Eleven Trojans receive NSAA Football All-Conference honors and awards

MADISON, S.D. (DSUAthletics.com) – Eleven (11) Dakota State (S.D.) football players received honors and awards from the North Star Athletic Association, the 2020 NSAA Football All-Conference and postseason awards were announced by the conference office Monday morning. Three (3) Trojans were selected to the First-Team All-Conference, while four (4) Trojans were named to Second-Team All-Conference. In addition, DSU also named four (4) Honorable Mention All-Conference.

The All-Conference teams and postseason awards were voted by the league head coaches.

Marcus Vanden Bosch, Noah Guse, and Caleb Nielsen were chosen to the NSAA Football First-Team All-Conference for DSU. Conner Tordsen, Braedon Wallenstein, Jason Sakamoto and Nielsen were named to Second Team All-Conference.

Cole McCarty, Riley Janke, Alexander Maxey and Jacob Hirsch were named to the NSAA Football All-Conference Honorable Mention.

Vanden Bosch and Nielsen each received the All-Conference honor for the third consecutive year. It was the third straight year that Nielsen was named to First Team All-Conference. In addition, it was Vanden Bosch third consecutive year that he had received the conference’s All-Conference honor (first team last season and second team two seasons ago).

Guse was named to the NSAA Football All-Conference list for the second straight year (second team last season).

Junior Alec Bultje was DSU’s recipient for the North Star Athletic Association Football’s Champions of Character. Alec is the son of Brian and Stephanie Bultje of Volga, S.D. He is a junior computer education major at Dakota State University.

Below is the list of each Trojan football selections on the 2020 NSAA Football All-Conference teams:

(Name – First/Second/Honorable Mention – Height – Weight – Class – Position – Hometown – major at Dakota State University)

Marcus Vanden Bosch – 1st team defense – 6’2″ – 220 lbs. – senior – linebacker – Madison, S.D. – Accounting – Vanden Bosch tallied 49 tackles (26 solo, 23 assists) for Dakota State’s defense in 2020. He also had six tackles-for-loss of 19.2 yards loss, including three quarterback sacks for 14.0 yards loss. He ranks 48th in the NAIA in total sacks. He also forced a fumble this season. Vanden Bosch had accumulated 270 tackles (125 solo, 145 assists), 25 tackles-for-loss of 96.0 yards lost and 8.5 quarterback sacks of 54.5 yards lost during his career at DSU. Marcus is the son of Craig and Karla Vanden Bosch.

Noah Guse – 1st team defense – 6’0″ – 185 lbs. – junior – defensive back – Madison, S.D. – Physical Education – DSU’s Guse led the Trojans with five interceptions, including three ‘pick six’ interception returns for touchdowns. He recorded interception returns of 132 total yards. Guse returned recorded two ‘pick six’ interceptions for touchdowns in DSU’s 42-0 win at Presentation (S.D.) on Sept. 19, where he received the NAIA Football National Defensive Player-of-the-Week. He added an interception return for touchdown at Mayville State (N.D.) on Nov. 19. He collected 23 tackles (18 solo, 5 assists), a forced fumble, and a tackle-of-loss of two yards loss. Currently, Guse leads the NAIA and NSAA in total interceptions. He is also eighth in the nation in passes defended per game (1.4). Guse accumulated 10 interceptions during his career at DSU. Noah is the son of Scott and Janel Guse.

Caleb Nielsen – 1st team special teams punter and 2nd team special teams kicker – 6’0″ – 180 lbs. – sophomore – punter/kicker – Waverly, Neb. – Computer Science and Math – Nielsen earned First Team All-Conference at the punter position, while adding Second Team All-Conference selection at the kicker position for DSU. He led the Trojans in scoring with 31 points, making all 19 PAT extra-point kicks and hit four field goals. He made a career-best 53-yard field goal at Waldorf (Iowa) on Nov. 7. Nielsen led the North Star conference with 60 punts for a total of 2,542 yards, averaging 42.4 yards per punt. He recorded a career-best punt of 82 yards at Dickinson State (N.D.) on Oct. 10. He had 11 punts that were inside the 20-yard line and eight touchbacks. Nielsen registered 27 kick-offs – with seven kick-offs being a touchback – for a total of 1,496 yards, averaging 55.4 yards per kick-offs. He leads the NAIA in PAT kicking percentage (100 percent), second in punt yards per attempt (42.4 yards per punt), 15th in total field goals, and 20th in total scoring in the kicking category. Caleb is the son of David and Colleen Nielsen.

Conner Tordsen – 2nd team defense – 6’4″ – 245 lbs. – junior – defensive line – Fairmont, Minn. – Exercise Science – Tordsen racked up 35 tackles (13 solo, 22 assists) from the defensive line for the Trojans. He led the team with 10.0 tackles-of-loss of 32.0 yards loss, as well as four quarterback sacks of 23 yards loss. Tordsen forced two fumbles and recovered two fumble recoveries and returned them for a total of eight yards. He also had a blocked punt. Tordsen ranks 26th in the NAIA in tackles-of-loss and 29th in total sacks. Conner is the son of Jamie and April Tordsen.

Braedon Wallenstein – 2nd team defense – 6’1″ – 255 lbs. – junior – defensive line – Lennox, S.D. – Physical Education – Wallenstein collected 39 tackles (17 solo, 22 assists) for DSU’s defense. He also recorded six tackles-for-loss of 19.2 yards loss. He tallied three quarterback sacks for 14.0 yards loss. Braedon is the son of Jeremy and Melissa Wallenstein.

Jason Sakamoto – 2nd team defense – 6’2″ – 180 lbs. – senior – defensive back – Carson, Calif. – Physical Education – Sakamoto caught three interceptions this season for Dakota State. He returned those interceptions for a total of 57 yards, including a ‘pick six’ interception return for touchdown at Waldorf (Iowa) on Nov. 7. Sakamoto also recorded 17 tackles (13 solo, 4 assists), as well as two tackles-for-loss of 8.0 yards loss and a quarterback sack of seven yards loss. He had a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Jason is the son of Jason Ryan and Jasmine Sakamoto.

Cole McCarty – Honorable Mention – 6’0″ – 220 lbs. – senior – linebacker – Mira Loma, Calif. – Exercise Science – McCarty led the Trojans’ defensive unit with 62 tackles (25 solo, 37 assists). He also registered 7.0 tackles-of-loss of 27.3 yards loss. He had a quarterback sack of 5.0 yards loss. McCarty ranks 45th in the NAIA in tackles per game with an average of 7.8 tackles per game. He accumulated 153 tackles (65 solo, 88 assists) and 13.0 tackles-for-loss of 59.3 yards loss during his career at DSU. Cole is the son of Chuck and Janice McCarty.

Riley Janke – Honorable Mention – 6’0″ – 205 lbs. – senior – linebacker – Madison, S.D. – Biology – Janke collected 30 tackles for the Trojans’ defense. He had two tackles-for-loss of five yards. Janke returned a ‘pick six’ interception return of 90 yards in DSU’s 42-0 road victory at Presentation (S.D.) on Sept. 19. He amassed 151 tackles (77 solo, 74 assists) and 14.5 tackles-for-loss of 77.0 yards loss during his career at Dakota State. Riley is the son of Fred and Linda Janke.

Alexander Maxey – Honorable Mention – 5’9″ – 180 lbs. – redshirt sophomore – snapper – Phoenix, Ariz. – Computer Science – Maxey was an integral member of the Trojans’ special teams as short and long snapper. He played in all eight DSU’s games this season. He helped the Trojans to lead the nation in PAT extra-point kicking and second in punts per attempt. Maxey collected eight tackles (4 solo, 4 assists) during the special teams plays. Alexander is the son of Evan and Suzanne Maxey.

Jacob Hirsch – Honorable Mention – 6’3″ – 190 lbs. – sophomore – wide receiver – Gayville, S.D. – Exercise Science – Hirsch led the Trojans with 316 receiving yards in 24 receptions. He averaged 13.2 yards per reception and 39.5 receiving yards per game. Hirsch caught four touchdowns (24 total points) and recorded a long reception of 45 yards. He led DSU in all-purpose yards with 318 yards (39.8 all-purpose yards per game). Hirsch ranks 43rd in the NAIA in total receptions and 47th in total receiving yards. Jacob is the son of Kent and Lori Hirsch.