Stauffer, Spada join all-OVC first team

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Four Southeast Missouri State football players received all-Ohio Valley Conference honors Tuesday, including two who made the first team.

Voting was done by the league's coaches and sports information directors.

Southeast senior linebacker Nick Stauffer and junior punter Doug Spada were first-team selections.

Junior wide receiver Walter Peoples made the second team, while freshman linebacker Philip Klaproth earned a spot on the all-newcomer squad.

"It's always nice when you see your players make the all-conference team," Southeast coach Tony Samuel said. "I'm happy for all those guys."

Stauffer had a monster year in his first season as a starter, recording a school-record 150 tackles to rank fourth nationally and second in the OVC. He had just 58 career tackles before this season.

Stauffer added 12 tackles for loss, 2.5 quarterback sacks, an interception and two fumble recoveries. In addition, he tied for fourth in the OVC with three forced fumbles.

"I'm really tickled for Nick," Samuel said. "He did great things for us."

Spada repeated as the all-OVC first-team punter. He led the league and ranked third nationally with an average of 44.7 yards per punt.

Spada, an honorable-mention All-American last year, placed 12 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He was also Southeast's place-kicker.

"Doug had another great year for us," Samuel said. "I expected him to make it. He should have a good chance to make All-American again."

Peoples had a breakout season after switching to offense from defensive back midway through last year.

Peoples caught 65 passes for 903 yards and six touchdowns. He ranked fourth in the OVC in receptions per game and led the league in receiving yardage.

"Walter had an excellent year," Samuel said.

Klaproth, a native of Poplar Bluff, Mo., started 10 of 12 games as a true freshman. He was third on the team in tackles with 76, which ranked 17th in the conference.

"For a true freshman, he really had a good year," Samuel said.

Samuel thought the Redhawks might have had a few other all-OVC possibilities, including senior defensive end Ben Gugler and junior cornerback Eddie Calvin.

Gugler was third in the OVC with 6.5 quarterback sacks, while Calvin tied for fourth with four interceptions and tied for second with 12 total passes defended.

"When you're winning more games, you'll get more," said Samuel, whose squad went 4-8 overall and tied for seventh in the nine-team OVC at 2-6.

Receiving the top OVC honors were Tennessee State running back Javarris Williams (offensive player of the year), Murray State linebacker Nathan Williams (defensive player of the year), Tennessee Tech wide receiver Tim Benford (freshman of the year) and Eastern Kentucky's Dean Hood (coach of the year).

OVC champion Eastern Kentucky and co-runner-up Tennessee-Martin tied for the most first-team all-conference selections with five apiece.

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