L&C's Welch, WOU's Blees honored


• Portland State has put two offensive players and punter Kyle Loomis onto the all-Big Sky Conference team.

Running back DJ Adams and offensive tackle Mitchell Van Dyk join Loomis on the squad chosen by the league coaches.

Adams and Van Dyk were seniors; Loomis was a junior.

Adams led the Big Sky in rushing, and Loomis led the nation in punting. Van Dyk was a stalwart up front for an offense that ranked third in the nation.

Third-team all-Big Sky honors went to wide receiver Kasey Closs, offensive guard Cornelius Edison and safety David Edgerson. Closs and Edison were juniors; Edgerson was a senior.

Honorable mention Vikings were freshman offensive tackle Kyle Smith, senior center Mitch Gaulke, freshman return specialist Nate Tago, junior defensive tackle Joe Lopez, sophomore defensive tackle Junior Alexis, senior defensive end Jerry Boone, senior inside linebacker Jaycob Shoemaker, sophomore cornerback Aaron Sibley, senior safety Dean Faddis and sophomore special teams player Hayden Plinke.

 Lewis & Clark College senior quarterback Keith Welch is one of 10 finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, which goes to the top football student-athlete in NCAA Division III.

Welch is the only finalist from the Northwest Conference.

He finished in the top 10 nationally in several categories, including points responsible for per game (fourth, 23.1), total offense (fifth, 347.6), passing yards (seventh, 304.0) and passing touchdowns (eighth, 28).

Voting on the finalists is done both by a review committee and by fans at


• Becky Blees, a former Madison High player, has been named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball first team for 2013.

Blees, a 5-10 senior middle blocker for Western Oregon University, finished as the GNAC's all-time leader in block-assists, with 383, and she was fourth in conference history in total blocks.

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