PITTSBURG — Pittsburg State University head football coach Tim Beck announced today (Apr. 27) team captains for the 2011 season.
Following a team vote, seven Gorillas were elected to the role of captain: senior quarterback Zac Dickey, sophomore linebacker Nate Dreiling, junior offensive lineman Aaron Kolich, senior wide receiver Aaron Sawyer, senior linebacker Luke Stringer, junior defensive end Gus Toca and senior defensive end Spencer Worthington.
Worthington is the lone returning captain from the 2010 campaign, while the other six individuals are first-team honorees.
"This is a tribute to these individuals that their teammates selected them for this honor," said Beck, who enters his second season as the Gorillas head coach. "There was very clear-cut voting that separated this group as worthy captains. We have a good mix of offensive and defensive players, a good mix of seniors and underclassmen. We think this is a good group of team leaders to represent our football team."
Dickey, a Pittsburg native, started 10 games for the Gorillas in 2010 - nine as Pitt State's quarterback. He completed 91 of 188 passes (.484) for 992 yards and six touchdowns and rushed the ball 144 times for 901 yards (6.3 ypc) and seven scores.
Dreiling, a Hutchinson, Kan., native, started all 12 games at linebacker as a redshirt freshman for the Gorillas last year. He led NCAA Division II with 160 tackles (13.3 pg), including 20.5 tackles-for-loss and a pair of forced fumbles. Dreiling was a consensus All-America selection and was named the Don Hansen co-National Freshman of the Year.
Kolich, an Olathe, Kan., native, played in all 12 games - and started three games - on the offensive line as a sophomore in 2010. He helped the Pitt State offense average 361.7 total yards and 24.1 points per game.
Sawyer, a Meriden, Kan., native, saw action in a reserve role in 10 games for the Gorillas last year, catching six passes for 60 yards on the season. Sawyer who battled back from a major knee injury a year ago, has 17 career receptions for 323 yards (19.0 ypc) and three touchdowns.
Stringer saw action in all 12 games in a reserve role at linebacker for Pitt State in 2010. The Topeka native logged 24 tackles (10 solo) with 4.0 tackles-for-loss. He has compiled 48 tackles (18 solo) in 32 career games.
Toca saw action in 11 games with 10 starts for the Gorillas last year. The Waco, Texas, native posted 26 tackles (13 solo) with 5.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks, earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors.
Worthington started all 12 games at defensive end in 2010. The Carlisle, Iowa, native registered 46 tackles (21 solo) with 7.5 tackles-for-loss and a team-leading 5.0 quarterback sacks. He earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors for the second time in his career. Worthington has 129 tackles (63 solo) with 16.5 tackles-for-loss and 9.0 quarterback sacks in 36 career games.