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FOOTBALL: BSU sets program high with 17 All-NSIC selections

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State football team secured a program-record 17 players on the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference All-Conference list when selections were announced Wednesday.

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(From left) Gena Adams, Brady Schmidt and Dexter Taylor Jr. celebrate after Adams, a senior running back, scores a touchdown for the Beavers against Upper Iowa in early September. (Jillian Gandsey/Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State football team secured a program-record 17 players on the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference All-Conference list when selections were announced Wednesday.

Eight BSU players were selected to the All-NSIC First Team, six to the All-NSIC Second Team and three to the All-NSIC Honorable Mention Team.

Gena Adams, Jesse Hein and Brandon Schindler were named to the NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Offense, while Damon Benham, Alex Burgess, Jamison Evans, Gunner Olszewski and Trysten Ross were selected to the First Team Defense.

Jordan Hein, Blake Holder, Jake Krause and Matthew Valentine were selected to the NSIC North Division All-Conference Second Team Offense, while Jake Wirsching was named to the Second Team Defense and Juwaan Richard was placed on the Second Team Special Teams.

Kameel Al-Khouri, Vince Dinkel and Blake Petrich will complete their BSU careers as members of the North Division All-NSIC Honorable Mention team.

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Adams, a senior running back, rushed for 995 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground while tallying 215 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions.

Offensive linemen Jesse Hein, a senior, and Schindler, a junior, each started all 11 games for a potent Beaver offense.

Benham, a senior defensive back, led the Beavers’ “Gang Green” defense and the NSIC with six interceptions along with nine pass breakups.

Other defensive first-team selections include Burgess, a junior defensive lineman who led the BSU defensive front with 7.5 sacks to finish sixth in the NSIC; Evans, a junior linebacker who recorded the third-most tackles for BSU with 77; Olszewski, a sophomore defensive back who led BSU in tackles for the second consecutive season with 85 to finish eighth in the NSIC and Ross, a junior linebacker whose 84 tackles ranked him second on the Beavers and 10th in the conference.

Second-team selection Jordan Hein set multiple program records at quarterback despite playing only nine games. The team captain set the BSU single-season record with a 167.4 passing efficiency and tied the previous record of 27 touchdown passes. Hein threw for 2,746 yards, which was 53 yards shy of setting a BSU single-season record. He also added 400 yards on the ground with seven rushing touchdowns.

Other offensive second-team selections include Holder, a junior wide receiver who finished the season with 31 receptions for a team-high 730 yards and added seven touchdown catches, as well as offensive linemen Krause, a junior, and Valentine, a senior, who each started all 11 games.

Wirsching, a junior defensive lineman, ranked second on the Beavers with 4.0 sacks for a loss of 25 yards.

Richard, a senior wide receiver, ranked third in the NSIC with 644 kickoff return yards, averaged 26.8 yards per return and was one of two returners in the conference to return a kickoff for a touchdown. He also led BSU with 32 receptions and eight touchdown catches.

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Al-Khouri, a senior defensive back, was second on the Beavers with four interceptions and finishes fifth on the team with 67 tackles. Fellow honorable mention selections include Dinkel, a senior wide receiver who caught 29 passes for 449 yards along with three touchdowns, and Petrich, a senior fullback who was a core member of BSU’s third-ranked rushing unit in the NSIC as a blocker and also ran for a touchdown.

The Beavers will make their second postseason appearance in program history when they meet Washburn in the Mineral Water Bowl on Dec. 3 in Excelsior Springs, Mo.

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Bemidji State’s Brandon Schindler (75) prepares to block Minnesota Crookston’s Dalvin Richardson (12) during a game held Nov. 12 at Chet Anderson Stadium in Bemidji. Schindler was named to the NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Offense. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.