MARQUETTE, Mich. – Nathan Yelk turned out to be the big winner Saturday night at the Northern Michigan University Football Awards Banquet. Yelk picked up two awards during the banquet.
Yelk took home the Team MVP (for the second consecutive year) and Most Valuable Linebacker Awards. The 2009 All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) first-team selection led the Wildcats this past season in total tackles with 98 (51 solo and 47 assisted). He also recorded nine tackles-for-loss (-35 yards), two sacks (-10 yards), two interceptions, three fumble recoveries and scored a touchdown.
Carter Kopach was named the winner of the Most Improved Award. He accounted for 1,556 yards of total offense for the 2009 season. Kopach was 117-202-3 for 1,373 yards in the air with 14 touchdowns. On the ground he scampered for 183 yards on 74 carries and scored four times.
Other defensive awards went to Matt Forward for Most Valuable Defensive Lineman and D.J. Oke Most Valuable Defensive Back. Forward had 19 total tackles (12 solo and seven assisted) for the 2009 season. He also had 7.5 tackles-for-loss (-40 yards) and three sacks (-24 yards). Oke registered 56 total tackles (30 solo and 26 assisted) and two interceptions for the 2009 season.
On the other side of the ball on offensive the awards went to Jack Rustman Most Valuable Offensive Lineman, Zach Nichols Most Valuable Wide Receiver and Mark Bossuah Most Valuable Running Back. Rustman led an offensive line which allowed the ‘Cats to produce over 3,500 yards of total offense for the 2009 season. That included 1,983 yards on the ground. Nichols led the wide receivers with 47 catches for 613 yards and eight touchdowns. Bossuah rushed for a team-high 720 yards on 152 carries with 12 touchdowns.
Jonathan Laue picked up the Outstanding Special Teams Player Award. He averaged 61.9 yards a kickoff during the 2009 season. Antonio Wallace was named the Most Outstanding Freshman as he was second on the team this past season with 623 yards on 89 carries. He scored eight rushing touchdowns, also returned 17 punts for 276 yards (16.2 avg) and a touchdown.
The Most Outstanding Scout Team Awards went to Casey Barnes on offense and Tyler Kruzel on defense. Zach Gauthier went home with the Most Inspirational Player Award. For the 2009 season, Gauthier was second on the team with 83 total tackles (33 solo and 50 assisted) and a team-high three interceptions.
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