MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University football team looks to reload for the future, thanks to the recruiting class of 2019. The Tigers have signed a total of 32 recruits, including 13 from South Dakota, nine from Washington, two from California, two from Wyoming, two from Nebraska and one from Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and New York.
“The recruiting class that we put together this year is full of talent in playmakers that we hope to make an impact as early as their freshman year,” head football coach Ross Cimpl stated. “We had to get some specific needs at offensive line and defensive line and we have some great guys to fill some big roles. Our coaching staff has done a tremendous job of adding talent at key positions. We cannot wait to get these guys on campus and get them in Tiger uniforms and begin their careers.”
Freshman, 6-3, 185, Mitchell, S.D., Mitchell High School, Quarterback
The Mitchell, S.D., native stays at home to begin his collegiate career. He was named All-State Football and was a two-time team captain. Helped his team to a 2016 South Dakota Class ‘AA’ State Football Championship, where he tallied a 91-yard touchdown run. Nelson was a three-year starter and a four-time letterwinner in football. He also participated in basketball for four seasons and track for three years.
Freshman, 6-1, 165, Spanaway, Wash., Spanaway Lake High School, Quarterback
He holds the record for All-Time Passing Yards in his time with the Sentinels. During his junior season he was named to the All-League Honorable Mention Team and won the Most Inspirational Award. Etter was a two-year starter in football.
5-9, 185, Forth Worth, Texas, Castleberry High School, Quarterback
Dameron completed his senior season with 3,490 passing yards, 889 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns and 32 passing touchdowns. He was named First-Team Quarterback his senior season, Second-Team Quarterback his junior year and Honorable Mention Quarterback his sophomore season. He was also named Most Improved Player and the team captain twice. Dameron is an ‘A’ and ‘B’ Honor Roll member. He was a three-year starter in football, four-year starter in baseball and two-year starter in track.
Anthony De La Torre
Junior, 6-5, 210, Huntington Beach, Calif., Marina High School, Quarterback
De La Torre transfers to DWU from Kansas Wesleyan University who made it to the NAIA Football National Playoff Semi-Finals. He was a member of the Hall of Fame for the Marina High School Vikings. He was also a four-year Scholar Athlete in high school and a two-time Dean’s List Member in college. He was a two-year starter in football and baseball in high school.
Freshman, 6-0, 185, Emery, S.D., Bridgewater-Emery High School, Running Back
Arend completed his career with 5,254 all-purpose yards, 2,985 rushing yards, 614 receiving yards and 55 total touchdowns. On defense he finished with 226 tackles and 10 interceptions. He guided the Seahawks to consecutive state championship runner-up finishes with a 10-2 record his senior season and a 9-3 record his junior year. Arend was a two-time Argus Leader Elite-45 member, two-time 11B All-State Representative, two-time Daily Republic Player of the Year Nominee and a member of the SESD All-Conference Team three years. He was a member of the National Honor Society and named to the Academic All-State Team in football. The Emery, S.D., native also competed in basketball for four seasons and track for three years.
Freshman, 5-8, 170, Torrington, Wyo., Torrington High School, Running Back
Posten is a two-time state runner-up in football following a record of 10-1 last year and 9-2 his junior season. His sophomore season he was named All-Conference Honorable Mention, while being named All-Conference his junior and senior seasons. Posten was a three-sport varsity letterman in football, basketball and track. He was awarded the Scholastic ‘T’ Award and held the highest GPA. Posten was a four-time Gold Honor Roll Student and a member of the National Honor Society.
6-0, 215, Mitchell, S.D., Mitchell High School, Fullback
Max was a two-time ESD All-Conference Team honoree, All-State Team member, two-time Offensive Lineman of the Year, and a team captain in football. He was named to the All-State Academic Team his senior season and was a member of the Gold Honor Roll for four years. He also competed in wrestling for five years and baseball for four seasons. Max won the Hustler of the Year Award and was a three-time team captain in wrestling. In baseball, he was a two-time Legion State Runner-up. He was honored as the Exchange Club Student of the Month.
Freshman, 6-1, 195, Auburn, Wash., Fife High School, Fullback
Schwaerzler was a 2A SPSL League Champion as well as a 2A SPSL All-League Honorable Mention Team member. He also competed in wrestling for four years and track for three seasons.
Freshman, 6-2, 210, Yankton, S.D., Yankton High School, Wide Receiver
The all-time leading receiver in Yankton High School history signed with the DWU Tigers for the 2019 season. He also collected 13 interceptions in three seasons as a safety for the Bucks. Ryken was named to the All-State and All-ESD football teams his senior and junior years. He was selected to the Argus Leader Elite-45 Team. He was an Academic All-State member in 2018 as well as a National Honor Society honoree. Ryken started in football and basketball for three seasons, and two years in baseball.
Freshman, 6-0, 150, Watertown, S.D., Watertown High School, Wide Receiver
Determan was named the Special Teams Player of the Year his senior year following a 6-3 record. He was a four-year starter in football and also participated in track for four seasons.
6-1, 160, Hot Springs, S.D., Hot Springs High School, Wide Receiver
Norton caught 30 passes for 542 yards and recorded 19 total tackles and finished 15-for-20 on PAT’s. He was named to the All-State Honorable Mention Team last season for his efforts at wide receiver. He broke the school record for most touchdown receptions with 11 and broke the school record with 542 receiving yards. Norton was also named to the All-Black Hills Conference Team and was tabbed the Special Teams MVP. He was a two-year starter in football and competed in basketball and track.
6-2, 160, Lake Andes, S.D., Andes Central High School, Wide Receiver
In his senior season, Tronvold tallied 35 receptions for 86 yards and 10 total touchdowns.
Freshman, 6-0, 210, Norfolk, Neb., Norfolk High School, Tight End
Caskey tallied 68 receptions for 756 yards, good for seventh in school history. He also recorded 41 receptions for 498 yards in one season, good for ninth in school history for receptions in a single season. He was named to the 2018 Nebraska All-State Honorable Mention Team. Caskey was a Valentinos Offensive Player of the Week once. He was named to the All-Conference Academic Team twice in football and basketball.
Freshman, 6-1, 275, Stewartville, Minn., Stewartville High School, Offensive Lineman
Grotjohn was named All-Conference Honorable Mention and Offensive Lineman of the Year for his efforts on the playing field. He was a three-year starter in football and competed in track. He was also a member of the ‘B’ Honor Roll.
Freshman, 6-2, 275, Cashmere, Wash., Cashmere High School, Offensive Lineman
Dueman was a two-year starter and two-time letterwinner in football. He was named All-League Second Team. Dueman also participated in baseball for two seasons.
Freshman, 5-11, 265, Kirkland, Wash., John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, Offensive Lineman
Only allowed two sacks throughout his high school career. He was a member of the offensive line that received the team MVP his senior year and was named the Offensive Player of the Year. On defense, Ibanez tallied two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three sacks He is a two-year honor roll member with a 3.5 or higher GPA. Ibanez also participated in lacrosse for a season.
Freshman, 5-11, 250, Wolsey, S.D., Wolsey-Wessington High School, Offensive Line
Spiehs joins the DWU football program after being a two-year starter for the Warbirds. He guided his team to a 2015 South Dakota Class ‘9AA’ State Football Championship. He helped his team to a 10-1 record this past year. Spiehs also competed in basketball for three years and track for four seasons.
Freshman, 6-0, 270, Gillette, Wyo., Thunder Basin High School, Offensive Line
Jordan recorded 18 pancake blocks and no sacks given up in his senior season. He was named the team captain and team MVP Lineman. Jordan was also tabbed All-State First Team and All-Wyoming Second Team. He was a member of the National Honor Society and the Principal’s Honor Roll. He also participated in track for three years.
Freshman, 6-2, 310, Redmond, Wash., Juanita High School, Offensive Line
Garcia-Lutz tallied 67 pancake blocks in one season. He was a three-time First-Team All-Kingco Offensive Lineman and was named the Most Improved Player. He was a three-year starter and four-year participant in football.
6-4, 285, Bexbach, Saarland, Germany, Offensive Line
Mueller joins the DWU football team for the 2019 season from Germany. He was a three-time team captain and a member of the Most Improved Offense in 2019. In 2015, he was named Best Offensive Player. He was also an All-Academic Team member.
Freshman, 6-0, 205, Royal City, Wash., Royal High School, Linebacker
Named the 2018 Team Captain for the Knights. Diaz was a three-time state champion and only suffered one loss with a career record of 53-1. He was named the to the 2018 SCAC All-League First Team Linebacker. He was also named to the honor roll his junior and senior years. Diaz was a three-year starter and four-time letterwinner in football, while being a two-time starter in wrestling and track.
Freshman, 5-11, 200, Sioux Falls, S.D., Sioux Falls Washington High School, Linebacker
Gard was a two-time South Dakota Class ‘AAA’ State Football Champion. He was also named to the Academic All-State Football Team. He lettered in football three years, while participating in powerlifting for two years and track for three seasons.
Freshman, 6-2, 220, Menno, S.D., Menno Public School, Linebacker
Bohlmann was named All-Conference First Team linebacker his junior season. He was tabbed All-Conference Honorable Mention his senior season and All-Conference Third Team in basketball. He also completed his career 10th on the school all-time list in tackles and second in single season tackles. Bohlmann was named to the ‘A’ and ‘B’ Honor Rolls and was named the Student of the Month in April of 2018. He was a four-time letterwinner in football, basketball and track & field.
Freshman, 5-9, 197, Brooklyn, N.Y., Midwood High School, Linebacker
Owens was ranked sixth in the city for tackles this past season. He was named to the All-City Linbebacker team twice and was an All-Conference nominee. He was a two-year starter in football and a four-time participant.
Freshman, 5-11, 195, Mitchell, S.D., Mitchell High School, Linebacker
Schoenfelder is a two-year starter and three-time letterwinner in football. He is also a two-year starter in baseball and a three-year starter in wrestling. He was a member of the Gold Honor Roll throughout his high school career.
Freshman, 6-2, 215, Lakewood, Wash., Lakes High School, Linebacker
The four-time All-League First Team member joins the Tigers from Lakewood, Wash. He was also named All-Area First Team his senior year. Gaulke was a member of the National Honor Society with a 3.96 GPA and a President’s Award winner. He was named the Athlete of the Year for his high school and won the PCL Championship. He participated in football, basketball and track.
Freshman, 5-9, 165, Watertown, S.D., Watertown High School, Safety
He recorded 50 tackles and an interception as a two-year starter. He was named ESD All-Conference and the team Defensive MVP. Cordell was a three-time letter recipient in football.
Freshman, 6-0, 185, Norfolk, Neb., Norfolk Senior High School, Safety
Strong was named to the All-Conference team in 2017 and 2018. He was a two-year starter and two-time letter recipient in football, and a four-year member in basketball and track.
Freshman, 5-11, 185, Watertown, S.D., Watertown High School, Safety
DeJong was a two-year starter for the Arrows, while competing in football for four seasons. He also participated in track and field for four years and basketball for four seasons.
Freshman, 5-11, 170, Ewing, Mo., Highland High School, Defensive Back
He was named the 2016 Newcomer of the Year, the 2017 and 2018 Offensive MVP, the 2018 All-District Team, the 2018 All-Conference Second Team. Newton was a member of the 2016 and 2017 ‘B’ Honor Roll and the 2017-19 ‘A’ Honor Roll. He was a three-year starter in football and a four-year member of the track team.
Freshman, 6-3, 275, Buena Park, Calif., Pacifica High School, Defensive Line
Henderson recorded 13 sack and 76 tackles during his senior campaign. He started in the OC All-Star Game after being named the Defensive Lineman of the Year. He was named All-County Third Team and First-Team All-League. He was given the Scholar-Athlete Award and had perfect attendance during his junior year. Henderson was a two-year starter and four-year participant in football.
Freshman, 6-2, 215, Kirkland, Wash., Juanita High School, Defensive Line
Greve recorded 23 tackles, three sacks, eight tackles for loss and was the fifth leading tackler in his league. He was a two-time All-Kingco Honorable Mention defensive end. He was a two-year starter and three-time letterwinner in football, while tallying two years as a starter in wrestling and one year in lacrosse.
6-3, 230, Emery, S.D., Bridgewater-Emery High School, Defensive Line
He recorded 241 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 22 sacks and 10 fumble recoveries in two years as a starter. Dye was named a two-time All-State football member and an Elite 45 Honorable Mention Team member. He was also tabbed as an Elite 45 Team member his senior season and was a two-time All-Conference First Team member. He guided the Seahawks to two state runner-up finishes during his career. Dye was a ‘B’ Honor Roll member and competed in basketball for four seasons.