WAUKESHA, Wis. (WLCSports.com) – Nine members of the Wisconsin Lutheran College football team have received postseason recognition from the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, it was announced earlier this week as the 2017 season awards were released by the league office.
Seniors JD Leisemann (Fall River, Wis.) and Larry Meeks (Burlington, Wis.) were tabbed as First Team All-NACC performers. Leisemann, the defending NACC Defensive Player of the Year, led the Warriors defense with 4.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss, while registering 49 total tackles along with one interception and four pass breakups. Meeks led the Warriors in tackles with 65 on the season, and added two sacks and three tackles for loss. The linebacker also recorded two interceptions for a total of 50 return yards.
The Warriors had four players named Second Team All-NACC in defensive lineman Derrick Brungraber (Carlsville, Wis.), tight end Jerrod Klug (Loveland, Colo.), offensive lineman Jacob Mahnke (Bourbonnais, Ill.), and linebacker Brandon Morrissey (Waupun, Wis.). Brungraber, a junior, totaled 21 tackles and added 2.5 sacks, including one fumble recovery. Klug, a senior, was second on the team in receptions with 19, totaling 197 yards and two touchdowns. Mahnke, a senior, was an integral part of an offensive line that paved the way for 154.2 rushing yards per NACC contest, including a season-high 298 yards Oct. 7 vs. Rockford. Morrissey, a junior, was second on the team with 55 total tackles, including two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. The linebacker also recovered two fumbles and broke up four passes.
Three Warriors were selected as NACC Honorable Mention, including Grant Fleming (Kaukauna, Wis.), J.K. Witkofski (Racine, Wis.), and Cameron Wolf (Oconomowoc, Wis.). Fleming, a junior kicker, appeared in seven contests and connected on four of his five field goal tries on the season, with a long of 39 yards. He also knocked home six of his eight extra point attempts. His kicking efforts were good enough to be named NACC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week twice, including the week of Nov. 11 when he connected on a 39-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Concordia Chicago. Witkofski, a junior wide receiver, led the Warriors in receptions (34), receiving yards (409), yards per game (40.9), and touchdowns (3). Wolf, a sophomore defensive end, registered 37 tackles on the season, including three sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. He also scooped up one fumble recovery.
Lakeland's Michael Whitley repeated as Offensive Player of the Year while Aurora's Kam Dawtyne was named Defensive Player of the Year. Lakeland's Oman Smothers was tabbed as the Freshman of the Year, while the Muskies' Colin Bruton was voted Coach of the Year by his peers.
The Warriors concluded their 2017 season 3-7 overall and 3-3 for a fourth-place finish in the NACC, marking the ninth straight season they have finished with at least a .500 record in conference play.