Beavers post program's highest All-IIAC Total since 2009
STORM LAKE -- The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) announced its 2012 All-IIAC Football Teams late on Monday, and Buena Vista was represented with six individuals earning honors. The Beavers, who finished 4-6 overall (4-3 IIAC), landed a pair on the First Team, while four others were selected to the Second Team.
Senior offensive lineman Michael Wiegmann (Dumont, Iowa/Aplington-Parkersburg) was the team's lone First Team Offensive selection. Wiegmann, a Second Team honoree as a junior a year ago, just completed his fourth season as the team's starting center, and anchored an offensive line which helped the unit average more than 335 yards of total offense during conference play, including an average of 146 on the ground.
In addition to Wiegmann, senior linebacker Nick Plueger (Le Mars, Iowa/Le Mars) landed a spot on the First Team Defense. Plueger had a break-out season to end his collegiate playing career, averaging an IIAC and NCAA Division III-high 14.2 tackles per game. During league play, he registered at least 13 stops in six of the seven contests, including 16 at Loras. He also recovered his lone fumble of the year against Central. Plueger had just 28 career tackles coming into the year.
Seniors John Hill (Webster City, Iowa/Webster City) and Logan Lehrkamp (Carroll, Iowa/Carroll) were voted to the Second Team Offense, while junior TJ Bruch (Arcadia, Iowa/Kuemper Catholic) was named Second Team Defense and sophomore Dylan Barrett (Harlan, Iowa/Harlan) voted to the Second Team Special Teams.
Hill was a key part of the team's success with its running game during IIAC play this season, averaging 83.3 yards per game and ranking fourth among the league leaders in that category. Five of his six touchdowns on the year were scored against IIAC foes. He chalked up a career-high 131 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown in his final career home game against Simpson College. He also posted 122 yards and a touchdown earlier in the year against Wartburg College. In three of the seven conference games, he posted at least one run of 30 yards.
Lehrkamp was the team's leading receiver for the year, and during IIAC play, tied for seventh with 4.1 receptions per contest. His 14.3 yards per catch, however, was third-best in the league. For the year, he registered 36 catches for 520 yards and four touchdowns. He posted back-to-back 100-yard games against Wartburg College (110) and Central College (124), while also adding a pair of scores against the Dutch.
Bruch was one of the leaders for team's the defensive line this season, finishing with 40 total stops, including eight for a loss and two sacks. He also forced one fumble. He had one of the best games of his career against the Knights, posting nine tackles, including 4.5 for a loss, while forcing a fumble. In addition to his defensive duties, he also averaged nearly 38 yards per punt on 51 attempts, including five of longer than 50 yards. Thirteen of his attempts landed inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
Barrett rounds out the honors for the Beavers, as he became a big threat to opponents in multiple ways. He earned special teams honors following a season in which he averaged nearly 23 yards per kick-off return, as well as 50 yards on the ground. He was named the IIAC Special Teams Performer of the Week two weeks ago after posting 102 yards on just four returns, while also rushing for over 100 yards on just five carries. During IIAC play, he was one of only six players to average more than 100 all-purpose yards per game. He tallied a career-high 181 yards rushing at Loras, including two scores, while also posting two touchdowns in the season finale at Dubuque. He wrapped up the year with a team-high eight touchdowns and more than 1,000 all-purpose yards.
Of the six players to earn honors this season, only Wiegmann had been selected to any of the all-conference teams in prior years. It's also the highest total number of selections for the program since garnering seven selections in 2009.
The group helped lead the team to its first four-game winning streak since 2008.
Dubuque's Wyatt Hanus was named the IIAC Offensive MVP with Coe's Frank Weymiller being voted the IIAC Defensive MVP. Kohawk head coach Steve Staker received IIAC Coach of the Year accolades.