Spartans Earn Pre-Season Football All-American Honors in 2015

Jul 9, 2015

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The 26th Annual USA College Football NCAA Division III All-American Teams were announced this week representing just four percent of the outstanding players out of a pool of more than 25,000 student-athletes from over 248 colleges as voted on by selected members of sports information directors, head coaches, football writers and other regional and national committees. 

The University of Dubuque earned seven selections for head coach Stan Zweifel. First team selections included a trio of seniors: Blaine Snitker (LB, 6-2, 230, Sr., Waukon, Iowa/Waukon HS), Oscar White (DB, 6-1, 210, Sr., River Falls, Wis./River Falls HS), and Curtis Prull (PK, 6-3, 200, Sr., Monticello, Iowa/Monticello HS). Second Team honorees were: Zach Marotta (DL, 6-1, 240, Sr., Wayne, Ill./South Elgin HS) and Christopher Bagley (WR, 6-4, 210, Sr., Oswego, Ill./Oswego HS). Third Team selections included: Trevor Stauner (LB, 6-1, 225, Sr., South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee HS) and Tanner Bronkema (OL, 6-4, 285, Sr., Forreston, Ill./Forreston HS).

The Spartans kick-off the season on Sept. 5 at 1:00 p.m. on the road at St. John's University Johnnies in Collegeville, Minn. in one of the great places to play. The Johnnies, returning MIAC champions, averaged nearly 8,000 fans a game last season with the season high being 9,754 when they hosted Hamline on Oct. 4, 2014. They are the winningest football program All-Time in NCAA Division III History with a .707 Winning Percentage (600-242-24 Record) in 104 Seasons. UD's tough non-conference schedule continues the following week as when they open at home on Sept. 12 at 6:00 p.m. when the Spartans host the UW-Platteville Pioneers. The Pioneers lost to WIAC runner-up UW-Oshkosh in a triple overtime thriller in Platteville on Nov. 15 by a score of 27-30. UD will board a plane and fly the following week to Forest Grove, Ore. when they play 2014 national qualifier and Co-champs of the Northwest Conference, the Pacific University Boxers on Sept. 19 at 6:00 p.m. (PST). UD will enjoy a break the following week during their off-week before beginning Iowa Intercollegate Athletic Conference action on October 3 at 1:00 p.m. when the Spartans host the Luther College Norse.

The Spartans finished fifth in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) in 2014 after ending the season with a record of 4-6, 3-4 IIAC. Zweifel added his 32nd win of his UD tenure after securing a victory over Coe, 29-27, on November 8 in the Spartans home finale. Senior wide receiver Tyler Rutenbeck cemented his place in UD history after tying the all-time receiving TDs record of 42 with Gagliardi Winner Michael Zweifel (C’11) and Matt Plummer (C’99) in the last game of his career. Rutenbeck anchored a squad that finished the season as winners of two of their last three, including their fourth-straight dominant victory (outscored Loras 176-23 in the last four games) in the Key City Clash against Loras, 34-7. Rutenbeck would sign with the NFL's Washington Redskins after the draft and be released and then signed a contract with the Indianapolis Colts at the end of May.

It was a season which saw a number of standout performances and potential at a variety of positions. A trio of All-IIAC honorees - all juniors - defensive back Oscar White, linebacker Blaine Snitker, and place kicker Curtis Prull helped secure a pair of victories after crucial last minute plays. White’s interception in the Spartans end zone ended Pacific’s potential game-winning drive in UD’s first win of the season, 16-10, on September 20. Prull keyed the winning effort after hitting all three of his field goals. Prull finished as the only kicker in the IIAC not to miss a field goal (9 for 9). Snitker deflected Coe’s pass to stop a two-point conversion to seal the 29-27 victory on November 8.

In arguably their best game of the year, the Spartans came up short, 26-21, against the no. 8 team in the country on the road on September 13. Freshman running back Alec Arvanitakis established his consistent production with 100 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown. It was the start of five straight 85+ yard games that ended on October 25 against Buena Vista after a 77-yard day.

Linebacker Trevor Stauner added a season-high 18 tackles vs. Buena Vista and led the IIAC in tackles with 123 on the season. Stauner combined with Snitker and defensive back Vinny Whipple as three of the Top-5 tacklers in the IIAC. The UD secondary had a productive season of its own after leading the IIAC in interceptions with 16 and ending up second in pass defense efficiency at 114.8.

2014-15 Team Awards
Team MVP - DB Vinny Whipple
Offensive MVP - WR Tyler Rutenbeck
Defensive MVP - LB Trevor Stauner and LB Blaine Snitker
Newcomer of the Year - RB Alec Arvanitakis
Special Teams Player of the Year - K Curtis Prull

All-Iowa Conference honorees (*Senior)
First Team
Offense - WR Tyler Rutenbeck*
Defense - DB Oscar White, LB Blaine Snitker

Second Team
Offense - WR Chris Bagley, OL Dominique Ravenell
Defense - DL Zach Marotta, LB Trevor Stauner
Special Teams - K Curtis Prull

Honorable Mention
DB Dylan Ramsey*, OL Tanner Bronkema, OL Mike Murphy*

Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team
Blaine Snitker - Mathematics
Zachary Marotta - Biology and Chemistry

Academic All-IIAC honorees (*Senior)
OL Kyle Andresen, OL Tanner Bronkema, TE Tyler Dobratz*, WR Alex Eckes, FB Jessie Ecklund, DL Zach Marotta, DB Dylan Ramsey*, TE Tyler Santeler, OL Chris Scott*, LB Blaine Snitker, and LB Sam White