st 1 votes)                   Record           Pts.         PR
1.         Providence (12)                                 6-0-3            473            1
2.         Quinnipiac (12)                                10-0-0            459            3
3.         Boston College (7)                           9-1-0            455            2
4.         North Dakota (3)                         9-1-2           417            4
5.         Massachusetts-Lowell                      8-1-2            372            5
6.         Omaha                                                8-2-0            327            7
7.         St. Cloud State                                  8-2-0            290            9
8.         Harvard                                              4-1-1            263            6
9.         Denver                                               6-3-1            224          10
10.       Yale                                                    4-1-1            199            8
11.       Boston University                             5-3-2            187          11
12.       Michigan                                            5-1-1            145          12
13.       Merrimack                                          6-1-3              86         t13
14.       St. Lawrence                                      7-3-1              62          15               
15.       Notre Dame                                       5-2-3              34         NR

Others receiving votes: Cornell 29, Minnesota Duluth 19, Bowling Green 11, Massachusetts 1, Michigan Tech 1, Robert Morris 1.

Five-point weekend nets Boeser NCHC Rookie of the Week Honors

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – For the second time this season, University of North Dakota freshman forward Brock Boeser has been named National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Rookie of the Week.

Boeser (pronounced BESS-ur) scored twice, added three assists, and was a plus-5 in North Dakota’s NCHC sweep of No. 17 Miami last weekend in Grand Forks. The Burnsville, Minn., native had a goal and three assists in Friday’s 6-2 win for the first 4-point game of his collegiate career. Boeser opened the scoring with his team-leading seventh goal of the season the following night and led all players with five shots on goal in a 4-3 overtime win.

A first-round draft pick (23rd overall) of the Vancouver Canucks in 2015, Boeser is tied for the NCHC rookie lead with seven goals and ranks second in the rookie scoring race with 12 points. He also leads all NCHC freshmen in plus/minus (plus-13) and shots on goal (42).

Boeser and fourth-ranked UND continue NCHC play next weekend at seventh-ranked St. Cloud State.

St. Cloud State forward Joey Benik was named NCHC Offensive Player of the Week, SCSU’s Ethan Prow was named NCHC Defenseman of the Week and Denver’s Evan Cowley was named NCHC Goaltender of the Week.