Gustavus Adolphus College wide receiver Chad Arlt (Sr., St. Michael, Minn.), offensive lineman Jared Thelemann (Sr., Kilkenny, Minn.), safety Joe Welch (Jr., Hastings, Minn.) and linebacker Tony Palma (Jr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) have been named to the All-MIAC first team, as voted on by the league’s coaches. In addition, defensive lineman Brian Berglund (Sr., Lauderdale, Minn.), defensive back Ethan Armstrong (Sr., Wheaton, Minn.), running back Ray Wilson (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and offensive lineman Michael Klayum (Sr., Lakeville, Minn.) were each honored on the second team. Linebacker Mike Fabel (Sr., Cold Spring, Minn.) was named to the MIAC Sportsmanship Team.
Arlt, a repeat first team All-MIAC honoree, finished third in the conference with 99.0 receiving yards per game. He led the squad with 61 receptions for 974 yards and averaged 16.0 yards per catch. Arlt also tied the school record for longest reception when he caught a 99-yard touchdown reception against St. Thomas. He holds nearly every receiving record in Gustavus history including career receptions (222) and career receiving yards (3,180). Arlt set records for receptions in a season (100) and receiving yards in a season (1,294) in 2007.
Thelemann, a first team selection in 2008, was a second team All-MIAC selection in 2006 and 2007. Linemate Michael Klayum, a second team All-MIAC pick this season, joined Thelemann on the left side to anchor an offensive line that allowed only 14 quarterback sacks all season. The Gustavus offense also had the best third-down conversion rate (56-125) in the conference. Thelemann started in 35 of 37 career games, while Klayum started in all 38 career games.
Welch, a first team honoree, led the Gusties with 98 tackles (51 solo) in 2008. Welch also compiled five interceptions, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He posted double-digit tackles in five games this season including a season-high 16 stops (six solo) against Concordia, and ranked third in the MIAC at 10.1 tackles per game. He currently has 180 career tackles and 99 solo stops heading into his final season.
Palma, another first team All-MIAC selection, finished second on the team with 83 tackles (32 solo) this season. Palma tallied 5.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and blocked a field goal. He was named the MIAC Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Bethel when he made 12 tackles and intercepted a pass at the Gustavus-7 with :48 left in the game to seal the victory.
Berglund, a second team All-MIAC pick, paced the Gustie defensive linemen with 36 tackles (nine solo) in 2008. He also posted two tackles for loss and one sack. Berglund made significant contributions on special teams as he blocked three point after attempts during the season. He was named the MIAC Special Teams Player of the Week after he blocked two extra points against Carleton that forced the game into overtime and sealed the victory for Gustavus.
Armstrong, selected to the second team as a defensive back this season after being named to the second team as a utility player in 2007, led the Gusties with 17 passes defended and 12 broken up passes in addition to five interceptions. Armstrong ranked seventh on the team with 42 tackles (24 solo). He also had 1.5 tackles for loss and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Wilson, another second team selection, led Gustavus in rushing with 552 yards on 111 carries. He broke the program’s single-game rushing record with 258 yards on 28 carries against Augsburg this season. He was named the MIAC Offensive Player of the Week for the performance as he ran for 11 first downs and scored two touchdowns including an 81-yard touchdown run.
Fabel, Gustavus’ entry on the MIAC Sportsmanship Team, recorded 30 stops (15 solo), two sacks, and three tackles for loss. He ranked third on the team with three interceptions, which all came in the first half against Concordia in the last game of his career. The MIAC Football Sportsmanship Team is part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative.
The Gusties finished the 2008 season at 6-4 overall and tied for fifth place in the MIAC with a league mark of 4-4.