CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Led by a first team nod for Isaac Frazier, the Simpson football team placed three players on the All-Iowa Conference Football Team and had four others receive honorable mention honors following a vote of the league's nine head coaches, as announced last Thursday.
Junior defensive tackle Jake Stearns and senior offensive lineman Dustin Ihns were named to the second team. Freshman defensive back Ryan Lehr, senior running back Jordan Beem, junior punter Nathan Hawkins and sophomore linebacker Ryan Sarver were honorable mention picks.
FRAZIER EARNS FIRST TEAM HONORS FOR SECOND TIME
A senior from Marion, Iowa, Frazier led the Iowa Conference in sacks and tackles for loss for the second year in a row. The 6-foot-4 defensive end had 10.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss on the way to his second-straight First Team All-IIAC selection. He becomes Simpson's first defensive lineman to earn first team honors in back-to-back years since Jason Ripke in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Frazier closes his career as Simpson's all-time leader in forced fumbles (8) after forcing five in 2016, tied for the fourth-most in Division III. He ranks fourth in school history with 18.5 career sacks and sixth with 25.5 tackles for loss.
Frazier blocked one field goal and had four quarterback hurries in 2016. He recorded at least 0.5 sacks in all but two games.
IHNS, STEARNS NAMED TO SECOND TEAM
A senior offensive lineman from Tipton, Iowa, Ihns earned second team honors for the second year in a row. A staple on the Storm's offensive line, Ihns started 19 games at left tackle over the last two season after moving from the defensive line. With Ihns protecting the blind side, Simpson allowed just 24 sacks over the past two seasons, the second-fewest in the conference during the stretch.
A junior defensive tackle from Knoxville, Iowa, Stearns earned the first all-conference honors of his career after leading all Iowa Conference defensive linemen with 74 total tackles. Stearns finished with three sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. He was a CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection.
BEEM, HAWKINS, LEHR, SARVER NAMED HONORABLE MENTION
Jordan Beem -- a senior running back from Altoona, Iowa -- ran for 826 yards and three touchdowns in a senior season marred by injury. Last year's IIAC rushing champ, Beem ran for a career-high 227 yards in the season finale against Coe to become the fifth player in school history to surpass 3,000 career rushing yards. He ranks fifth in school history with 3,078 rushing yards and fourth with 4,178 all-purpose yards.
Nathan Hawkins -- a junior punter from Solon, Iowa -- established himself as the top punter in the conference in the last four games of the season. Getting his first action against Loras on Oct. 22, Hawkins averaged 46.8 yards per punt with seven punts of 50-plus yards in just four games. He set a school single-game record with 52.7 yards per punt against Loras and booted two punts of 65-plus yards on the season, including a 70-yarder against Nebraska Wesleyan that is tied for the second-longest in school history. He was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week twice and pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line 10 times in just 24 attempts.
Ryan Lehr -- a freshman safety from Indianola, Iowa -- made an immediate impact on Simpson's defense in his first season since transferring from Sioux Falls. He tied for the team-lead with two interceptions, made 67 total tackles and had two tackles for loss. He broke up three passes and forced a fumble.
Ryan Sarver -- a sophomore linebacker from Albia, Iowa -- anchored the No. 4 defense in the conference from his outside linebacker position with 89 tackles and six tackles for loss. He recovered a team-high two fumbles.