Northwest Missouri State landed a league-high total of 17 players on the All-MIAA Team released Tuesday, one ahead of MIAA champion Missouri Western.
The Bearcats had six first team selections, four on the second team and seven others earned honorable mention.
Four of the team's six first team picks were on defense or special teams and 11 of 17 overall.
"I thought our emphasis on the all-conference team was on defense and special teams," said Northwest Missouri State head coach Adam Dorrel. "To me, that's where it should've been. That's the strength of our football team this year. The kids that got it were very well-deserving. As a conference as a whole, I thought we did a really good job of getting the top players on the list."
All six of Northwest's first team honorees earned that distinction for the first time in their careers and four had never appeared on the team at any level.
The group of consists of senior offensive lineman Rod Williams, senior kicker Todd Adolf, senior defensive tackle Travis Chappelear, senior linebacker Collin DeBuysere and sophomore punter Kyle Goodburn.
Williams, a three-year starter, is the most experienced member of an offensive line that's allowed a league-low 11 sacks. He was a second team selection last year.
Appearing on the second team for the second straight year, Adolf has been the MIAA's most accurate kicker, connecting on 13-15 field goal attempts and 60-60 PAT's. Chappelear is Northwest's top-run stuffing force and ranks third on the team in tackles with 53. He has seven tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
A second-year starter at the rover spot, DeBuysere is Northwest's second leading tackler with 63 and is tied for second on the team with four interceptions.
His seven tackles for loss are most among Northwest linebackers.
The most active member of Northwest's ball-hawking secondary, DeJong has picked off a team-high six passes this year, all during a six week stretch. That total is the second highest in the MIAA.
In his second year on the job, Goodburn has the highest punting average in the MIAA of 44.8 yards per attempt.
This is over a seven yard increase from his freshman season when Goodburn had a net average of 37.8 yards.
Northwest's quartet of second team selections were senior wide receiver Tyler Shaw, senior kick/punt returner Jordan Simmons, sophomore linebacker D.J. Gnader and junior cornerback Brandon Dixon.
An honorable mention recipient last year, Shaw has a team-high 10 touchdown catches and averages a team-high 73.8 yards per reception. His season total of 47 catches is second on the team behind Simmons.
A second team selection last year at running back, Simmons has returned two kick-offs for touchdowns, giving him five for his career. Simmons is averaging 36.7 yards per kick return and 7.3 on punts. He was also among Northwest's seven honorable mention honorees at running back, producing 450 yards and 10 touchdowns along with a team-high 50 catches.
Page 2 of 2 - Gnader leads Northwest in tackles with 70 and is making his first career appearance on the All-MIAA Team. Dixon, a transfer from Joliet (Ill.) CC, started all 11 regular season games and recorded four interceptions.
Northwest's remaining six that received honorable mention were junior quarterback Trevor Adams, senior tight end Vincent Defeo, junior offensive lineman John Petroff, sophomore defensive lineman Matt Longacre, junior defensive back Travis Manning and senior safety Clarke Snodgrass.
Playing in nine games this year, Adams has thrown for 2,134 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He's the MIAA's third most efficient passer and his completion percentage of 63.0 is second in the MIAA.
Defeo is tied for third on the team with 18 catches, three of which have resulted in touchdowns.
Petroff has started each of the last nine games at right tackle in place of injured starter C.J. Keeney.
Longacre, a second-year starter, is Northwest's team leader in tackles for loss (eight) and sacks (six).
Filtering between cornerback and safety, Manning has come up with four interceptions, including one that set up Northwest's go-ahead score in the Fall Classic win at Arrowhead Stadium.
Snodgrass returned from a hamstring injury in the season's sixth game and has started the last three at safety alongside DeJong. He has one interception and 19 tackles.
Missouri Western running back Michael Hill was named the MIAA Offensive Player of the Year, Western's Jerry Partridge was named the Coach of the Year and Western cornerback Michael Jordan took Freshman of the Year honors.
Missouri Southern senior defensive tackle Brandon Williams was voted as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Pittsburg State junior John Brown is the MIAA's Special Teams Player of the Year.