BURNSVILLE, Minn. (KWSN) – Augustana was picked to finish ninth overall and fifth in the South Division in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league announced on Tuesday.Minnesota State was picked as the preseason favorite in both the overall and South Division polls gaining 13 first-place votes in the overall poll and six in the division poll.
Minnesota Duluth was selected as the favorite to with the North Division, earning six first-place votes.St. Cloud State, picked to finish fourth overall and second in the south, swept the preseason player of the year honors for the North Division. Senior quarterback Phillip Klaphake was named the division's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and senior defensive back Jack Moro was selected as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
USF's Carrington Hanna was named the South Division Preseason Offensive Player of the Year while Zach Moore, a senior defensive end from Concordia-St. Paul earned defensive preseason player of the year honors.
Augustana's Dajon Newell and Thomas Vanasek were listed as "Players to Watch" in the NSIC in 2013.Newell, a junior running back, started all 11 games for Augustana in 2012 and earned All-NSIC South Division Second Team honors after rushing for a career-high 1,090 yards. In 2012, Newell became just the fourth player in school history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a season after averaging 6.2 yards per carry and 99.1 yards per game.
Newell set a career-high in 2012 with 11 touchdowns and rushed for 100 or more yards in a game six times. Four of Newell's 11 touchdowns last season came on plays of 25-plus yards, including his season-long 47-yard rushing touchdown at SMSU on Nov. 10. Newell ranked second on the team with 1,111 all-purpose yards (101.0 per game) and ranked third in the NSIC in rushing.
Vanasek was named to the All-NSIC South Division Second Team Defense in 2012 after starting all 11 games at strong safety. Vanasek finished second on the team with 85 tackles, including a career-high 43 solo stops. He shared the team lead with 6.5 tackles for loss and recorded two sacks.
Vanasek shared the team-lead with three interceptions while breaking up five passes and recovering three fumbles. He had three games with 10 or more tackles and recorded a career-high 13 against Winona State on Nov. 3.First-year head coach Jerry Olszewski and the Vikings will open fall camp on Aug. 16. Augustana opens the 2013 season on Sept. 7 hosting MSU Moorhead at 1 p.m. at Kirkeby-Over Stadium.
Courtesy: Augustana College