Four Bluejays earn preseason football recognition

Four members of the Tabor College football team are represented on the 2016 All-KCAC preseason team.

Two Bluejays were preseason selections on offense: senior fullback Joe Donell and junior offensive lineman Spencer Baalman.

A second-team selection a year ago, Donnell was Tabor’s leading rusher with 1,032 yards. That statistic ranked fourth in the conference and 20th nationally.

Donnell ranked 29th nationally in rushing yards per game (86).

Baalman, an honorable mention pick last year, anchored a Bluejay offense that averaged 380.8 yards per game and ranked first nationally in sacks against (0.4).

Two Bluejays were preseason selections on special teams: junior kick returner Charles Beale and senior kicker Jared Slavens.

Beale was a second-team selection last year. He ranked 29th nationally in punt return yards (138). He turned in per-game averages of 19.7 punt return yards and 22.9 kick return yards.

Slavens was a first-team selection a year ago. He ranked 22nd nationally in scoring (kicking) (62), 30th in scoring (kicking) per game (5.2), 33rd in field goals percentage (0.625), 45th in field goals (5) and 50th in point after touchdown kicking percentage (0.904).

Slavens made 47 of 52 extra-point attempts and five of eight field goals he attempted. He made two 42-yard field goals last season.

Tabor topped both the KCAC coaches’ and media preseason polls and will open competition Saturday, Sept. 3 at No. 16 Dakota Wesleyan.

The Bluejays rank eighth in the NAIA coaches’ preseason Top 25 poll.

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