10 Wheaton football players named to CCIW all-conference team
The Wheaton College football team recently wrapped up a regular season that saw the Thunder go 8-2 overall and 6-2 in conference play.
A number of Wheaton players have received postseason honors, and 10 members of the team were named to the Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin all-conference team. Senior tight end Zach Lindquist was named to the CCIW first team for the third straight year. This season, Lindquist recorded four touchdowns and 324 receiving yards off 27 receptions. He performed exceptionally well in conference play, recording 24 catches and three touchdowns.
Sola Olateju also was named to the first team for the third consecutive year. Olateju led the league with 1,270 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns during the year. He averaged nearly eight yards per carry. In the final game of the year, Olateju set a Wheaton College record for most rushing yards in a game, recording 273 yards in a lopsided win against Carroll College.
Another offensive threat that was named to the CCIW first team was wide receiver Phillip Nichols, who recorded a team-high 40 catches and scored six touchdowns.
A strong offensive line was one reason Wheaton’s offensive was able to run effectively this season. Offensive tackle Andrew Jones was named to the first team, and guard Jon Callaway made the CCIW All-Conference second team. The Thunder’s offensive line played a key role in Wheaton’s effective run game. During the year, the Thunder averaged 219 rushing yards per game.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive end Chase Greenlee claimed his second-straight first team honors. During the season, Greenlee led the Thunder with 21.5 tackles for a loss and recorded 15 sacks, which is the third highest amount of sacks in a single season at Wheaton.
Greenlee also earned a D3football.com Player of the Week award during the season. The award came in the Thunder’s final game of the year, a 71-0 thumping of Carroll College. In the game, Greenlee set a career high with five sacks, which was also the third highest amount of sacks in a Division III game this season. He also recorded a strip sack in the second quarter. The fumble was recovered and ran back for a touchdown.
Linebacker Eric Stevenson was also named to the first team. He led the Wheaton defense in tackles this year with 85. He also recorded 1.5 sacks and nine tackles for a loss. Cornerback Marcus Smith made the first team as well after being named to the second team last year. Smith finished the year with 29 tackles, broke up seven passes and recorded one interception.
Luke Sahly and Patrick O’Connell were named to the CCIW All-Conference second team. Sahly, a senior linebacker, finished the year with the second most tackles on the team at 65. He also racked up 12.5 tackles for a loss and 5 1/2 sacks. O’Connell, a sophomore defensive tackle, was named to the second team for the second-straight year. This season he recorded 26 tackles, including 8 1/2 tackles for a loss.