It’s just a little over a month away from the Frontier Conference opening game between the Montana State University-Northern Lights and the Carroll College Fighting Saints in Havre. But already, several Lights and many Frontier players are receiving preseason accolades.
Five returning Lights were named to the Beyond Sports Network NAIA Preseason All-American Team, which was released earlier this week.
Leading the way is senior running back Stephen Silva, who earned Frontier First Team All-Conference a year ago and is already MSU-N’s all-time leading rusher. Silva was named to the BSN Second-Team Offense. He was also a BSN postseason all-american in 2011.
Also making the list is junior tight end Brian Torgerson, who earned third-team honors. Torgerson was a first-team all-conference selection at the end of 2011. Kyle Johnston, another 2011 first-team all-conference selection was also named to the BSN third team offense after a huge junior season for the Lights. Johnston is not only the top returning receiver in the Frontier, but is a dangerous punt and kick returner as well.
Rounding out the Lights’ preseason all-americans is senior offensive lineman Brock Hyder. Hyder was an all-conference selection a year ago, and will start for a fourth straight season on the Northern offensive line this fall.
The lone Northern defensive player to make the list is junior cornerback Tanner Varner. Last season, Varner led the Lights in interceptions and was named First Team All-Conference at defensive back.
In all, 21 players from the Frontier made the BSN list. Carroll College running back Chance Demarais, the reigning NAIA Player of the Year, Carroll offensive lineman Connor Goudreau and Saints’ defensive back Brian Strobel all made the prestigious first team, as did Eastern Oregon offensive lineman Will Hunter. Carroll totaled five players on the list, as did Northern. EOU also had five, while Rocky Mountain College had three, and Montana Tech, UM-Western and Dickinson State University each had one player honored.
Editor’s Note: Starting this week, the Havre Daily News will be previewing the top returning players in the Frontier Conference by position. The breakdown will begin with the quarterbacks in Friday’s HDN.