Olszewski tabbed NSIC North Defensive Player of the Year in preseason poll

Olszewski tabbed NSIC North Defensive Player of the Year in preseason poll
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Olszewski tabbed NSIC North Defensive Player of the Year in preseason poll

BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- Bemidji State University football was tabbed fifth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was released Thursday morning by the conference office. Senior defensive back Gunner Olszewski earned his second straight NSIC North Division Defensive Preseason Player of the Year honor.

The Beavers took home 165 points in the overall poll to be slated fifth, falling behind three NSIC South Division programs and University of Minnesota Duluth in fourth. Minnesota State University, Mankato earned the top spot with 225 points and 15 first-place votes, followed by Winona State University in second with 197 points and one first-place vote. University of Sioux Falls rounded out the top three spots with 195 points. Bemidji State will face both Minnesota State and Sioux Falls during the 2018 season at the friendly confines of Chet Anderson Stadium.

Only Minnesota Duluth leads Bemidji State in the NSIC North Division Preseason Poll, taking 49 points and seven first-place votes. BSU totaled 42 points, nine ahead of St. Cloud State University in third, which finished with the only other first-place vote in the divisional poll.

Olszewski, a native of Alvin, Texas, brought home his second straight NSIC Preseason honor after earning All-NSIC North Division First Team Defense each of the past three seasons and All-NSIC Special Teams Second Team in 2017. The team’s active leader in games played at 33, Olszewski totaled 67 tackles, seven pass break ups, two forced fumbles and one interception last season. He ranks second in BSU history with 654 career punt return yards and fifth with 147 solo tackles. The 2015 NSIC Defensive Newcomer of the Year has also earned several national and regional honors including 2016 Lindy’s Sports Magazine Preseason All-Division II Second Team, Football Gameplan’s 2016 Preseason All-American Team, 2016 Conference Commissioner’s Association (CCA) All-Super Region Three Second Team Defense, three NSIC Player of the Week accolades and D2Football.com Defensive Player of the Week.

Bemidji State returns seven starters on offense and four on defense, including seven All-NSIC selections in total. The “Gang Green” returns to the field for their season and home opener at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 against Northern State University.

NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Team (First Place Votes) Total Points

  1. Minnesota State (15) 225
  2. Winona State (1) 197
  3. Sioux Falls 195
  4. Minnesota Duluth 194
  5. Bemidji State 165
  6. Augustana 148
  7. St. Cloud State 133
  8. Northern State 114
  9. Wayne State 111
  10. MSU Moorhead 99
  11. Upper Iowa 96
  12. Southwest Minnesota State 69
  13. Minot State 63
  14. Concordia-St. Paul 62
  15. U-Mary 34
  16. Minnesota Crookston 15

NSIC North Division Poll
Team (First Place Votes) Total Points

  1. Minnesota Duluth (7) 49
  2. Bemidji State 42
  3. St. Cloud State (1) 33
  4. Northern State 32
  5. MSU Moorhead 26
  6. Minot State 20
  7. U-Mary 15
  8. Minnesota Crookston 7

NSIC South Division Poll
Team (First Place Votes) Total Points

  1. Minnesota State (7) 49
  2. Winona State (1) 43
  3. Sioux Falls 37
  4. Augustana 28
  5. Wayne State 25
  6. Upper Iowa 18
  7. Concordia-St. Paul 14
  8. Southwest Minnesota State 10

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).