For Immediate Release
Nov. 19, 2010
Four Red Devils Earn All-UMAC Honors
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Four Eureka College Football players have been named to the All-Upper Midwest Athletic Conference teams, the league announced Thursday night. Junior tight end Alex Hess (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.), junior free safety Mike Minehan (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./McKendree) and junior wide receiver Wes Schmidgall (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Culver-Stockton) received First Team recognition, while sophomore quarterback Sam Durley (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S.) was chosen for the Second Team.
Hess emerged as a dual-threat for the Eureka offense in 10 starts this season, running for four touchdowns and receiving another for a total of five scores this season. He carried the ball 28 times for 73 yards as Eureka’s occasional fullback. Additionally, he made 37 catches for 434 yards while splitting time as a tight end and slot receiver. Hess turned in his best effort of the season at St. Scholastica on Sept. 11, rushing for two touchdowns and setting a new career-high with 72 receiving yards. The UMAC award marks the second time Hess has received all-conference first team honors at Eureka since transferring from Illinois Central in the summer of 2009. He was an All-St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference First Team choice in baseball last spring.
Minehan anchored the Eureka defensive unit in 2010, making 121 tackles as the Red Devils’ free safety. He also recorded 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and two interceptions. His 12.1 tackles per game ranked second among UMAC players and 11th overall in Division III. Minehan was a two-time UMAC Defensive Player of the Week choice, earning recognition from the league on Sept. 28 and again on Oct. 19. He made at least 10 tackles in seven of Eureka’s 10 games this season, and his 24 stops against Minnesota-Morris on Sept. 25 were the fourth-most in a single game by a Division III player in 2010. Minehan added interceptions in the season opener against Benedictine on Sept. 4 and at Westminster on Oct. 9.
Schmidgall was named to the All-UMAC First Team for the second consecutive season. He led the Red Devils with 46 catches, 890 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns during the campaign. Schimdgall was Eureka’s top deep threat, making a catch of 37 yards or more in six of the 10 contests this season. He had four 100-yard receiving games, including a 6-catch, 156-yard performance with a touchdown against Minnesota-Morris on Sept. 25. He followed that performance with seven grabs for 153 yards and a touchdown at Westminster on Oct. 9. His 46 receptions ranked fifth in the conference and the 890 yards ranked third. Only fellow First Team selection Carl Givens of Westminster had more touchdown catches than Schmidgall with 13.
Durley was the lone Second Team selection for the Red Devils. The sophomore signal-caller finished his first season as the full-time starter 134-for-285 for 1,994 yards and 12 touchdowns. Durley found his groove in the second half of the season, throwing for 200 yards or more in four of the last six games, including a career-high 358-yard effort against UMAC champion Greenville on Nov. 6. Also included in that stretch was a 289-yard game with five touchdowns in Eureka’s win over Northwestern (Minn.) on Oct. 23 that earned Durley the UMAC Offensive Player of the Week award.
League champion Greenville swept the league’s postseason specialty awards and claimed 10 of the 32 First Team selections. Crown, Martin Luther and Westminster each had four first team all-conference performers, followed by St. Scholastica and Eureka, who each had three first team selections. Like Greenville did for the first team, St. Scholastica claimed over a third of the UMAC All-Conference Second Team awards with 10. Greenville followed with five second team honors to round out their all-conference total at 15. In just the school’s third season, St. Scholastica finished second in the UMAC standings with a 5-2 league record.
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