Senior defensive back D.J. Olmstead leads three Washburn players who were named first-team All-MIAA football performers on Tuesday.
Olmstead, who joined the Ichabods this past spring as a transfer from the University of Idaho, led the conference with six interceptions including two each against Northeastern State and Missouri Southern. He also returned three picks for touchdowns, setting a WU program record.
Joining Olmstead on the All-MIAA first team were senior offensive lineman Bob Marco and junior return specialist Corey Ballentine. Marco has made 33 starts along the offensive line for the Ichabods, and Ballentine tops the MIAA and ranks fourth nationally in kickoff returns with a 31.5-yard average.
Named to the second team from Washburn were senior defensive lineman Trey Parker, junior linebacker Derrick McGreevy and Ballentine, a defensive back. Parker recorded 36 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss with a blocked kick, McGreevy led the Ichabods with 122 stops and 7.5 tackles for loss with two forced fumbles, and Ballentine had 50 tackles and six pass breakups with two fumble recoveries.
Senior running back Mickeel Stewart and sophomore offensive lineman Kyle Hinton earned third-team honors for the Ichabods. Stewart led the team with 624 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while Hinton started all 11 games.
Junior wide receiver James Brania-Hopp, senior defensive back Peter Pfannenstiel, senior wideout Carey Woods, senior linebacker Cedric Gonzalez, senior defensive lineman Jalen Durham and junior punter/placekicker Perry Schmiedeler were honorable-mention selections for Washburn.
Like WU, Emporia State placed three players on the first team receiver Justin Brown, linebacker Gabe Cleveland and punter Justin Marcha. Brown had a team-high 86 receptions for 999 yards and eight touchdowns while Cleveland led the team with 112 tackles and Marcha averaged 45.0 yards on 50 punts.
Running back Landon Nault, offensive lineman Thomas O’Grady and defensive lineman Tre’Vaun Ammons were Hornets named to the second team.
MIAA champion Fort Hays State had eight first-team selections, including unanimous picks Kenneth Iheme (RB) and Nathan Shepherd (DL) as well as kicker and special teams player of the year Brandon Brown. Shepherd also got the nod as the conference’s defensive player of the year after racking up 37 tackles including 12 for loss.
Fort Hays State’s Chris Brown, formerly Washburn’s defensive coordinator, was named MIAA coach of the year after leading the Tigers to an 11-0 march through the regular season.
The league’s offensive player of the year is Central Oklahoma’s JT Luper, who registered 1,544 receiving yards and 12 TDs.