Five Griffon football players earn preseason All-America honors
The five Griffons consist of two defensive players, three offensive players and a special teamer. Senior defensive end David Bass (St. Louis, Mo./University City HS) and junior punter Scott Groner (Tecoma, Victoria (Australia)/Blackburn HS)) were named to the first team while senior offensive lineman Macon Allan (King City, Mo./King City HS) was named to the second team. Senior running back Michael Hill (St. Joseph, Mo./Central HS) and senior strong saftey Shane Simpson (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South HS) were part of the honorable mention squad.
This marks the second preseason all-America honor for both Bass and Allan as they were named first team all-American’s by Lindy’s Magazine back on June 14.
Last season Bass was named to numerous all-america teams which included first team honors from D2Football.com, Don Hansen Football Gazette, AP “Little” All-American and Beyond Sports College Network. His 20 tackles for a loss set a school record for most in a season while his 14.5 sacks led the MIAA and left him one-half sack short of the Griffons single season record. He has 28.5 sacks in his career which is 1.5 short of the school record. He tied a single game high with four sacks in a game twice and was fourth in the nation in sacks per game at 1.21. He earned MIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors twice and was the D2Football.com Player of the Week once.
He finished the season with 55 tackles with 35 being solo. He had eight quarterback hurries, four pass break-ups and one forced fumble. He was named first team all-MIAA for the first time in his career last season.
In his first season of college football Groner had an outstanding season. He played in all 12 games punting the ball 50 times for 2,193 yards. His 43.9 yards per punt average set a single season record. Thirteen of his punts went for 50 or more yards while he dropped 17 inside the 20. He was an honorable mention all-MIAA selection as well as a Don Hansen second team all-American. He was also named Beyond Sports College Network’s Punter of the Week on November 23, 2011 as well an honorable mention all-America selection by Beyond Sports College Network.
Allan has been a rock on the offensive line since he got to Western. He has started all 36 games in his three years of playing. Last season he was first team all-MIAA for the first time in his career. He was also named to the Don Hansen Honorable Metion all-America team as well as the Don Hansen second team all-Region. He helped the Griffons rush for 240 yards per game and almost six yards per carry in 2011.
Hill has been solid at the running back position as he enters 2012 just 595 yards away from breaking the MWSU career record and just 76 rushing attempts away from setting the Griffon career mark. Last season hill started all 12 games rushing for 1,305 yards on 265 carries which included rushing for over 100 yards five times. He had a career high 246 yards on 41 carries against Southwest Baptist on October 28, 2011. He also caught 31 passes for 257 yards and four touchdowns averaging 130.2 all-purpose yards per game. He was a first team all-MIAA selection for the first time in his career and was the MIAA Offensive Player of the Week on October 30 for his his performance against SBU. He was a second team Daktronics Super Region Four selection as well as second team Don Hansen all-Region, honorable mention Beyond Sports College Network all-American and honorable mention all-American by Don Hansen.
Simpson has been a leader in the secondary for the Griffons for the past two seasons. Last season he started all 12 games making 46 tackles with 20 being solo. He tied for the team lead with five interceptions. He also defended eight passes and had three pass break-ups. He had 127 return yards off his five interceptions which included a 55 yards interception return for a touchdown in the Griffons playoff game against Northwest Missouri State on NOvember 19, 2011. He was a first team all-MIAA selection for the first time in his career.
The Griffons finished 9-3 last season, which tied them for the most wins in a season. They have won nine games in six of the last nine seasons. They have also had a winning record in 11 of 15 seasons under head coach Jerry Partridge. The Griffons are set to return a total of 17 starters on offense and defense next season, including 10 of 11 on offense and seven of 11 on defense.
— MWSU Sports Information —