CWU Football Lands Six on All-GNAC First Team - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU Football Lands Six on All-GNAC First Team

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SPOKANE, Wash. (Nov. 14) -- Unanimous first-team selections Mike Nelson (Carnation, Wash./Mount Si HS) and Justin Helwege (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake HS) were among six first-team and 13 total all-Great Northwest Athletic Conference selections for the Central Washington University football team, as was announced Monday by the conference office.

Nelson and Helwege were joined on the first team by junior center Joey Tivnan (Centralia, Wash.), senior defensive tackle Mike Reno (Ellensburg, Wash./Kittitas HS), senior punt returner Dominique Gaisie (West Covina, Calif./Bishop Amat Memorial HS), and senior kick returner Armahd Lewis (Stockton, Calif./Edison HS).

Nelson, a sophomore offensive tackle, earned his second consecutive first-team all-conference selection after anchoring the offensive line. He has started all 21 collegiate games at right tackle for the Wildcats.

Helwege, a senior, finished as Central Washington's top wide receiver in 2011, totaling 51 receptions for 717 yards and eight touchdowns -- all team-highs. He finished fourth in the GNAC in receiving yards and third in pass receptions.

Tivnan, like his linemate Nelson, has also been a mainstay on the CWU offensive line over the course of his career. The redshirt junior has started all 34 games in his three seasons in a Wildcat uniform.

Reno had a career-best season, tying for third on the Wildcats in total tackles and leading all CWU defensive linemen in that category with 54 stops. Six and a half were tackles for losses, with 2 1/2 quarterback sacks.

Gaisie finished the year as the GNAC leader in punt return average (11.3 yards per return), highlighted by a 63-yard return for a touchdown in his final collegiate game last Saturday against Dixie State. He also averaged 25.1 yards per return on 11 kick returns, and started nine games at cornerback.

Lewis was also recognized for his specialization in returning kicks, having averaged 23.0 yards per return on a team-best 16 kickoff returns in 2011. In his only season in a Wildcat uniform, Lewis finished fourth on the team with 21 pass receptions and third with 438 receiving yards, and he added second-team all-GNAC honors as a wide receiver.

Earning second-team all-GNAC honors were Lewis, senior defensive linemen Andrew Oney (Spanaway, Wash./Spanaway Lake HS) and Taylor Tanasse (Yakima, Wash./West Valley HS), junior wide receiver Anthony Spain (Grants Pass, Ore./North Valley HS), redshirt freshman running back Levi Taylor (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark HS), junior safety Genesis Fonoimoana (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS), and sophomore punter Josef Kistler (Galloway, N.J./Absegami HS).

This year marked the first time in the nine-year football history of the GNAC that Central Washington did not have a specialty award winner. Conference champion Humboldt State had the Offensive Player of the Year (quarterback Mike Proulx), the Defensive Player of the Year (linebacker Jona Faraimo), and the Coach of the Year (Rob Smith), while Dixie State captured the Newcomer of the Year (tight end Joe Don Duncan) and Freshman of the Year (quarterback Stefan Cantwell). Jason Slowey of Western Oregon was the Offensive Lineman of the Year, while Gavin Drake of Western Oregon and Justin Capicciotti of Simon Fraser shared honors as the co-Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Central Washington finished with a 4-6 overall record and was third in the GNAC with a 4-4 conference record.

2011 GREAT NORTHWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE ALL-CONFERENCE FOOTBALL TEAM
Offensive Player of the Year:
Mike Proulx, Sr., Humboldt State
Defensive Player of the Year: Jona Faraimo, Sr., Humboldt State
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Jason Slowey, Sr., Western Oregon
Co-Defensive Linemen of the Year: Gavin Drake, Jr., Western Oregon and Justin Capicciotti, Sr., Simon Fraser
Newcomer of the Year: Joe Don Duncan, Jr., Dixie State
Freshman of the Year: Stefan Cantwell, Dixie State
Coach of the Year: Rob Smith, Humboldt State

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