Two Lakeland football players earn all-region honors
Athletics - posted on 12/2/2004
Lakeland College senior Sam Scharinger and junior Bryon Vandlen earned All-Region honors as the Don Hansen Football Gazette announced its national All-Region teams on Dec. 1.
The Football Gazette is in the 15th consecutive year of sponsoring the nation's only NCAA Division III All-Region teams. The four teams - North, South, East, West - are selected by sports information directors from colleges in the respective regions.
Scharinger, a linebacker from Howards Grove, was named second team defense on the All-North Region Team. Vandlen, an offensive guard from Monroe, was named third team offense on the All-North squad. Scharinger's name will now be included on a national ballot to choose the 2004 Football Gazette All-American Team.
Scharinger led the Muskies in tackles (113), tackles for loss (23.5 for 111 yards), sacks (10) and forced fumbles (four). At the end of the regular season, he was ranked third in the nation in Division III in tackles for loss per game (2.5) and fifth in solo tackles per game (7.9).
Scharinger was also named the winner of the Illini-Badger Conference Outstanding Linebacker Award and First Team all-IBC linebacker.
"Sam is the best linebacker I have coached in my five years in Division III," said Lakeland head coach Jim Zebrowski. "He plays linebacker the way it should be played - fast and physical. He plays each play with a great intensity and a sense of urgency."
Vandlen, also a First Team all-IBC offensive lineman, helped anchor an offensive line that produced one of the best rushing attacks in the country.
At the end of the regular season, Lakeland was fifth in the nation in rushing offense (317.9 yards per game), 11th in total offense (473.8 yards per game) and 21st in scoring (37.9 points per game). The Muskies had the third best single-game total offense mark (738 yards) and the third best single-game rushing total (593 yards) in the country.
"We have had one of the top offenses in the nation for the past two seasons, and Bryon is a big reason," Zebrowski said. "He is one of the best offensive lineman in our conference and in this region. Our rushing game was hard to stop because our offensive line, led by Bryon, was able to control football games."
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