10 Football Players Earn GPAC Recognition

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10 Football Players Earn GPAC Recognition

(Wednesday, November 16; Sioux Center, Iowa) The 2021 Great Plains Athletic Conference All-Conference Team has been selected after a vote of the league coaches.  Dordt has 10 players on the list. 

Levi Jungling (Senior; Pella, Iowa), Alex Huisman (Junior; Pella, Iowa) and Nathan Kabongo (Senior; Plano, Texas) all earned first-team honors. 

Jungling earned the honor after catching 59 passes for 974 yards and nine touchdowns.  Jungling averaged 16.5 yards per catch and ran for another touchdown and passed for one.  Jungling earned first-team all-GPAC honors five times during his career and caught over 250 passes for 42 touchdowns and 4,637 yards. 

“For five years, Defender Nation has watched Levi Jungling do things on the field that are as inspiring as they are entertaining.  On Saturday, his career came to a close and it’s fitting that he earns the Conference player of the week award in his last game,” said Dordt football coach Joel Penner. 

Huisman was the starting offensive tackles for the Defenders and paved the way for an offense that ran for 310 yards per game and scored 43.8 points per contest.  Huisman earned first-team all-GPAC honors in 2020 along with second-team All-American honors and he claimed CoSIDA Academic All-American accolades in 2020.  

“Alex embodies Industry Standard as much as any player on our team.  His standard for excellent work shows up in his offensive line play, his academics, and in his faith.  I believe Alex has all-American talent and his work ethic is even better,” said Penner. 

Kabongo had three interceptions and made 29 solo tackles and ends his career with 17 interceptions and 187 solo tackles at cornerback. He also earned honorable mention accolades as a punt returner where he averaged 10.3 yards per punt return on 15 returns.  

“When we nominated Nathan for first-team all-conference you just hope that the coaches who vote understand his impact on the field.  Shut-down corners have fewer stats than many others because offenses simply target him less.  Nathan is a shut-down corner who has quite possibly developed into the best defensive back that’s ever played at Dordt,” said Penner. “As a punt returner, the opportunity for a big play always existed with Nathan returning. He is highly dependable catching the ball and very elusive to tackle.” 

Josh Bush (Freshman; Marietta, Georgia), Anthony Trojahn (Junior; Berthoud, Colorado), Walter Black (Junior; Guntersville, Alabama), Mitch Van Regenmorter (Senior; Maurice, Iowa), Jessup Leakey (Junior; Blue Springs, Missouri) and Brayton Van Kekerix (Junior; Rock Valley, Iowa) all claimed second-team honors.  

Bush ran for 594 yards on 78 carries and scored six touchdowns for the Defenders in his freshman season. Bush averaged 7.6 yards per carry.  

“Josh had an extraordinary freshmen season.  He changed the way teams defended us with his speed on the edge.  As Defender Nation continues to get to know Josh, they will find that his character is even more impressive than his speed,” said Penner. 

Trojahn ran for 774 yards on 117 carries and was the leading ground gainer for the Defenders this season with 12 touchdowns and a 6.6 yards per carry average.  Trojahn has now run for 1,137 career yards. 

“We are so proud of Anthony’s development as a Running back.  He is a world class teammate, he leads the way in our off-season training, and his skill is really starting to blossom.  We believe Anthony has not reached his potential yet and his best football is still in front of him,” said Penner.  

Black and Van Regenmorter have been mainstays on the offensive line for multiple seasons as the Defenders won at least seven games in a season for the fourth straight season.  Black was a honorable mention pick in 2020 at guard and Van Regenmorter has been Dordt’s starting center and claimed first-team honors in 2020.   

“Playing center is one of the hardest positions to play on the football field.  This is especially true in a shotgun style offense like ours. Mitch has been a three-year starter and has anchored the interior of one of the best offensive line groups in the NAIA. He is a leader both on and off the field,” said Penner. “We ask a lot of our guards in our system and Walter has become one of the GPAC’s best guards.  Walter trains extremely hard in the off-season and it shows up in his longevity and dependability throughout the long season.” 

Jessup Leakey was in on 17 solo and 13 assisted tackles this season with 7.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback sack. 

“Jessup embodies everything we are looking for in a defensive lineman. The work he does on the interior line requires tremendous toughness and durability. Jessup’s work ethic along with his talent allows him to consistently makes plays for our defense,” said Penner.    

Van Kekerix was the leading tackler for the Defenders before missing the final two games with injury.  Van Kekerix had 37 solo and 19 assisted tackles this season with an interception and a tackle for a loss. He totaled 97 tackles over the course of his career with 19 tackles for loss.  

“Brayton is a linebacker at heart. His football instincts, toughness, physicality, and passion for the game are why he’s earned this honor,” said Penner.  

Abe Stoesz (Sophomore; Mountain Lake, Minnesota) was an honorable mention pick. Stoesz totaled 33 solo and 12 assisted tackles  with 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks. 

“As a sophomore, Abe was the third leading tackler on our defense.  He is the rare combination of a guy who blitzes and sacks the quarterback, plays man and zone coverage on opponents’ slot receivers, and has to tackle in the open field.  Because of Abe, our defense can do much more schematically,” said Penner. 

Dordt recently concluded a 7-3 record and finished third in the GPAC.