Dec. 10, 2007
Story from AFCA Offices
Quarterback Chad Cavender of Sioux Falls is the signal-caller on the 2007 AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team. Cavender, who was named Great Plains Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2007, is 27-0 as a starter and is second in the nation in passing efficiency, completing 67 percent of his passes.
Cavender's receiving corps on this year's team features McKay Dunn of Southern Virginia, Preston Nicholson of Culver-Stockton and Jared Stace of Ohio Dominican. Dunn led the NAIA in receptions per game (9.6) and receiving yards per game (143.6), and set school records for receptions (111), yards (1,681) and touchdowns (14) in a season. Nicholson recorded 84 receptions for 1,259 yards in 2007. The 84 receptions were the third most in school history while his 1,259 yards was the second highest mark ever at Culver-Stockton. Stace caught 86 passes for 1,085 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Virginia-Wise's Ra'Shad Morgan and
The offensive line features Mike Siverly of McKendree, Truman Ashby of Benedictine (
Siverly was a key component on an offensive line that led the way for a McKendree rushing attack that was No. 1 in the nation at 305.2 yards per game. Ashby is one of two returning AFCA All-Americans on the offensive line. He helped the Ravens average 342.2 yards of total offense and score 31 touchdowns in 2007. Gilsdorf earned First Team All-Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference honors after helping the Warriors become the 12th ranked scoring attack in the nation. Saunders helped anchor an offense that averaged 21.4 points per game and 374.6 yards per game. The final member of the offensive line is returning AFCA All-America, Mike Galassi. Galassi was a key member of an offensive line that led Walsh to a balanced offensive attack. The Cavs ran for 1,950 yards and passed for 1,814 yards during the 2007 season.
The linebackers on this year's team include Reggie Singletary of Missouri Valley, Owen Koeppen of Carroll (Mont.) and Jeremy Robinson of Olivet Nazarene.
Singletary was named Heart of America Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year after finishing 2007 with 54 total tackles, 33 of those solo, 17 tackles for a loss and five sacks. Koeppen led the Saints' defense with 111 total tackles, including 12 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and an interception. He earned the Frontier Conference's defensive MVP. Robinson finished fourth in the nation by averaging 12.8 tackles per game. He racked up 115 total tackles, with 51 unassisted.
This year's defensive linemen include Shawn Lewis of
The secondary features Brandon Kaufman of
Allen Ervin of Lambuth is the all-purpose player on the AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team. Ervin led the NAIA in all-purpose yards per game with 215.5. He rushed for 1,295 yards, received for 107 yards and totaled 968 yards in returns.
The placekicker is Derek Doerfler of Baker. Doerfler set a school record for most field goals made in a season with 23. He also set school marks for most field goals made in a game (five vs. William Jewell) and longest field goal in school history at 62 yards, also set in the same game versus William Jewell. St. Xavier punter Shane Longest was the nation's third leading punter at a 43.2 yard average. He also led the NAIA with 27 field goals this season.
2007 AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team
Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
WR McKay Dunn 5-10 195 Sr. Southern Virginia Mike Smith Friendswood, Texas (Friendswood)
WR Preston Nicholson 6-2 196 Sr. Culver-Stockton Christian Guenther Tampa, Fla. (Hillsborough)
WR Jared Stace 5-9 185 Sr. Ohio Dominican Dale Carlson Whitehall, Ohio (Whitehall-Yearling)
OL Mike Siverly 6-4 315 Sr. McKendree Carl Poelker Casey, Ill. (Casey-Westfield)
OL Joey Gilsdorf 6-5 285 Sr. Sterling Andy Lambert Providence, Utah (Mountain Crest)
C Truman Ashby* 6-3 280 Sr. Benedictine (Kan.) Larry Wilcox St. Louis, Mo. (DeSmet Jesuit)
OL Jeremy Saunders 6-5 314 Sr. Quincy Bill Terlisner Warren, Ill. (Warren)
OL Mike Galassi* 6-5 302 Sr. Walsh Jim Dennison Strongsville, Ohio (Holy Name)
QB Chad Cavender 6-0 185 Sr. Sioux Falls Kalen DeBoer Redding, Calif. (Shasta)
RB Ra'Shad Morgan* 5-10 208 Sr. Virginia-Wise Bruce Wasem Chestfield, Va. (Meadowbrook)
RB Adrain Smith* 6-0 210 Sr. Bethel (Tenn.) Dino Kaklis Ocala, Fla. (Forrest)
Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
DL Shawn Lewis 6-4 245 Jr. Urbana Tim Place Aberdeen, Md. (Aberdeen)
DL Cody Van Sloten 6-2 234 Jr. Northwestern (Iowa) Orv Otten Doon, Iowa (Boyden-Hull)
DL J.J. Perino* 6-1 245 Sr. Montana Tech Bob Green Helena, Mont. (Capital)
LB Reggie Singletary 6-0 243 Sr. Missouri Valley Paul Troth Kansas City, Mo. (Winnetonka)
LB Owen Koeppen 6-2 232 Jr. Carroll (Mont.) Mike Van Diest Florence, Mont. (Park City)
LB Jeremy Robinson 5-11 240 Sr. Olivet Nazarene Gary Newsome Crowe Point, Ind.
DB Brandon Kaufman 6-0 190 Sr. Bethel (Kan.) Mike Moore Moundridge, Kan. (Moundridge)
DB Marc Samson* 5-8 178 Sr. Montana St.-Northern Mark Samson Helena, Mont. (Capital)
DB Clay Hamblen* 5-11 184 Sr. Georgetown (Ky.) Bill Cronin Danville, Ind. (Danville)
DB Gary Thomas 5-10 200 Sr. Jamestown Tom Dosch Sparks, Nev. (Sparks)
DB Chad Hustedt 6-2 180 Sr. Morningside Steve Ryan Galva, Iowa (Galva-Holstein)
Pos Name Ht.
P Shane Longest 5-11 180 Sr. St. Xavier Mike Feminis Wilmington, Ill. (
PK Derek Doerfler 5-11 213 Jr. Baker Mike Grossner Lee's
AP Allen Ervin 6-0 220 Sr. Lambuth Vic Wallace
*-2006 AFCA All-American
AFCA NAIA Player Selection History: NAIA players who were selected to AFCA All-America teams were named to the AFCA College Division team from 1967-71. In 1972, the AFCA College Division was split to College I and College II. Players from NAIA Division I teams were placed in
Current NAIA Teams with AFCA Coaches' All-America Selections:
Repeat After Me: Only nine current NAIA schools have had players earn consecutive AFCA Coaches' All-America honors, with seven of them coming from this year's team: Benedictine's (Kan.) Truman Ashby (2006-07, OL), Walsh's Mike Galassi (2006-07, OL), Virginia-Wise's Ra'Shad Morgan (2006-07, RB), Bethel's (Tenn.) Adrain Smith (2006-07, RB), Montana Tech's J.J. Perino (2006-07, DL) and Montana St.-Northern's Marc Samson (2006-07, DB).
Class Distinction: This year's AFCA NAIA Coaches' All-America Team is made up of 21 seniors and four juniors.
Players From First Time Schools: McKay Dunn of Southern Virginia, Preston Nicholson of Culver-Stockton, Joey Gilsdorf of Sterling, Jeremy Saunders of Quincy, Shawn Lewis of Urbana, Reggie Singletary of Missouri Valley and Jeremy Robinson of Olivet Nazarene are the first players from their respective schools to earn AFCA Coaches' All-America Team honors.
Repeat After Me:
The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one team was chosen. From 1967 through 1971, two teams, University Division and College Division, were selected. In 1972, the College Division was split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division was split into two teams -- Division I-A and Division I-AA. In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III, respectively. The AFCA is selecting an NAIA-only team for the second time this year.
From 1965-81, a 22-player (11 offensive, 11 defensive) team was chosen. In 1982, a punter and placekicker were added to the team. In 1997, a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player team. The return specialist position has been replaced by an all-purpose player this season. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best -- the coaches themselves.
The AFCA's NAIA All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA's nine districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts prior to a conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which the team is chosen.
For more information on the AFCA and its programs, log on to the AFCA's website at www.afca.com.