BROOKFIELD, Ill. -- The Bemidji State football program has earned multiple selections to the Don Hansen All-Super Region Four Team for the fourth straight season as the 2019 list was released Tuesday. Senior defensive back Michael Junker and senior offensive lineman Nick Niemi earned First Team selections while senior offensive lineman Joe Woods and sophomore running back Jalen Frye were selected to the second team.
As members of the first or second team, Frye, Junker, Niemi and Woods each advance to a national ballot from which the 2019 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team will be selected. The quartet matches a program high named to the list and are part of 22 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference players selected to the first and second teams.
Junker, a senior defensive back from Hastings, was the NSIC leader in interceptions and finished tied for fourth nationally with eight on his way to earning 2019 NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Defense. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns and led the nation with 272 interception return yards this season. Junker finishes his career as BSU’s all-time leader in interception return yards (378) and the program’s runner-up in career interceptions (17). He now has seven postseason awards following the 2019 season.
Niemi, a senior offensive lineman from Cloquet, earned his second career selection to the list as part of one of the NSIC’s best offensive lines. Woods, a senior offensive lineman from Fertile, joined Niemi as an anchor on the BSU offensive line while both were named to the 2019 NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Offense. The duo helped the Beavers’ offense rank second with 434.3 total yards per game, third with 213.8 rushing yards per game, fourth with 30.4 points per game and fourth with 232.5 passing yards per game. Niemi and Woods also helped allow the fewest sacks in the NSIC with 10.
Frye, a sophomore running back from Mahtomedi, was also an NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Offense selection and earned one NSIC Player of the Week honor on Nov. 18 after rushing for a career-high 316 yards, three shy of the program single-game record. He led the NSIC with 148.6 rushing yards per game, which ranked fifth nationally, and totaled 10 rushing touchdowns, which ranked third in the NSIC, in just nine games played. Frye recorded six 100-yard rushing games last season and enters his junior season 10th all-time at BSU with 1,957 career rushing yards.
The Don Hansen team carries out the legacy of longtime small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 on Aug. 29, 2010. Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., started and published Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette for three decades, selecting NCAA Division II All-America teams for the first time in 1988. Don Hansen’s Football Gazette began selecting Division II All-Region squads in 2003.