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In recognition of an outstanding season that saw Linfield achieve an 11-1 record and reach the NCAA Division III quarterfinals, five Linfield football players have been singled out for inclusion on the d3football.com all-West Region team.
Headlining the group is linebacker Dominique Forrest, who received distinction as the West Region Defensive Player of the Year. A total of 75 players were recognized on the all-region squads following a vote of West Region sports information directors and d3football.com staff.
Forrest becomes the second Wildcat in three seasons to receive the region’s Defensive Player of the Year honors. Defensive end Eric Hedin was tabbed for the honor in 2010.
Forrest started all 12 games at linebacker for the Wildcats, leading the team with 79 total tackles, including 38 unassisted. He contributed three sacks plus six other tackles for loss and had four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
Offensive lineman Drew Wert and defensive end Brynnan Hyland joined Forrest on the West Region first team.
Wert captained an offensive line that surrendered just 24 sacks in 12 games while averaging 40 points and 443 yards of offense per contest.
Hyland was more than a handful from his defensive end position, rolling up a Division III-best 19 sacks as well as three quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He was credited with 43 total tackles, fifth-most on the team.
Linfield quarterback Mickey Inns received second team regional acclaim after throwing for 30 touchdowns and 3,288 yards. Tackle Steven Schultz, in his second season as a fulltime starter, was also a second team honoree.
Wisconsin-Oshkosh quarterback Nate Wara was appointed the region’s Offensive Player of the Year after leading the Titans to a 31-24 overtime upset of Linfield in last week’s quarterfinals. UWO coach Pat Cerroni was named the West’s Coach of the Year.