13 Eagles Earn All-Big Sky Honors
Nov. 20, 2006
Senior kicker Brett Bergstrom was the lone first team selection as a total of 13 Eastern Washington University football players were honored Monday (Nov. 20) on the All-Big Sky Conference football team. The total included seven underclassmen and six seniors as Eastern finished the season 3-8 overall and 3-5 in the league.
In just his first season as Eastern's placekicker, Bergstrom became only the second Eastern kicker to earn first team All-Big Sky honors since Eastern became a member of the league in 1987. Alex Lacson was honored on the first team in 1991, and Troy Griggs is Eastern's lone second team choice as he was honored in 2001.
"It was well-deserved," said Eagle head coach Paul Wulff. "He clearly had an all-conference season, maybe even an All-America type of year. His accuracy was very good and he showed the ability to kick a long distance. He had a great year for us."
Junior offensive guard Matt Alfred and junior offensive tackle Rocky Hanni were second team All-Big Sky selections as both of those players were honored for the third-straight year. Also selected to the second team was sophomore fullback Alexis Alexander from nearby Medical Lake, Wash.
Receiving honorable mention were five seniors -- tight end Tim Calhoun, running back Ryan Cole, inside linebacker David Eneberg, outside linebacker (rover) Brandon Keeler and defensive tackle Keith Grennan. Underclassmen receiving honorable mention were freshman wide receiver Tony Davis, junior offensive tackle Zach Wasielewski, sophomore defensive end Greg Peach and freshman special teams standout Nicholas Ramos.
Bergstrom, a 2002 graduate of Mount Si High School in North Bend, Wash., finished the year making 15-of-18 field goals and 21-of-22 extra points. His field goal total equaled EWU's single season record and his average of 1.56 field goals per game ranked sixth in NCAA Division I-AA.
His field goals included three of the nine longest in school history with efforts of 56, 53 and 52 yards. His lone misses in 2006 were from 36, 35 (blocked) and 32 (muddy field conditions) yards.
This was his only season as Eastern's placekicker, but he handled kickoffs in both 2005 and 2006. He averaged 60.6 yards on 45 kickoffs with 16 touchbacks in 2006, and in 2005 he averaged 61.6 yards with 22 touchbacks on 75 kicks.
"He's definitely going to get a chance to kick at the next level," said Wulff. "How hard he pushes toward that goal is up to him."
Alfred, a 2003 graduate of Gig Harbor, Wash., High School, was honored for the third-straight year. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Alfred received second team honors as a freshman in 2004 and first team accolades a year ago. He was selected as an All-American in 2005 and team co-captain in 2006. Alfred, whose brother Kenny is a starter on the offensive line at Washington State, has started 33-straight games for the Eagles.
Hanni has also started 33 games since his freshman season in 2003 when he was selected as Big Sky Conference co-Newcomer of the Year -- the first offensive lineman to be honored in the 27-year history of the award. He earned All-America honors as a freshman and was honorable mention All-Big Sky as a sophomore. The 6-5, 290-pound Hanni is a 2003 graduate of Sumner, Wash., High School.
"Those guys have been awfully good and have had great careers," Wulff said of Alfred and Hanni. "They need to play their very best in their senior year. All teams need great senior leadership and we fully expect to get that from them next year. They've had solid careers to this point and hopefully they can finish up strong and add to that."
Alexander, a 2001 graduate of Medical Lake High School, made his Eagle debut against Oregon State on Aug. 31 when he played in his first football game in six years dating back to his senior season in high school in 2000. He transferred from Washington State where he was a scout team linebacker and prior to that played three seasons of minor league baseball. He finished the year with 58 rushing yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and also caught four passes for 33 yards.
Calhoun, a second team All-Big Sky choice in 2005 and honorable mention in 2002, finished the season with five catches for 38 yards and a touchdown. He concluded his 33-game career with 51 receptions for 629 yards and six touchdowns.
Cole was a second team All-Big Sky selection as a junior when he finished with 879 yards and 14 touchdowns. This year he finished with 407 yards and three scores, giving the Oregon State transfer a career total of 1,286 yards and 17 touchdowns rushing to go along with 20 receptions for 144 yards and one more score.
Keeler, who was also honored for the third time, was the team's leading tackler in 2006 with 67, and added two interceptions and 3 1/2 sacks. He finished his 43-game career with 243 tackles to rank 10th in school history. He earned first team All-Big Sky honors as a sophomore and second team accolades in 2005.
Eneberg, who missed the last two games with a shoulder injury, finished his 42-game career with 208 tackles to rank 20th. He finished second on the team in the 2006 season with 64 tackles. He also earned honorable mention All-Big Sky honors as a junior.
Grennan had 37 tackles with a pair of sacks in 2006, giving him career totals of 65 tackles and five sacks in his 21-game career.
Among the underclassmen, Davis caught a team-leading 48 passes for 541 yards and two touchdowns, and also returned 12 kickoffs for an 18.5 average and seven punts for a 10.1 average. Peach finished his sophomore season with 42 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks, two passes broken up, three fumble recoveries and a pair of forced fumbles.
Ramos, the lone player honored that isn't from the state of Washington, had seven tackles on special teams. A backup wide receiver, the freshman from Winters, Calif., caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a 20-yard reverse.
First Team All-Big Sky Conference
Kicker - #28 - Brett Bergstrom - 6-2 - 220 - Sr. - 1L* - North Bend, Wash. (Mt. Si HS '02 & Shasta, Calif., JC)
Second Team All-Big Sky Conference
Offensive Tackle - #77 - #$Rocky Hanni - 6-5 - 290 - Jr. - 2L* - Sumner, Wash. (Sumner HS '03)
Offensive Guard - #66 - !%Matt Alfred - 6-3 - 300 - Jr. - 2L* - Gig Harbor, Wash. (Gig Harbor HS '03)
Fullback - #44 - Alexis Alexander - 5-10 - 225 - So. - TR* - Medical Lake, Wash. (Medical Lake HS '01 & Washington State Univ.)
Honorable Mention All-Big Sky Conference
Wide Receiver - #38 - Tony Davis - 5-9 - 185 - Fr. - HS * - Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS '05)
Offensive Tackle - #64 - Zach Wasielewski - 6-4 - 280 - Jr. - 2L* - Seattle, Wash. (Chief Sealth HS '03)
Tight End - #87 - @^Tim Calhoun - 6-4 - 250 - Sr. - 2L* - Zillah, Wash. (Zillah HS '02)
Running Back - #24 - @Ryan Cole - 6-1 - 220 - Sr. - 1L* - Port Orchard, Wash. (South Kitsap HS '02 & Ore. State U.)
Defensive Tackle - #95 - Keith Grennan - 6-4 - 290 - Sr. - 1L* - Edmonds, Wash. (Woodway HS '02 & Central Wash. Univ.)
Defensive End - #94 - Greg Peach - 6-2 - 230 - So. - 1L - Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS '05)
Inside Linebacker - #40 - #David Eneberg - 5-11 - 210 - Sr. - 3L* - Mukilteo, Wash. (Kamiak HS '02)
Outside Linebacker - #19 - @$Brandon Keeler - 6-3 - 215 - Sr. - 3L* - Federal Way, Wash. (Federal Way HS '02)
Special Teams - #31 - Nicholas Ramos - 5-7 - 155 - Fr. - HS* - Winters, Calif. (Winters HS '05)
!First Team All-Big Sky in 2005.
@Second Team All-Big Sky in 2005.
#Honorable Mention All-Big Sky in 2005.
$First Team All-Big Sky in 2004.
%Second Team All-Big Sky in 2004.
^Honorable Mention All-Big Sky in 2002.