You might say that John Broback got a big kick out of the 2012 football season, The rest of the MIAC might not agree.
The Rosemount, Minn. senior led the conference with a 41.3 average per punt. That was also good for sixth in the country for D-III punters. In addition, Broback also kicked 20 extra points and four field goals. That was more than enough to earn him his second first team honor on the All-MIAC squad as voted on by the league's coaches.
Broback was a member of the 2010 team. He didn't play last season but came back this year and made a huge difference for the Pipers, starting with a 63-yard punt in the season opener, a 37-31 win at Minnesota-Morris. He put six punts out inside the 20 and tied for the conference lead with four touchbacks.
Three other Pipers were named to the second team. Stephen Girard, a bulwark on the offensive line all season. The Milaca, Minn. senior started all 10 games for HU.
On the defensive side of the ledger, Patrick Page quickly became a force to be dealt with at linebacker. His 127 total tackles easily led the league and ranks sixth in the country. Page, whose 9.5 tackles for loss also led the league, became just the third HU player ever to win a MIAC Defensive Athlete Of The week award for a 17 tackle, forced fumble, two interception effort against St. Thomas. Even better news: he's a junior and will be back next year.
John-Michael Vandenberg persevered in the secondary despite a serious arm injury. The senior finished with 100 tackles, which ranked fifth in the conference. He also had a forced fumble and an interception and will be remembered as one of the top tacklers in school history.