|Seven Knox College football players have been named to the All-Midwest Conference team.
One player is a first-team selection - senior DE Tighe Burke. Running back Dan Kizior was named to the All-Midwest Conference second team as a kick returner. Five others earned honorable mention honors: senior OL Jim Schwab, senior LB Aaron Juarez, senior DB Jordan Raess, junior DB Calvin Zirkle and sophomore DE Elliot Madison.
Tighe Burke, from Winnetka, Illinois (New Trier Township), finished the season with 69 total tackles, including 39 solo stops, 15.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception and 8 sacks. Burke's 8 sacks gave him an average of .80 sacks per game, ranking him third in the Midwest Conference in the category. The 6-3, 220-pound defensive end also played fullback for the Prairie Fire this season, carrying the ball 13 times for 29 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Burke was a co-captain, and was named the team's Most Valuable Senior and Most Valuable Defensive Player. Burke earned All-conference honorable mention for the 2007-08 season and first team all-conference for the 2008-09 season.
Dan Kizior, a 5-10, 205-pound running back, was named to the All-Midwest Conference second team as a kick returner. Kizior led the Prairie Fire and finished third in the Midwest Conference in kick return yards this season, averaging 21.8 per return. He finished the season with 24 returns for 522 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown return against Illinois College on September 12th. From his running back position, Kizior carried the ball 23 times for 152 yards and caught 4 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown. Kizior also earned All-conference honorable mention for the 2008-09 season.
Senior offensive lineman Jim Schwab, from Durand, Illinois (Durand High School); senior linebacker Aaron Juarez, from Momence, Illinois (Bishop McNamara High School); senior defensive back Jordan Raess, from Aurora, Illinois (Oswego High School); junior defensive back Calvin Zirkle, from Kankakee, Illinois (Bishop McNamara High School); and sophomore defensive end Elliot Madison, from Holden, Massachusetts (Saint Johns High School) received all-conference honorable mention.
Schwab, a 5-9, 245-pound center, overcame injuries to start every game on the offensive line for the Prairie Fire this season. Schwab anchored an offensive line that ranked fourth in the Midwest Conference in rushing with 160.2 yards per game.
Juarez, a 6-0, 200-pound linebacker, finished his senior season ranked 8th in the Midwest Conference in total tackles. Juarez led the Prairie Fire with 82 total tackles, 38 of which were solo stops, and finished second on the team in tackles for loss (7). Juarez also recorded 1 sack, forced 1 fumble and recovered 3 fumbles.
Raess, a 5-10, 185-pound defensive back, was a co-captain this season and finished second on the team in interceptions with 3. Raess also finished fourth on the defense with 54 total tackles, 33 of which were solo and 2.5 of which were tackles for loss. Raess also broke up three passes and recovered a fumble while starting all ten games for the Prairie Fire.
Zirkle, a 5-11, 180-pound defensive back, had 48 total tackles, 33 of which were unassisted. He recorded 15 pass break-ups from his defensive back position, finishing second in the Midwest Conference for "passes defended." Zirkle was also named Midwest Conference defensive performer of the week earlier in the season for his outstanding performance in the Prairie Fire's 12-7 win over Lake Forest on October 31st.
Madison, a 6-2, 235-pound defensive end, had 29 total tackles, 12 of which were solo. He finished second on the Prairie Fire in quarterback sacks, recording 2 playing opposite of all-conference first-team selection Tighe Burke. Madison also recorded 3 pass break-ups, using his height to get in the quarterbacks' throwing lanes and bat the ball down.
(Knox College Athletics)