USD football team announces award winners Five South Dakota football team members were honored with special season-end awards during the Coyote Football Banquet on Sunday in Vermillion.
Chris Mikkelsen, a senior wide receiver from Gregory, was named the Dave Triplett Offensive Player of the Year. Tim Schellhammer, a senior defensive end from Chatfield, MN, was named the Joe Salem Defensive Player of the Year. Cody Butler, a senior from Hastings, NE, was selected as the Beanie Cooper Special Team's Player of the Year. Christian Morton, a freshman from Norfolk, NE, earned the Harry Gamage Most Valuable Freshman Award. Junior quarterback Wesley Beschorner of Lohrville, IA, received the Henry Heider Player of the Year Award.
Mikkelsen, who was selected to the second team offense on the All District VII Academic team, earlier was named to the NCC Academic All-NCC squad for the third straight season. The senior wide out was named All-NCC for the second straight season. He concluded his career with a school-record 150 catches for 2,279 yards and 15 TDs. He also finished his career ninth (428 yards) on the career punt return list and eighth (660 yards) on the career kickoff return list.
Schellhammer, the NCC Co-Defensive Line MVP, was named to the Football Gazette's third team on the defensive line. He finished his senior campaign with 59 tackles, including 14 for loss and 11 quarterback sacks, which was 13th best in the nation. He was also a first-team All-NCC selection. During his standout career, Schellhammer recorded 170 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 22 quarterback sacks, and forced seven fumbles.
Butler, who was named to the Daktronics All-Region squad second team, ranks as one of the best place-kickers in USD school history. Butler finished his career tied for seventh (Jason Leber, 90 points, 1996) on the all-time season scoring list. Butler finished in fifth place on the all-time career scoring list with 197 points. During his career, Butler made 36-of-49 field goals and 89-of-92 PATs. Butler owns the season record at USD for extra points (51); and extra point attempts (52) in a season. He also owns consecutive extra points made in career (66).
Beschorner, who was an honorable mention All-NCC selection, had a career-year at USD. He completed 130-of-221 passes for 1,767 yards and 17 TDs. Beschorner set several school records, including passing yardage and TD passes by an individual. Beschorner also rushed for 359 yards and 10 rushing TDs. He also had 2,126 yards in total offense on 324 plays, which is also a school record. His total offensive average of 193.3 per game set a school record. Beschorner also completed an 88-yard TD pass to Derek Gearman was set a Coyote individual game record for longest pass.
Morton played a key role on the offensive line, playing in 10 games with three starts. He was a key factor as the record-breaking USD offense had the league's top rushing attack.
The awards were named in honor of four legendary South Dakota football coaches and Heider, for which the Coyote Sports Hall of Fame is named.