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MTU Football Announces 2019 Award Winners

Team running onto the field

HOUGHTON, Mich. - The Michigan Tech football program recently announced the 2019 team awards at the annual postseason meeting. Headlining the list of honorees is senior wide receiver Jacob Wenzlick, who was named the Alan Bovard Most Valuable Player for the second season in a row. Wenzlick was also chosen as the Offensive Back of the Year and for the Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award.

Wenzlick, who hails from Sanford, Michigan, closed an outstanding career with the Huskies this past Saturday. He paced the Huskies this season with 40 receptions for 687 yards in 10 games played. He averaged 68.7 yards per game and shared the team lead in touchdown receptions with five. His longest catch of the year occurred in the 2019 season finale and it covered 73 yards for a key touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Timberwolves. Wenzlick had a season best and career high 213 yards against Northern Michigan on October 12.

Wenzlick reeled in 135 receptions for 2023 yards and 11 touchdowns in 39 career games. He also returned 65 kickoffs for 1,620 yards, which included a 93-yard touchdown in 2017. Wenzlick also returned 37 punts for 276 yards during his time in a Michigan Tech uniform. Wenzlick was an All-GLIAC Second Team selection following the completion of the season.

Junior defensive lineman Nate LaJoie was chosen for the Fred Baird Memorial Outstanding Defensive Player award along with being tabbed as the Defensive Lineman of the Year and the Iron Man Award recipient. LaJoie was an All-GLIAC First Team Honoree and was a D2CCA All-Super Region 3 First Team pick.

LaJoie is from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and had a breakout season this year for the Huskies. LaJoie led the GLIAC in total sacks with 8.5 and tied for second in the conference in total tackles for a loss. LaJoie combined for 54 total tackles and averaged 5.4 tackles per game and his sacks/tackles for loss resulted in 68 negative yards for opponents. In addition, LaJoie also recovered a fumble during the 2019 season. LaJoie had a season best nine tackles, 2.5 sacks, and four tackles for a loss at Saginaw Valley State.

The 2019 Defensive Back of the Year award went to senior Travis Tidwell. Tidwell is from Detroit, Michigan and wrapped up a stellar four-year career at Tech with a solid senior season in 2019. Tidwell led the Huskies defense with 70 total tackles, averaging seven stops per game. Tidwell broke up a team high nine passes, forced a fumble, and recorded an interception. Tidwell cracked the starting lineup as a freshman and accumulated 267.0 total tackles in 41 games played in his career. He had six interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 33 pass breakups. Tidwell was an All-GLIAC Second Team selection this season while being chosen as the GLIAC Freshman of the Year in 2016. Tidwell was an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention and GLIAC All-Academic Honoree in each of the previous two seasons.

Senior Glacier Wallington is the Daniel Dopp Memorial Special Teams Award recipient for the 2019 campaign.  Wallington is from Metamora, Michigan and made a major impact on defense for the Huskies in 2019. Wallington finished the year with a single season career high 42 tackles while making 2.5 tackles for a loss. He also forced a fumble, had two interceptions, and broke up three passes. His interceptions came in back-to-back weeks against Northern Michigan and Davenport. He had a single season high nine tackles at Ashland University. Wallington closed his career at Tech with 104.0 tackles, four forced fumbles, and two interceptions. He had one fumble recovery that he returned 29 yards for a touchdown in the 2018 season finale against Northwood. Wallington was also an Honorable Mention All-GLIAC selection at the conclusion of the year.

Senior Jeremy Bell is the 2019 Offensive Lineman of the Year along with receiving the Ted Kearly Award for the second year in a row. The Ted Kearly Award goes to a player who exhibits passion, pride, and integrity on and off the field. Bell, who hails from Negaunee, Michigan, anchored the front line that helped put up some impressive offensive numbers in 2019. The Huskies averaged 19.0 points and 357.7 yards per game, including 140.9 yards per game rushing and 216.8 yards per game passing. Bell played in 37 career games and was an All-GLIAC Second Team selection in 2017 along with being named Tech's Offensive Lineman of the Year that season. He received Honorable Mention All-GLIAC accolades this season and is a four-time GLIAC All-Academic Team honoree.

The 2019 Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year went to junior quarterback Will Ark. Ark, a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, had an excellent season at quarterback and also did the bulk of the punting for the Huskies in 2019. Ark wrapped up the season with 128 completions for 1,631 yards and 10 touchdowns in eight games. Ark finished second in the GLIAC in passing yards per game with 203.9 and tied for fourth in the conference with 10 touchdown passes. On the ground, Ark tacked on two additional touchdowns and averaged 22.3 yards per game on the ground in 2019. In the punting department, Ark closed the season averaging 41.3 yards per punt with 13 dropping inside the opponents 20-yard line out of 33 total punt attempts. His per punt average is a new single season school record. His achievements on the field this season landed him a spot on the All-GLIAC Second Team.

Senior linebacker Marshael Ryan was chosen to receive the Omer LaJenunesse Award for Scholastic Achievement in 2019. Ryan is from Linden, Michigan and graduated with a Biomedical Engineering degree. He is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration degree at Michigan Tech. On the field in 2019, Ryan racked up 47.0 tackles, which included two sacks and seven tackles for a loss, which was third most on the team. Ryan also recorded an interception in the 24-19 victory at McKendree in week two of the season.

Defensive lineman Samuel Kinne was this year's Freshman of the Year for Tech. Kinne hails from Metamora, Michigan and made a big impact on the Huskies' defense in 2019. Kinne played in all 10 games and closed the year with 31 total tackles, including a sack and 3.5 tackles for a loss. Kinne also forced one of the teams 10 fumbles in 2019.

Wide receiver Darius Willis from Warren, Michigan was the Offensive Scout Player of the Year and Dante Cardinali from Southlake, Texas was the Defensive Scout Player of the Year.

The Huskies wrapped the 2019 season 5-5 overall and finished fifth in the GLIAC standings. The Huskies secured the Miner's Cup for the 10th straight season with a 24-20 victory over rival Northern Michigan October 12 at Sherman Field at Kearly Stadium. The Huskies are now on the recruiting trail and making preparations for the 2020 campaign.