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Seven Wildcats named to 2018 NSIC All-Conference Football Team

Seven Wildcats named to 2018 NSIC All-Conference Football Team

Wayne State College had seven players selected to the 2018 NSIC All-Conference Football Team released Thursday morning by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Junior linebacker Tyler Thomsen earned NSIC South Division First Team Defense honors as voted by league coaches. Second Team honors went to senior wide receiver Nate Rogers, junior defensive end Jacob Protzman and senior punter Cody Netusil while junior defensive end Kolbie Foster, junior defensive back/linebacker Ian Ailts and sophomore tight end Conner Paxton were each named to the Honorable Mention Team.

Tyler Thomsen, a 6-1 225-pound junior linebacker from Fremont (Archbishop Bergan HS), led Wayne State and the Northern Sun Conference in tackles this season with 120, averaging 10.9 tackles per game. He recorded 10 or more tackles in eight games this season, highlighted by a season-best 15 stops with one interception for 49 yards in a 42-35 win at Upper Iowa. Thomsen also had two blocked kicks with 5.5 tackles for loss (11 yds) and one sack (2 yds) this season. Thomsen was All-NSIC Honorable Mention last season as a sophomore.

Nate Rogers, a 6-5 205-pound senior wide receiver from South Sioux City (South Sioux City HS), was a South Division Second Team selection this season after earning First Team honors last season. Rogers led WSC in receiving this season with 70 catches for 1,009 yards with 11 touchdowns, ranking third in the NSIC in receptions per game (6.36), third in receiving yards per game (91.7) and third in TD catches (11). He became the first WSC receiver since Frederick Bruno in 2009 to have a 1,000-yard receiving season and closed his Wildcat career ranked third in receptions (177), fourth in receiving yards (2,456) and the all-time leader in touchdown receptions with 38.

Jacob Protzman, a 6-4 250-pound junior defensive end from Grimes, Iowa (Dallas Center-Grimes HS), was a South Division Second Team selection on defense after ranking third in the NSIC this season in sacks (10 for 62 yds) and tackles for loss (16 for 73 yds). Protzman was named NSIC Defensive Player of the Week on September 10th after recording a single game school record five sacks and eight tackles in a 23-14 win at Southwest Minnesota State. He finished the season ranked fourth on the Wildcat defense in total tackles with 49 and also had three quarterback hurries with one forced fumble.

Cody Netusil, a 6-3 250-pound senior punter from Carroll, Iowa (Carroll HS), received South Division Second Team honors as a punter after collecting First Team honors in 2016 as a sophomore. This season, Netusil ranked fifth in the Northern Sun Conference averaging 39.3 yards per punt. He had just one touchback in 65 punts and set single season school records with 21 fair catches and 27 punts inside the 20-yard line. Netusil ended his Wildcat career ranked second in total punts with 179 and had just nine touchbacks in three seasons.

Ian Ailts, a 6-1, 210-pound junior defensive back/linebacker from Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Washington HS), earned Honorable Mention honors after ranking second on the Wildcat defense in tackles (59) despite missing two games due to injury. Ailts posted eight or more tackles in six of nine games played this season, recording nine tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack and two quarterback hurries at St. Cloud State. He also had nine tackles vs. Winona State and nine tackles with a forced fumble at Concordia-St. Paul.

Kolbie Foster, a 6-4 220-pound junior defensive end from Omaha (Central HS), received Honorable Mention honors after ranking third on the Wildcat defense with 52 total tackles (40 solo). He ranked tied for sixth in the NSIC in tackles for loss (13 for 84 yds) and was tied for seventh in the NSIC with two forced fumbles to go with 6.5 sacks for 59 yards. Foster had a season-high eight tackles vs. Winona State and had seven tackles with a forced fumble vs. Bemidji State. He had a season-high two sacks at Concordia-St. Paul.

Conner Paxton, a 6-2 230-pound sophomore from Stuart (Stuart HS), received Honorable Mention honors after ranking second on the team this season in receptions with 34 for 439 yards (12.9 avg.) and two touchdowns. He posted a season-high six catches for 97 yards and one TD in a 23-14 win at Southwest Minnesota State and had six catches for 82 yards vs. MSU Moorhead. Paxton had at least one catch in 10 of 11 games this season.

Wayne State finished the 2018 season with records of 3-8 overall and 2-5 in the NSIC South Division.

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