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May 12, 2009

2009 Season - Vikings name team captains for 2009

Four players who will be seniors on the 2009 Augustana football team have been selected by their teammates to be captains for the upcoming season. Running back Jake Parke (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, St. Joseph, Ill.), offensive tackle Blaine Westemeyer (Blue Valley Northwest HS, Overland Park, Kansas) and linebackers Aaron Setchell (Amboy HS, Amboy, Ill.) and Preston Jones (Bureau Valley HS, Sheffield, Ill.) will share the leadership mantle for the Vikings in 2009. The announcement was made today by head coach Jim Barnes near the conclusion of the team’s spring practice season.

Players apply to earn the role of captain answering a set of pre-established questions and subsequently speak to the team.  Eleven individuals put their names forward and addressed fellow squad members. 

“It is really one of, if not the most, inspirational moments of the year for our football team.  These young men, all who have committed to the work ethic required by Augustana football for two or more years, really deliver powerful, heart-felt messages of what the tradition means to them and the leadership qualities they will bring to their team in the coming year,” said Barnes.  “They certainly establish high self-expectations and lofty goals,” stated head coach Jim Barnes.  “Every guy who spoke received multiple votes and that is a strong indication that there is powerful and positive leadership coming from many.  This is a good sign for our team’s potential,”

Parke is a two time first team all-conference performer. He was the team’s leading rusher in 2007 with 548 yards and last year he was top receiver with 46 catches for 413 yards. He led the Vikings in scoring last year with 72 points on 12 touchdowns.  Parke earned Academic All-District honors last year as a junior and has a major in biology and pre-medicine.

Westemeyer has been a three year starter at offensive tackle and a two time first team all-conference performer. He was a first team CoSIDA Academic All-America selection in 2008 and the only member of that team to be named AFCA first team All-American.  He was also named winner of the Jack Swartz Award by the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. He has twice been named to the all-region team by D3football.com. Blaine is a biochemistry/pre-medicine major.

Setchell played and started all 10 games in 2008. He recorded 34 total tackles (20 solo and 14 assists) with one tackle for loss, one quarterback sack, one pass interception and one fumble recovery. As a sophomore in 2007 he made a switch from safety to linebacker and wound up second on the team in tackles with 56 (39 solo and 17 assists).  Aaron is majoring in business administration with concentrations in finance and management.

Jones, a speech communications major, is actually a fifth year senior having missed most of his sophomore season with a shoulder injury. He was the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player in 2007 when he recorded a total of 54 tackles (33 solo and 21 assists) with five sacks and 13 tackles for loss. He was also a second team all-conference selection that year. Last year he had 29 total tackles (18 solo and 11 assists).

Augustana finished the 2008 season with a 7-3 overall record and a 5-2 mark in the CCIW, good for a tie for 2nd place place. The Vikings will open the 2009 season on Saturday, September 4 at Coe.