Humboldt Football Duo Leads Week 1 Players of the Week
Ja'Quan Gardner was named GNAC Football Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 201 yards in Humboldt State's win over Western Oregon.
Ja'Quan Gardner was named GNAC Football Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 201 yards in Humboldt State's win over Western Oregon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Humboldt State’s hard-fought week one conference win over Humboldt State netted the Jacks two selections in the first Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s list of Players of the Week for the 2015-16 season.

Ja’Quan Gardner was selected as the GNAC’s Football Offensive Player of the Week as he led the Jacks offensively in their 29-20 conference win over Western Oregon on Saturday. The running back had 33 carries for 201 yards, the first 200-plus yard performance of his career. He scored a touchdown and broke off a game-long 42-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Defensive end Codey Heidebrecht was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week as he was responsible for both of HSU’s defensive takeaways with an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. His first quarter interception and 23-yard return set up the first touchdown of the game. Heidebrecht also finished with four tackles, three solo.

A total of 10 student-athletes were recognized in the first week of Player of the Week selections. Seattle Pacific had three selections, while both of the conference’s 4-0 volleyball teams, Alaska Anchorage and Concordia, netted selections.


Ja’Quan Gardner (Humboldt State, RB, 5-7, 190, So., Ceres, Calif. – Central Valley): Gardner led the Humboldt State offense with 201 yards on 33 carries, helping lead the Lumberjacks to a 27-20 GNAC win over Western Oregon. He scored a touchdown just a minute into the second quarter and also had a game-long 42-yard run in the fourth quarter that helped set up a field goal. Also Nominated: DeJon Coleman (Dixie State).

Defensive: Codey Heidebrecht (Humboldt State, DE, 6-2, 250, Sr., Pleasanton, Calif. – Amador Valley): Heidebrecht was responsible for both of Humboldt State’s defensive takeaways in their 27-20 win over Western Oregon. He came up with an interception and returned it for 23 yards in the first quarter, setting up the Lumberjacks’ first touchdown. He also forced and recovered a fourth quarter fumble to go along with four tackles (three solo). Also Nominated: Kahani Smith (Dixie State).

Special Teams: Jacob Hall (Azusa Pacific, K/P, 6-2, 175, Fr., Greenville, Ill. - Greenville): The freshman kicker had two field goals in the Cougars’ 27-24 come-from-behind win at West Texas A&M on Thursday, topped by a 35-yarder with 28 seconds left in the second quarter. He finished going 2 for 3 on the field goals while making all three of his extra-point attempts. Also Nominated: DeJon Coleman (Dixie State).

Offensive: Alex Mitrovic
(Northwest Nazarene, M, 5-11, 165, Fr., Belgrade, Serbia – FK Zarkovo Belgrade): Mitrovic kicked off his collegiate career by scoring the Crusaders’ lone goal in their 1-0 win at Hawaii-Hilo on Friday. He then added the first goal of the game in NNU’s 2-1 overtime win at Hawaii Pacific on Saturday. Also Nominated: James Liddiard (Mary), Danny Olivas (Seattle Pacific), Matt Paine (Concordia), Niklas Schregel (Montana State Billings), Adam Talley (Western Washington).

Defensive: Bryson Pavel (Seattle Pacific, D, 6-0, 160, Sr., Boise, Idaho – Boise): Pavel led a Seattle Pacific defense that allowed just one shot on goal in two shutout wins. He also made his presence felt at the other end of the field with a team-high nine shots, including an 83rd minute header against Chico State on Saturday that caromed off the crossbar. Seattle Pacific allowed just six shots in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Cal Baptist and nine shots, none on goal, in Saturday’s win over Chico State. Also Nominated: Ryan Foo (Northwest Nazarene), Ludwig Rhodin (Mary), Brady Ulen (Western Washington).

Offensive: Jessica Spang
(Montana State Billings, M/F, 5-6, So., Billings, Mont. – Skyview): Spang had the game-winning assist in Montana State Billings’ 3-2 overtime win over Carroll (Mont.) on Thursday after scoring a goal in the 48th minute to give the Yellowjackets a 2-1 lead. Two of her three shots were on goal as MSU Billings finished the week with a 1-0-1 record. Also Nominated: Christina Dickson (Simon Fraser), Lexi Fesenbek (Northwest Nazarene), Katie Hurley (Concordia), Laura Moore (Seattle Pacific).

Defensive: Shayla Page (Seattle Pacific, D, 5-6, Sr., Redmond, Wash. – Eastlake): Page anchored a Seattle Pacific defense that limited opponents to just 14 shots (five on goal) in a pair of shutout victories. The Falcons limited Humboldt State to seven shots in a 2-0 victory on Thursday and followed that by allowing Chico State seven shots in a 1-0 shutout on Saturday. In addition, Page also had three shots off of set pieces. Also Nominated: Martha Heaps (Concordia), Katlyn Lokay (Montana State Billings), Kayla Williams (Northwest Nazarene).

Offensive: Julia Mackey
(Alaska Anchorage, RS, 5-11, Sr., Fairbanks, Alaska – West Valley): Mackey was named the SpringHill Suites Invitational’s Most Outstanding Player after leading Alaska Anchorage to 4-0 record, including a pair of wins over Division II top-25 teams. She finished with a conference best .398 hitting percentage with 48 kills on 103 attempts, led by a .600 hitting percentage (12 kills, 20 attempts) against Cal Poly Pomona on Saturday. Her performances moved Mackey into No. 10 on UAA’s career kills list (849). Also Nominated: Joellee Buckner (Western Washington), Lindsey Dorsey (Concordia), Elayna Rice (Northwest Nazarene), Julia Wabinga (Saint Martin’s).

Defensive: Shantel Gritsch (Concordia, L/DS, 5-7, Sr., Clackamas, Ore. – Clackamas): Gritsch helped lead Concordia to a 4-0 record in their first week as a Division II program at the Grand Valley State Tournament, which included a season-opening win over the No. 7 ranked tournament host. She averaged 5.93 digs per set and had a tournament-high 32 digs in that season-opening win. Also Nominated: Jenna Caywood (Northwest Nazarene), Kayleigh Harper (Western Washington).

Men: Robert Peterson
(Montana State Billings, Sr., Billings, Mont. – Skyview): Peterson won both men’s races at the Moda Health Alaska Invitational by sizable margins. On Thursday, he captured the 8,000-meter men’s race in 26:18.3, winning the race by 50 seconds. Two days later, Peterson won the men’s 5,000-meter race in 15:44.6, and won by 26 seconds over the second place runner. He led the Yellowjackets to the team win on Thursday. Also Nominated: Jasper Heckman (Saint Martin’s), Ethan Livermore (Concordia).

Women: Anna Patti (Seattle Pacific, Sr., Renton, Wash. – Lindbergh): Patti swept the women’s individual title at the Moda Health Alaska Invitational. She won Thursday’s 6,000-meter race by a minute, clocking a time of 22:11.5. She returned on Saturday to beat teammate Sarah Macdonald by 27 seconds in the 5,000-meter race in a time of 18:34.5. Patti led the Falcons to the team title on both days of competition. Also Nominated: Megan Fristoe (Concordia), Larissa Kolasinski (Saint Martin’s).