The 2012 Great Plains Athletic Conference Football All-Conference team has been selected after a vote of the league coaches on Sunday (Nov. 12) in Sioux City, Iowa. A total of 14 Nebraska Wesleyan University players received recognition from the GPAC.
Five NWU players were named to the All-GPAC First-Team. On defense, senior defensive lineman Russell Walton, senior linebacker Brett Kaczor, senior defensive back Cody Eiler and sophomore defensive lineman Phil Latimer were First-Team on defense, while junior punter Kelby Vandenberg was First-Team on special teams.
Walton (Franklin, Neb.) earns First-Team honors for the third straight season after earning All-GPAC First-Team in both 2010 & 2011. He becomes the first NWU defensive player to be a three-time 1st-Team All-GPAC selection. Walton had 61 total tackles this season and finished his career with over 200 tackles becoming just the 11th player in NWU history with over 200 tackles. As a senior he had 12.5 tackles-for-loss to rank sixth in the GPAC.
Kaczor (Ewing, Neb.) is First-Team All-GPAC for the second straight year. This season he was third in the GPAC with 94 tackles and was a two-time GPAC Defensive Player-of-the-Week, while earning NAIA National honors the final week of the year. He was 13th in all of NAIA averaging 10.4 tackles per game. His 253 career tackles rank 10th all-time at NWU.
Eiler (O’Neill, Neb.) was First-Team All-GPAC at cornerback and also earned 2nd-Team All-GPAC as a punt returner and honorable mention All-GPAC as a kick returner. Eiler was second in the league with six interceptions on the year and led the GPAC with 17 pass breakups on the season. He had three interceptions in one game to earn GPAC Player-of-the-Week honors in October. He was third in the GPAC in punt returns and sixth in kickoff returns this season.
Latimer (Broomfield, Colo.) earns his first All-GPAC honor as he had a breakout sophomore season. Latimer led NWU and was second in the GPAC with 7.0 quarterback sacks for a loss of 47 yards. He had 12.5 tackles-for-loss to rank sixth in the conference and also blocked two punts.
Vandenberg (David City, Neb.) is First-Team All-GPAC this season after garnering 2nd-Team recognition last year. He finished second in the GPAC with a 40.5 punting average with a long punt of 66 yards and 19 punts inside the 20-yard line. He now ranks third at NWU in career punting average.
Nebraska Wesleyan had four players named Second-Team All-GPAC. Junior Dustin Bryant at running back, senior Jordan Delbaugh at slot back and offensive lineman Ryan Beebe on offense, with Eiler getting honored as a punt returner.
Bryant (Kilgore, Neb.) became the feature back for NWU leading the team with 633 rushing yards and five touchdowns to rank sixth in the GPAC in rushing. Delbaugh (Englewood, Colo.) finished with 48 receptions to rank third in the league in pass receptions. He caught two touchdowns and ran for two touchdowns. Beebe (Gresham, Neb.) started all 10 games on the offensive line with nine starts at guard and one at center, to extend his streak to 30 consecutive starts on the offensive line.
The Prairie Wolves had six players receive honorable mention All-GPAC honors. Jack Barteldes, Tyler Francis and Brian Pieper were honorable mention on offense. Seth Wardyn, Taylor Tekolste and Brandon Reeves were selected on defense.
Morningside quarterback Joel Nixon was the GPAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year, Northwestern defensive lineman Jordan Carlson was the GPAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year while Steve Ryan from Morningside was named GPAC Coach of the Year.
Nebraska Wesleyan finished the season with a 6-4 overall record, 5-4 GPAC record to finish in a tie for fourth in the GPAC standings. The Prairie Wolves ended the year with five straight victories.
NWU Football All-GPAC Selections
Cody Eiler, DB, 5-10, 190, Sr., O’Neill, Neb.
Brett Kaczor, LB, 5-11, 210, Sr., Ewing, Neb.
Phil Latimer, DL, 6-1, 255, So., Broomfield, Colo.
Kelby Vandenberg, P, 6-1, 180, Jr., David City, Neb.
Russell Walton, DL, 6-1, 260, Sr., Franklin, Neb.
Ryan Beebe, OL, 6-4, 260, Jr., Gresham, Neb.
Dustin Bryant, RB, 5-11, 185, Jr., Kilgore, Neb.
Jordan Delbaugh, RB, 5-4, 180, Sr., Englewood, Colo.
Cody Eiler, PRS, 5-10, 190, Sr., O’Neill, Neb.
Jack Barteldes, OL, 5-11, 260, Jr., Aurora, Colo.
Cody Eiler, KRS, 5-10, 190, Sr., O’Neill, Neb.
Tyler Francis, QB, 6-1, 245, So., Lincoln, Neb.
Brian Pieper, WR, 5-11, 175, Sr., North Platte, Neb.
Brandon Reeves, LB, 5-11, 215, Jr., Hastings, Neb.
Taylor TeKolste, DL, 6-3, 240, Jr., Firth, Neb.
Seth Wardyn, DB, 6-0, 190, So., Grand Island, Neb.