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Sheboygan, Wis. - Lakeland College seniors David Benton and Ryan Van De Loo both earned their second All-American honors this season as Don Hansen's Football Gazette announced its NCAA Div. III All-American Team. This marks the first time in school history that Lakeland's football team has had two players honored by multiple outlets in the same season.
Benton, a defensive end from Ashtabule, Ohio, was named to the Football Gazette's Second Team Defense, and Van De Loo, a linebacker from Sheboygan Falls, was named Third Team Defense.
"It is a great honor for the players," said head coach Jim Zebrowski. "Dave and Ryan did a great job and they both earned it. I hope we can keep this going where we have a couple All-Americans every year. But those two kids are outstanding and they worked really hard to put themselves in that position and they deserve this honor."
Earlier this season, both Benton and Van De Loo were named to the D3football.com All-American team, becoming just the 14th and 15th players in Lakeland history to earn postseason All-American status. Lakeland has fielded a football team since 1934 when the school was Mission House College.
The last time Lakeland had multiple All-Americans in the same season was in 1996, when quarterback Mark Novara and wide receiver Brandon Lawson were both named Second Team by The Football Gazette.
The only other multiple-All-American season came in 1980 when offensive lineman Jim Wisniewski was named NAIA Second Team and linebacker Peter Bunch was named Honorable Mention.
It's the second straight year the Muskies have a football All-American. Sam Scharinger, a linebacker from Howards Grove, earned Third Team All-American honors from The Football Gazette last fall.
It is the latest in a long list of postseason honors for the Muskies in this record-breaking season. Benton and Van De Loo helped lead 8-3 Lakeland to its second straight IBFC championship and the first-ever postseason playoff appearance in Lakeland's 71-year history of fielding a football program.
Benton was also named Second Team Defense in the North Region by the Football Gazette. In addition, the defensive end was named to D3football.com's All-North Region first team defense, 2005 IBFC Defensive Lineman of the Year and first team All-IBFC defensive line in both 2004 and 2005. Benton finished the season ranked second in the nation in sacks per game and 15th in tackles for loss per game.
Van De Loo was named First Team Defense in the North Region by the Football Gazette. The linebacker was also honored by being named to D3football.com All-North Region first team defense, 2005 IBFC Linebacker of the Year, first team All-IBFC linebacker in 2005 and second team in 2004. He was ranked sixth in tackles for loss per game nationally and led the IBFC in that category.
This marks the 18th year Don Hansen's Football Gazette has selected an NCAA D-III All-American Team. The Football Gazette is a recognized authority on small college football. To see the rest of the All-American Team, visit www.donhansen.com.
For more information on Lakeland College's All-American honorees or for information on Lakeland College Athletics visit www.lakeland.edu/athletics. A complete list of Lakeland Football All-Americans can be found below.
Lakeland football All-Americans
1967 - Pat Curran, RB, NAIA (Hon. Mention)
1968 - Pat Curran, RB, NAIA (2nd team)
1970 - Elease Davis, P, NAIA (HM)
1975 - Jeff Johnson, DB, NAIA (HM)
1980 - Jim Wisniewski, OL, NAIA (2nd team); Peter Butch, LB, NAIA (HM)
1985 - Cleveland Clark, DB, NAIA (HM)
1986 - John Gosse, DL, NAIA (2nd team)
1987 - John Gosse, DL, NAIA (2nd team)
1988 - Roger Sulek, LB, Football Gazette (3rd team)
1989 - John Oglego, P, Kodak (1st team, Div. II)
1992 - Angelo Tinsley, LB, NAIA (HM)
1993 - Angelo Tinsley, LB, NAIA (HM)
1996 - Mark Novara, QB, Football Gazette (2nd team); Brandon Lawson, WR, Football Gazette (2nd team)
2004 - Sam Scharinger, LB, Football Gazette (3rd team)
2005 - David Benton, DL, Football Gazette (2nd team), D3football.com (Hon. Mention); Ryan Van De Loo, LB, Football Gazette (3rd team), D3football.com (Hon. Mention)