Carroll College, Helena Montana
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HELENA, Mont. – Senior linebacker Sean Blomquist was named a NAIA First-Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association for the second consecutive season.

Blomquist anchored a defense that was fourth in the NAIA with 17.4 points per game. He led the team with 82 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and four sacks. He now holds the school record for tackles for loss with 54.

Blomquist is one of five players that were selected for the second consecutive year.

Carroll players have been named to the All-America first-team a NAIA-record eighteen times and each of the last 10 seasons, the longest active streak in the NAIA.

Sixteen different Carroll players have been named to the AFCA All-America First-team, which is also a record.

The Saints landed three players on the AFCA All-America team. Senior running back Dustin Rinker was named to the offensive second team, defensive back James Dowgin was named to the defensive second team and Punter Rhys Felton all received second-team honors.

Rinker is Carroll’s career rushing record holder with 5, 379 yards. He tallied 1, 675 yards in 2014.

Dowgin was second on the team with 69 tackles, he also tallied three interceptions.

Rinker and Dowgin were also named second-team honorees in 2013.

Felton had an average of 40.7 yards per punt with a long of 70 yards.

The Saints finished the season with 10-2 record. They lost to Southern Oregon in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Football Championship Series. 

Daniel SimmonsBy Troy Shockley, Helena IR // Photo by Gary Marshall, Blackfoot Media Group

The day that changed Daniel Simmons’ life was, at the start, no different than any other. It was a chilly, winter morning in Whitefish, and the teen headed upstairs with what he thought was a simple question.

“One day I just woke up, walked upstairs and asked my mom’s boyfriend at the time, ‘Have you seen my mom lately?’ He sat me down and he goes, ‘Yeah, man, uh … she’s gone.’ Kind of like it wasn’t a big deal for him. So he was like, ‘Let’s order some pizza and talk about this.’”

Now a senior at Carroll, Simmons is seated on a couch in the meeting room of St. Albert’s Hall. He’s come a long way since that 2008 morning, and for the first time feels comfortable opening up about the road he’s taken to get there.

Reflective, the 6-foot-1, 245-pound defensive end laughs about it all now. It’s a wry laugh. More of a chuckle, really. And in it can be heard the notes of a young man that, six years later, sees the ridiculousness -- the sheer, cruel absurdity -- of the situation he found himself in.

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HELENA, Mont. – Carroll College head football coach Mike Van Diest has been named the American Football Coaches Association 2014 NAIA Region 5 Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

It is the sixth time that Van Diest has received the award. He was also honored in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010and 2013.

The East Helena native has a 186-30 (.861) record in 16 seasons. He has the best winning percentage of any active coach with more than 10 years of experience.

Carroll has won five national championships during Van Diest’s tenure.

The Saints ended the season with a 10-2 record and an outright Frontier Conference title. Fifteen Carroll players received first or second team Frontier All-Conference honors. Senior linebacker Sean Blomquist was named the Frontier Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

The Saints received the No. 1 ranking in the final regular season NAIA Poll but fell to Southern Oregon in the NAIA Quarterfinals.

Van Diest’s six awards are the most among the coaches that were honored this season. 

HELENA, Mont. – Austin Dodge threw for 470 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 8 Southern Oregon to a 45-42 victory over top-ranked Carroll College in the quarterfinals of the NAIA playoffs at a snow bound Nelson Stadium Saturday.

The Saints led 35-18 to start the fourth quarter but the Raiders scored four touchdowns in the final frame, including one with just 22 second remaining to earn the victory.

It is the first Playoff loss in Nelson Stadium since the 2009 quarterfinals when the Saints fell to Lindenwood (Mo.).

Mac Roche had a strong performance. The junior was 21-28 for 287 yards and a touchdown. He also scored twice with his feet.

Dustin Rinker tallied 157 yards on 28 carried and two touchdowns. The senior ends his career 5,379 career yards, seventh on the NAIA’s career rushing top-ten.

The Saints Kyle Griffith and Anthony Clarke both surpassed the 100-yard mark receiving.  Griffith had 130 yards and Clarke added 102. Dylan Simac had 36 yards but caught Roche’s lone touchdown pass.

The Raiders were 8-16 on third down conversions and 5-8 on fourth down fourth down conversions.

Three SOU players had over 100 yards receiving. Matt Retzlaff had 103 yards, Dylan Young had 106 yards and two touchdowns and Ryan Retzlaff tallied 175 yards. Sean McShane had two catches for 43 yards and one touchdown. 

Sean Tow had 114 yards on the ground for Southern Oregon but Melvin Mason had all four rushing touchdowns for the Raiders on 56 yards. 

HELENA, Mont. – Carroll College head football coach Mike Van Diest was named the Frontier Conference Co-Coach of the Year and Saints linebacker Sean Blomquist was named Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the year the conference announced Tuesday.

The award is the 10th for Van Diest but the first since 2011. Blomquist’s honor is the second consecutive.

Van Diest shared the honor with veteran Eastern Oregon head man Tim Camp.

Fifteen Carroll players were named to the first or second all-conference teams.

The 10-1 Saints landed four offensive players, five defensive players and two special teams players on the Frontier Conference first team.

Four additional Carroll players were received second team nods from the conference.

Blomquist was joined on the first team by defensive linemen Sean Condon and Dakota Amy, linebacker Shayne Durbin and defensive back Shayne Durbin.

On offense, running back Dustin Rinker, wide receiver Anthony Clarke, Center Alex Kastens, and tackle Josh James earned first-team honors.

Punter Rhys Felton was named first team punter and Clarke received an additional first-team nod as a punt returner.

Quarterback Mac Roche and lineman Ryan Armstrong received offensive second-team honors. Defensively the Saints received two second team nods in defensive backs Matt Wymore and Ryan Gregory.

The top-ranked Saints host No. 8 Southern Oregon Saturday at 12 p.m. at Nelson Stadium. The Raiders also placed 15 players on the first or second team.

Football Questionnaire 

Online Questionnaire

Interested in playing football for Carroll? Fill out this questionnaire, send it in, and let Coach Van Diest know that you're serious about playing for the Saints!

You can also download a PDF version of the questionnaire and send it in to Coach Van Diest as well.