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The Lakeland College football team celebrated its 2010 season and looked ahead to the 2011 season at the program's annual banquet, which was held Saturday, Jan. 22, at Bossard Hall on the Lakeland campus.
Several individual awards, as voted on by the Lakeland players, were distributed by the coaches. About 150 players, family and friends attended the ceremony.
Junior safety Tony Faller (Oostburg, Wis.) was named Lakeland's Defensive Player of the Year. Faller, who tied for second in the conference with 14 tackles for a loss, was also named to the 2010 Northern Athletics Conference second team. Faller, a co-captain, also tied for 17th in the nation with 15 passes defensed.
Senior wide receiver Roberto Flores earned Lakeland's Offensive Player of the Year honor. The Milwaukee, Wis., native was third in the conference with 59 receptions and fourth in receiving yards with 863, which is the fifth-most yards in a season in Lakeland history. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder also garnered 2010 All-NAC first team honors. Flores was also one of the team's captains in 2010.
Senior kicker/punter Nic Horstmeier, who received All-NAC honorable mention, was honored as the team's Special Teams Player of the Year. The Random Lake, Wis., native, who was not only the kicker/punter but also played some defense, recording 15 tackles and one interception to compliment his punting, which was fourth in the conference with a 33 yard average.
The team's Fighting Muskie of the Year award, which is given to the player that best represents the Lakeland program, was awarded to senior strong safety Joey O'Brien, for the second consecutive season. The Cary, Ill., native was one of the most important players on the field, leading the defense as a captain. O'Brien was fifth on the team in tackles, recorded four tackles for a loss, one sack, and forced and recovered a fumble.
Tight end Sam Spaeth (Appleton, Wis.), who played an important role in pass and run protection, was awarded as the team's Offensive Rookie of the Year. Linebacker Tyler Oslund (Ishpeming, Mich.) was named Lakeland's Defensive Rookie of the Year. Oslund registered three tackles and was a leader on and off the field.
Lakeland coach Kevin Doherty also recognized the team's seniors and all-conference award winners.
"I thought it was a special night," said Doherty. "It was the first time in my tenure as coach that we have had all the seniors say a few words. Every senior gave thanks and reflected on the season and offered some advice and encouragement for the underclassmen."
The banquet concluded with the 2010 highlight film