Seniors-to-be Ena, Post and Edwards given “Iron Eagle” Awards for Off-Season Performances
Five Eastern Washington University football players were honored by the coaching staff Monday (April 30) for their performances and improvements in the off-season and during spring football practices, which concluded last week.
Seniors Paul Ena, Will Post and Nicholas Edwards were given “Iron Eagle” Awards for their achievements in the off-season in strength and conditioning, as well as in the classroom. Earning most improved awards were junior wide receiver Ashton Clark and sophomore defensive lineman Dylan Zylstra.
Ena is a defensive end from Kenmore, Wash., and graduated from Ingelmoor High School in 2009. Post is an offensive lineman from Portland, Ore., and is a 2008 graduate of Southridge High School. Both players earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors a year ago, and Post was also named to the Big Sky All-Academic team.
Edwards was selected to nine NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America teams – including seven first team selections – after catching a school-record 95 passes for 1,250 yards and 19 touchdowns to lead the FCS. He is a 2008 graduate of Foss High School in Tacoma, Wash.
Clark, who ended the spring with a team-leading 15 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns in four scrimmages, is a 2009 graduate of Heritage High School in Vancouver, Wash. Zylstra is a 2010 graduate of Kentridge High School in Kent, Wash.
Ena has started 24 games in his three seasons as an Eagle, mostly at defensive end. He has seven fumble recoveries in his career to put him one away from the school record. He also has totals of 166 tackles (28 for losses totaling 82 yards), 7 1/2 sacks, one interception and three passes broken up in his 38-game career, after finishing his junior season with 48 tackles, 3 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Ena was a linebacker at Inglemoor High School near Seattle, finishing his senior season in fall 2008 with 162 total tackles (65 solo, 97 assisted) and two sacks. His father Tali Ena was a standout running back at Washington State University and went on to play for the Seattle Seahawks.
Post enters his senior season with 22 career starts for the Eagles. He helped EWU lead the FCS in passing yards per game (368.5) and rank seventh overall in total offense (447.4) in 2011.
Edwards, who has started a team-leading 37 games in his career, finished the 2011 season with 95 grabs to break the record previously set by Eric Kimble with 87 in 12 games in 2005. His receptions rank 20th in FCS history and third all-time in the Big Sky, and his average of 8.64 catches per game is fifth in BSC history.
The 19 touchdown receptions Edwards had equaled the school record of 19 set in 2004 by Kimble, who owns the top two receiving yardage marks with 1,453 in 2004 and 1,419 in 2005. Edwards finished the season with 1,250 yards to rank fifth all-time at Eastern.
Edwards finished the 2011 season ranked fourth in FCS in receptions per game (8.64) and fourth in receiving yards per game (113.6). In his 38-game career, Edwards already has 29 touchdown receptions to rank second in school history, and has caught a total of 178 passes (fourth all-time at EWU) for 2,198 yards (10th).
He had performances of 13 catches (second in school history), two of 12 (eighth), 11 (12th) and two of 10 (20th) in the 2011 season, and had nine catches for 166 yards and three touchdowns versus Portland State on Oct. 29. His 13 receptions – second-best in school history behind the record of 17 – came against South Dakota on Sept. 10.
When All-American Brandon Kaufman was lost for the season after playing in just four games, Clark saw his playing time increase significantly and ended the 2011 season third on the team with 33 catches for 436 yards and four touchdowns. Zylstra played sparingly as a redshirt freshman in 2011, but finished with 11 tackles and a quarterback hurry.