ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference has announced its all-conference teams for fall sports, and the Tabor Bluejays are well represented.
Honors were announced for football, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross country.
Tabor’s all-time best 9-1 regular-season (8-1 in the KCAC) was represented with seven players on the first team, six on the second team selections and seven who received honorable mention.
Heading the list, though, was Tim McCarty, who was selected the KCAC’s coach of the year for the leading the Bluejays to a second-place finish. McCarty also became the college’s winningest coach with a 23-28 record in five years.
Of the seven Bluejays picked for the first team, two were unanimous selections on offense: Tyler Marsh, senior wide receiver Elk City, Okla., and Tyson Ratzlaff, senior wide receiver from Hillsboro.
Three Bluejays were unanimous picks on defense: Chad Duerksen, senior defensive lineman from Lehigh; Eli Kennedy, senior linebacker from Fairview, Okla.; and Jason Phelps, senior defensive back from Elk City.
Duerksen was named co-defensive player of the year along with Drew Bailey of Kansas Wesleyan.
Also earning first-team honors from Tabor were Ricky Ishida, freshman quarterback from Shafter, Calif., and Kevin Wahl, senior offensive lineman from Fairview, Okla.
Earning second team honors were: Dwayne Cleaves, sophomore running back from Fairfield, Texas; Tyler Grantham, senior offensive lineman from West Columbia, Texas; Justin Friesen, senior defensive lineman Hillsboro; Jake Schenk, sophomore linebacker from Smith Center; Keenan Morris, sophomore kicker from Derby; and Brian Kimsey, junior punter from Gold River, Calif.
Earning honorable mention honors were: Marsh, senior specialist; Preston Neufeld, senior tight end from Hesston; Joel Odom, senior offensive lineman from Forney, Texas; Tracy Wehrman, senior linebacker from Derby; Nick Hooper, freshman defensive lineman from Buttonwillow, Calif.; C.J. Hill, senior defensive back from Hillsboro; and Keith Schick, sophomore defensive lineman from Shattuck, Okla.
Coach Amy Ratzlaff was named the KCAC coach of the year in volleyball for the second straight year.
Ratzlaff led the Bluejays to their third consecutive conference championship-second outright-and a trip to the Region IV tournament.
Tabor won the conference title with a 15-3 record and finished 20-13 overall.
Earning first team all-conference recognition was senior Sara McAllister, a unanimous pick from Fort Collins, Colo., and freshman Staci Whitcomb from Moundridge.
McAllister was a repeat selection from last season.
Honorable mention honors went to senior Laura Campbell from Wichita and senior Angela Kroeker from Hillsboro.
In men’s soccer, senior midfielder Scott Friesen was the only Bluejay named to the first team.
Named to the second team were junior defender Jon Adrian and junior defender Ryan Kelly. Craig Penner, senior midfielder, received honorable mention.
In women’s soccer, junior forward Kandi Holland represented Tabor on the first team.
Named to the second team were senior midfielder Kathleen Stagg and junior defender Michelle Rink. Goalkeeper Kari Shorb, a junior, received honorable mention.
In cross country, all-conference status is achieved by a runner’s placement in the conference meet.
Representing the Bluejay men is freshman Pete Richert, who placed 10th in 28:03.
Representing the women is junior Angela Jost, who placed third in 21:11. Freshman Kendra Raber received honorable mention for finishing 15th in 22:31.