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Senior linebacker John Wagner (Kewaunee) was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year, and senior wide receiver Matt Pawlyk (Marinette) was named Offensive Player of the Year.
In total, 12 members of the
Wagner and Pawlyk become the first players of the year in the NAC, which began football action this season.
Wagner, who was named Most Outstanding Linebacker by the former Illini-Badger Football Conference in 2007, duplicated his fantastic performance in 2008. His 124 total tackles led the NAC, and place him sixth in all of NCAA Division III with 12.2 tackles per game. The co-captain was an on-field leader for the Muskie defense and a four-time all-conference honoree.
"It's a great honor for John,"
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Pawlyk shredded opposing defenses, averaging a league-leading 98.0 yards receiving per game while catching 5.5 passes per contest. The co-captain's 13 touchdowns helped Pawlyk lead the NAC in receiving touchdowns, total touchdowns and scoring. Pawlyk, who was a first-team all-IBFC honoree last season, currently ranks 19th in the nation with 980 total receiving yards.
"There were a lot of good offensive players in our conference this year, so I thought it would be tough for Matt to get this award," Doherty said. "Matt led the conference in receiving yards, which is a tribute to what he does with the ball after he catches it. As a bigger receiver, he was such a tough player to defend. I hope Matt cherishes this award, because it's a great honor for him."
Joining Wagner and Pawlyk on the first team were sophomore offensive lineman Aaron Kraemer (
Senior linebacker Brent Miller (Menasha) received his fourth all-conference recognition as a Muskie, garnering second-team accolades. Miller led the team with 5.0 sacks and ranked second on the team with 78 total tackles.
Six players collected honorable mention from the league: junior wide receiver Jake Heinemeyer (Shiocton), senior defensive lineman Mike Nerat (Menominee, Mich.), junior linebacker Jamie Schramm (Cuba City), junior defensive back Isiah Calhoun (Pontiac, Mich.), senior defensive back Justin Medard (Evanston, Ill.) and sophomore quarterback Jake Dworak (Denmark). Heinemeyer collects his third all-conference award, while Nerat and Calhoun each take their second.
NAC champion and NCAA Division III playoff participant Aurora dominated the all-conference list with 18 honorees, including 10 on the first team. Spartan head coach Rich Duncan was named the league's coach of the year.
To see the complete list of 2008 Football All-Northern Athletics Conference Awards, click here.