Four Firebird football players earn All-Conference honors
By Harry Lipsiea
The last pass has been thrown, tackle recorded and whistle blown as the 2014 football season has officially wrapped up.
With that, post-season honors are rolling in for North Dakota football players. The AAA EDC All-Conference team has been released and four Firebird athletes have received honors for their efforts throughout the past season.
Senior Jordan Swanson, junior Bradley Davidson and sophomores Jacob Mertens and Hunter Fee have been selected to the All-EDC team.
Swanson was a first-team All-Conference selection at wide receiver for the Firebirds. He finished second in the conference in receiving.
Throughout the season, the senior came down with 29 catches for 503 yards. He finished with six touchdowns and an average of 62 yards per game.
“Jordan had an excellent season catching either the short drive continuation pass for a first down or the home run reception for a touchdown. He had excellent hands and speed for us this season,” Devils Lake head football coach Jay Schneider told the Journal. “Definitely, was our go to guy on the receiving end of our passing game this season.”
He was also a starter defensively tallying 24 tackles and two interceptions as a defensive back.
Davidson was named first-team All-Conference for his efforts at running back. He finished with 651 yards and nine touchdowns on 140 carries. The junior ran for nine touchdowns while also hauling in 10 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown.
On special teams, he racked up 306 yards as a kick returner and 76 punt return yards. He had 23 tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
“Bradley had a very good season as an all-purpose player for us. Whether it was on special teams as a return guy or at the tailback position, opponents keyed on him throughout the season,” Schneider pointed out to the Journal.
“However, Bradley still ran hard and ran with a purpose and was always a threat to break it, which he did at different times. His speed in the open field is his biggest strength as a player right now.”
Mertens earned honorable mention All-Conference honors at quarterback for the Firebirds. He finished second in the EDC in yards.
The sophomore completed 84-of-177 passes for 1,226 yards including 10 touchdowns. That was good for 136 yards per game.
“Jacob had a good season as a sophomore quarterback in the EDC. He was an excellent leader for our offense this fall and had a very good year passing the ball,” Schneider commented. “Jacob's composure and leadership as a sophomore quarterback was very good this year.”
Fee was selected to the All-Conference honorable mention team for his play on the defensive line. The sophomore, who also started on offense, finished with 22 tackles including seven for a loss.
“Hunter was very solid as an offensive and defensive lineman for us this fall. Hunter's defensive prowess was more obvious than his offensive presence but he had a good year on the o-line but had a better one on the defensive side of the ball,” Schneider commented. “He kept his ground, didn't get pushed around, took up his gap(s), and made a number of plays himself this fall in the other team's backfield. For a sophomore, Hunter had a very good year in the trenches.”
The Firebirds earned the All-State Academic award for their efforts in the classroom.
Individual All-State Awards will be available to the media later this week.