Four Football Student-Athletes Named All-MIAA First Team
Four Hope College football players have earned All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association First Team honors for the 2017 season.
Zach Telfor and Griffin Weigl were selected a first-team defensive lineman and linebacker,
respectively, by the league’s coaches, while Justin Fairfield and Jake VanderVeen
were chosen first-team offensive linemen.
Telfor and Weigl anchored a defense that ranked No. 1 in the MIAA in total defense at 272.8 yards per game allowed, passing yards allowed per game at 151.5, and rushing yards allowed per game at 121.3.
The Flying Dutchmen also were No. 2 in scoring defense at 16.2 points allowed per league game.
Telfor finished second in MIAA with six sacks in league games. The senior from Charlotte, Michigan (Charlotte HS) tied for second with 8 ½ tackles for loss and averaged six league per MIAA game with 36 in six contests.
“Zach led our team in sacks and was twice named the MIAA player of the week,” head coach Peter Stuursma said. “His quickness and his motor make him virtually unblockable." His motor never stops.”
Weigl quarterbacked Hope’s defense and totaled 30 tackles in league play for a per-game average of 5.0. The senior from Saginaw, Michigan (Nouvel Catholic) had six tackles for loss and 3 ½ sacks.
“Griffin had as fine a year one as he could have at linebacker as run stopper and responsible for multiple checks in our defense,” Stuursma said. “Griffin also created turnovers and sacks from the edge with his quickness."
Fairfield and VanderVeen played right guard and left guard, respectively, for an offense that placed second in the MIAA with 1,510 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns in league games.
The Flying Dutchmen topped the MIAA in red-zone scoring in league play with 21 touchdowns in 30 attempts.
“Justin has been the best offensive lineman on the field in each of our 10 games,” Stuursma said “He is a high-motor guy with an incredible knack of gaining leverage on opponents. The Detroit Lions visited a few weeks ago because of his long-snapping ability.
“Jake is one of the strongest players on our team with over 600-pound squat. He uses his strength to be a devastating run blocker and excellent pass blocker due to his quickness."
Five Flying Dutchmen received All-MIAA Second Team honors: quarterback Mason Opple, running back Brandan Campbell, running back Chris Leigh, defensive back Jacob Pardonnet, and defensive back Mason Rosado.
Opple placed fourth in the MIAA at 151.3 passing yards per MIAA game. The sophomore from Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) completed 70-of-124 passes for 908 yards and seven touchdowns against league competition. He was intercepted three times.
Opple also ran for 339 yards and nine touchdowns in MIAA play. He totaled 61 carries.
Campbell finished third in the MIAA at 117.7 rushing yards per league game. The senior from Otsego, Michigan (Otsego) ran for 830 yards and seven touchdowns on 113 carries.
Leigh rushed for 62.3 yards per MIAA game. He ran for 374 yards and three touchdowns on 57 carries. He also caught two touchdowns against league opponents.
Pardonnet collected 29 tackles, including 2 ⅕ for loss, against MIAA competition. The senior from Brighton, Michigan (Brighton) also had one interception.
Rosado totaled 29 tackles and seven pass breakups in MIAA games. The senior from Holland, Michigan (Holland) also intercepted two passes — both against Adrian College.