Five Gorillas earn All-Region honors

Sima Thomas was named to the 1st team
Five Gorillas earn All-Region honors

Five Pitt State football players have earned All-Region honors on Wednesday, including junior DL Simanu’a Thomas, who was the lone Gorilla to earn 1st-team recognition.

Thomas finished the year with 41 tackles, 13.5 tackles-for-loss, 6 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

Five members of the Pittsburg State University football team received recognition on the 2018 Don Hansen Football Committee All-Super Region Three team released today (Jan. 3).

Junior defensive lineman Simanu’a Thomas earned first-team All-Region honors, while senior offensive tackle Ryan Dodd and sophomore safety Morgan Selemaea garnered second-team All-Region honors. Sophomore fullback Tucker Horak and junior all-purpose back Lorenzo West were selected to the third-team All-Region squad.

Thomas led a Pitt State defense that limited opponents to 21.0 points and 300.8 total yards per game – the second-best yardage total in the MIAA in 2018. The Independence, Mo., native started all 11 games, making 41 tackles (19 solo) with a team-leading 13.5 tackles-for-loss including 6.0 quarterback sacks. He also recorded a pass break-up and three forced fumbles on the season.

Dodd (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) helped pave the way up front for the Pitt State offense to average 31.0 points, 398.4 total yards per game and 235.4 rushing yards. The Gorillas finished the season ranked 20th nationally in rushing.

Selemaea (Harrisonville, Mo.) made 50 tackles (27 solo) with 10.0 tackles-for-loss, 4.5 quarterback sacks, one interception and six pass break-ups.

Horak (Rossville, Kan.) carried the ball 92 times for 500 yards (5.4 ypc) and five touchdowns, while catching 10 passes for 95 yards and a score. West (Lawton, Okla.) averaged 130.6 all-purpose yards per game – the second-highest total in the MIAA. He caught 51 passes for 814 yards and four touchdowns, carried the ball 20 times for 144 yards and a score and averaged 24.0 yards on 20 kickoff returns.

The Don Hansen team carries out the legacy of long-time small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 on Aug. 29, 2010. Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., started and published Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette for three decades, selecting NCAA Division II All-America teams for the first time in 1988. Don Hansen’s Football Gazette began selecting Division II All-Region squads in 2003.

The first-team and second-team All-Region selections advance to a national ballot from which the 2018 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team will be named.

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