Westerberg meets his goal as CCIW's top defensive player


Share
Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012, 10:43 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Tom Johnston, tjohnston@qconline.com
Erik Westerberg put up some staggering statistics for the Augustana College football team this fall and those earned him the CCIW Defensive Player of the Year honor.

They also helped him meet a preseason goal he set form himself.

"I always try to achieve the next big goal I set for myself and play to the highest standard,'' said Westerberg. "I met one of my goals to be the conference's defensive player of the year.''

But the Viking junior standout linebacker -- a repeat pick to the all-conference first team -- wasn't about to take full credit for the prestigious honor that helped Augie to a 5-5 mark, 4-2 in the CCIW.

"I was very humbled,'' said Westerberg of becoming Augie's first CCIW Defensive Player of the Year since cornerback Tom Anthony in 2005. "I put in a lot of individual work over the summer and in the offseason, but I wouldn't have gotten the award were it not for my teammates in front of me and the coaches who coached me up throughout the season.''

Westerberg gave kudos for his accomplishments to defensive linemen Carl Hartweg, Sean McIntyre, Pete Schimeck and Shane Holl, along with fellow linebacker J.D. Draminski. McIntyre and Draminski, a Kewanee Wethersfield prep, were second-team All-CCIW selections.

"I played with a bunch of great individuals; the best I've played with so far in my college career,'' said Westerberg. "It was an honor to play with those guys. They made me better.''

Westerberg was the CCIW's leading tackler for the second year in a row and finished the season with a team-high 118 total tackles (66 solo and 52 assisted). He ranked 14th in the nation in both solo and total stops. His 14 tackles for loss also led the Vikings, while his four sacks were tied for second on the team.

It was no fluke that the former Elmhurst York prep put up numbers like that and was a "huge'' part of the defense, according to Coach Rob Cushman.

"The system is set up to have that guy make plays,'' said Cushman of Westerberg's linebacking spot. "That's the scheme we run, but you have to have a guy who can do it and he certainly can. ... The defense is centered around that guy, however, that guy better be a player or you're in real trouble. He's everything we ask for there.''

Even when teams tried to run away from Westerberg, he was still a major part of the defense's second layer with Draminski, who was Augie's second leading tackler. Draminski finished with 64 total stops, of which 44 were solos – second on the team to Westerberg. He recorded 5½ tackles for loss, two sacks, a pair of pass break-ups and two blocked kicks. He had one interception and one forced fumble as well, finishing 10th in the CCIW with an average of 7.1 per game in league play.

Cushman realizes Westerberg's value to the team.

"He was a force everybody was aware of and tried to find ways to block him and take care of him and in most cases they weren't effective,'' said Cushman. "He's a good player. He's smart, he's physical, he's intuitive. He has all the qualities you want – great leader, great player. This honor is really well deserved and I'm proud of him.''

















 



Local events heading








  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








(More History)