Northwest Missouri State celebrates their fifth national title (photo/Ian Echlin)

Northwest Missouri State celebrates their fifth national title (photo/Ian Echlin)

The Northwest Missouri State University football team placed 12 student-athletes and one coach on the Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-Super Region Three team. The Bearcats claimed three of the top honors as Collin Bevins was named Defensive Player of the Year, Simon Mathiesen earned Special Teams Player of the Year and Adam Dorrel was named Coach of the Year. In all, seven Bearcats earned first team honors led by Bevins, Mathiesen, Shane Smith, Jordan Grove, Brandon Yost, Jacob Vollstedt and Kevin Berg.

Bevins set a school record with 15.5 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss. He was the MIAA’s co-Defensive Player of the Year. Mathiesen set a Northwest and MIAA single season record with 15 field goals. His 151 total points led all of Division II and was the most among all kickers at any NCAA level. Smith started all 15 games at left tackle for Northwest, earning first team All-MIAA honors for the second straight season. Grove scored 11 total touchdowns for the Bearcats in 2015. He caught 47 passes and ran the ball 38 times for Northwest during his sophomore season. Yost was a unanimous first team All-MIAA performer, finishing his senior year with 77 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He scored his first career touchdown at Pittsburg State on Nov. 17 on a fumble recovery. Vollstedt led Northwest with 102 total tackles while starting all 15 games. His 13.0 sacks is the second most in Northwest single-season history, trailing only Bevins’ mark this year. Berg tallied a career-high eight interceptions while appearing in 13 games. He recorded two interceptions in three straight games earlier this year.

Adam Dorrel earned MIAA and AFCA Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career. He has a career record of 61-8 in five seasons, winning a pair of NCAA titles and three MIAA championships.

Seniors Brady Bolles and Bryce Enyard each earned second team honors. Bolles leaves as Northwest’s career leader in total offense at 9,296 and pass attempts with 1,011. He set a career-high with 30 touchdown passes, 3,981 yards and 321 completions in 2015. Enyard had 50 tackles and four interceptions while earning his fourth All-MIAA honor. He capped his Bearcat career by returning an interception for a touchdown in each of his final two games.

Shawn Bane Jr., Daniel Kempf and Brock Sherman all were named to the third team. Kempf started all 15 games for Northwest as a senior. He was named second team All-MIAA in 2015. Sherman set a career-high with 73 tackles during his senior year. He had 15.0 tackles for loss and three sacks while leading the Bearcats’ top-rated defense. Bane Jr. caught a team-high 82 passes for 1,207 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season at Northwest. He was named the MIAA’s Freshman of the Year.

The Don Hansen team carries out the legacy of long-time 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.

The first-team and second-team All-Region selections advance to a national ballot from which the 2015 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team will be named in February.