St. Olaf College and the MIAC announced league awards for several Oles a couple weeks ago. I wanted to repost that here... and insert a couple comments about what I have observed about these players over the two seasons I have watched St. Olaf football with a dad's passion and a fan's interest.
Oles have five second team All-MIAC selections
November 27, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. - St. Olaf had five second team All-MIAC football selections, the league announced on Tuesday.
The Oles had four on the offensive side including a pair of senior wide recievers, Jake Schmiesing and Stephen Asp. Sophomore quarterback Nate Penz and senior offensive lineman Alex Hsu were also honored. Senior defensive back Cam Smith was the Oles' other honoree.
Asp had a team-high 49 receptions fro 751 yards and three touchdowns. His 49 receptions ranked seventh in the league. He finished his career with 132 catches, which ranks sixth in school history. His 2,439 yards rank fourth all-time and his 24 career touchdowns are third-best. He was a first-team All-MIAC twice.
My thoughts on Stephen: He is a dynamic, talented, game-breaking receiver who played all year on a bum hip and still was amazingly productive. Tough kid, great talent. I will miss seeing him stretch the field... and his ability to adjust to the ball in flight was just remarkable. What dedication to his team!
Schmiesing had nine receiving scores to finish in a tie for the school career record of 27, with Horace Gant '08, and one ahead of his brother Andrew '08. He had 35 receptions for 588 yards to complete his career with 111, which is ninth on the all-time list. Schmiesing's 1,655 yards rank seventh all-time. His second-team All-MIAC honor was his third straight.
My thoughts on Jake: This young man was a leader in every sense of the word. Tall, talented, physical... in a season filled with so many disappointments, Jake helped keep his teammates pulling together and fighting for each other. Hugely talented, with impressive stats, he proved time and again that his teammates were just as, if not more, important than anything he accomplished as an individual.
Penz threw for 2,475 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first season as a starter. He had two 300-yard passing efforts, throwing for 382 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Carleton and 332 and three scores in the season finale, a loss to No. 16 St. Thomas.
My thoughts in Nate: What a fantastic, tough, good young man who will only get better and better as a quarterback. There were games where I was not sure Nate would be able to rise from the turf after a particularly nasty hit. But, in his first year as a starter, he exhibited the qualities that so many of these Oles possess -- fight and never-give-up. It should be a fun two more years to watch him as he grows into the job.
Hsu was a first team All-MIAC selection in 2012 and finished his career with a second-team honor in 2013.
My thoughts on Alex: Offensive line is a too-often overlooked position. But the O line makes everything else go. Injuries along the line this year led to some struggles in some games. But Alex was a constant... leading teammates and always pushing himself to be better and keep battling. He would never give up on a play, hustling downfield to make a touchdown-saving tackle after a turnover or sprinting outside to deliver a block, he epitomizes dedictation.
Smith led the St. Olaf defense in 2013. He led the team in interceptions (3) and was second in tackles (39) and pass break-ups (8).
My thoughts on Cam: Wow! What a player! What a strong-willed and rugged young man! Injuries could not keep him off the field. Body parts might go missing, and Cam would find a way to drag himself off the turf and thrust himself back into the action. Fearless. Tough. With a pain threshold that might be off the charts, Cam had an admirable season. He definitely made his last year in Old Gold and Black one for all of us to marvel and remember.