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Quartet lead Storm football on all-conference team

L-R: Sam Bartlett, Michael Connor, Brendan Holmes and Mason Spree
L-R: Sam Bartlett, Michael Connor, Brendan Holmes and Mason Spree

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Senior wide receiver Sam Bartlett, senior linebacker Michael Connor, senior safety Brendan Holmes and junior offensive lineman Mason Spree highlight the 13 Simpson All-American Rivers Conference Football Team selections, as voted on by the league's nine head coaches.

The quartet of Bartlett, Connor, Holmes and Spree were named to the All-A-R-C First Team to lead the Storm. Sophomore defensive back Cam Callion, junior running back Joe Meyer and senior kicker Zach Kreider were placed on the second team. Junior offensive lineman Ian Bootsmiller, junior defensive lineman Jack Bootsmiller, senior quarterback Tanner Krueger, junior tight end Ben Schiltz, senior offensive lineman Caleb Striegel and senior linebacker Joe Weppler were listed as honorable mention selections.

The Storm ended the year 5-5 and 4-4 in A-R-C play, while the offense ranked third in total yards with 4,285.

To view the All-American Rivers Conference Football Team, click here.

Sam Bartlett | First Team, Wide Receiver
• Senior from St. Louis, Mo.
• Finished the year with 68 receptions, 1,301 receiving yards and 16 TDs
• His 16 receiving TDs are the most in Simpson history for a season, surpassing the previous record of 14
• Led the league in receiving yards, yards per game (130.1) and tied for first in receiving TDs at the end of the regular season
• Ended the regular season in fourth in receiving yards and receiving yards per game in the nation
• First Storm wide receiver to go over 1,000 yards receiving since 2012
• Had seven games of at least 100 yards receiving and had three in a row to end the season
• Was named the A-R-C Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 16 (eight receptions, 188 yards, three TDs)

Michael Connor | First Team, Linebacker
• Senior from Woodward, Iowa
• Ended the year with 106 tackles, 3.0 sacks, eight tackles for loss and one interception
• Finished second in the conference in tackles
• Had a streak of five games with 14-or-more tackles to end the year
• Record back-to-back seasons of 100-plus tackles
• Only the third player in Simpson history to hit the 300-career tackle mark
• Was the A-R-C Defensive MVP last year and an honorable mention all-conference pick in 2017

Brendan Holmes | First Team, Defensive Back
• Senior from Atlantic, Iowa
• Finished with 93 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and two interceptions
• Became the program's career leader in tackles with 369, surpassing the previous record of 339 set by Jarod Young (1993-96)
• Recorded three games of at least 10 tackles with a high of 16 against Central
• His 15 career interceptions are third most in school history
• Was named the A-R-C Defensive Player of the Week twice and to the D3football.com Team of the Week once this year
• Has been named to the all-conference first team for three straight seasons

Mason Spree | First Team, Offensive Line
• Junior from Waverly, Iowa
• Paved the way for the rushing attack as they finished with 1,457 yards on the ground
• The air attack ended third in the league at the conclusion of the regular season with 2,828 yards passing
• Allowed Tanner Krueger to throw for over 2,000 yards in the second straight season
• Simpson allowed 21 sacks to tie for fourth fewest in the league

Cam Callion | Second Team, Defensive Back
• Sophomore from Pocahontas, Iowa
• Finished with 60 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions and one pass breakup
• His 60 tackles were seventh on the team
• Had an interception return of 44 yards at Dubuque that set up a scoring drive to put Simpson up 14-0
• Tallied 11 tackles against Wartburg for a career high

Zach Kreider | Second Team, Kicker
• Senior from Norwalk, Iowa
• Finished 9-for-14 for field goal attempts and 22-for-26 on extra points for 49 points
• Connected on a career-long 40-yard field goal against Chicago
• Scored 11 points at Nebraska Wesleyan by going 3-for-3 on field goals and hit two extra point attempts
• Tallied at least one field goal in six contests this season

Joe Meyer | Second Team, Running Back
• Junior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa
• Finished with 786 rushing yards and three TDs on 189 rushing attempts
• His 786 yards were the second most in the league
• Hit 100-or-more yards in four games this season with a career-high 206 yards at Nebraska Wesleyan

Ian Bootsmiller, Honorable Mention, Offensive Line
• Junior from Mount Vernon, Iowa
• Paved the way for the rushing attack as they finished with 1,457 yards on the ground
• The air attack ended third in the league at the conclusion of the regular season with 2,828 yards passing
• Allowed Tanner Krueger to throw for over 2,000 yards in the second straight season
• Simpson allowed 21 sacks to tie for fourth fewest in the league

Jack Bootsmiller | Honorable Mention, Defensive Line
• Junior from Mount Vernon, Iowa
• Tallied 16 tackles, 4.0 sacks, five tackles for loss and one forced fumble
• His four sacks were first on the team
• Played on a defense that was fourth in scoring (23.8) and passing defense (219.5)

Tanner Krueger | Honorable Mention, Quarterback
• Senior from Waverly, Iowa
• Ended with 2,721 yards passing and 22 TDs by hitting 55% of his throws
• Finished third in the league in passing yards
• His 2,721 yards passing are third most in program history for a season
• Threw for over 300 yards in five games and hit 400 yards once
• Went 27-for-53 for 408 yards and four TDs in the loss to Central on Nov. 2
• His 2,705 yards of total offense are sixth most in school history
• Tallied 5,360 career passing yards for fifth on the all-time list in Simpson history

Ben Schiltz | Honorable Mention, Tight End
• Junior from Ankeny, Iowa
• Had 17 receptions for 196 yards
• Tallied five catches for 82 yards with a long of 30 yards against Wartburg on Oct. 19
• Led the way for the Storm rushing attack as a blocker as the team piled up 1,457 yards rushing

Caleb Striegel | Honorable Mention, Offensive Line
• Senior from Nashua, Iowa
• Paved the way for the rushing attack as they finished with 1,457 yards on the ground
• The air attack ended third in the league at the conclusion of the regular season with 2,828 yards passing
• Allowed Tanner Krueger to throw for over 2,000 yards in the second straight season
• Simpson allowed 21 sacks to tie for fourth fewest in the league

Joe Weppler | Honorable Mention, Linebacker
• Senior from Sheldon, Iowa
• Tallied 77 tackles, two tackles for loss and one interception
• His 77 takedowns were third on the team
• Had two games of at least 14 tackles
• Named to the all-conference second team in 2018

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