Two Palmyra products who have been instrumental in the Northwest Missouri State football team's top-ranked defense are being recognized for their efforts.
Junior linebacker Ben Althoff has been named to the All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association first team, while senior defensive end Bobby Gruenloh was a third-team selection.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Althoff led the Bearcats with 68 tackles. He had six tackles for loss, two sacks, two pass breakups and a quarterback hurry while starting all 11 games for the two-time defending national champions.
Northwest Missouri State ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II in scoring defense (8.3 points per game) and total defense (207.6 yards per game). The Bearcats, who face Ashland in Saturday's playoff opener, have not allowed a rushing touchdown this season.
The 6-4, 261-pound Gruenloh played in eight games, recording 23 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He had three quarterback hurries, a pass breakup and a blocked kick.
Griffith solid in freshman campaign
Missouri Western freshman running back Shamar Griffith, Hannibal's all-time leading rusher and a three-time all-area performer, made quite an impression at the end of this season.
Griffith recorded his first 100-yard rushing effort in a 30-27 loss at Emporia State in Week 10 and led the Griffons with 51 yards on nine carries in the season-ending 30-0 loss to Northwest Missouri State. He finished with 400 yards on 70 carries, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
Griffith spent most of the season as the Griffons' primary kick returner. He finished second in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association by averaging 22.7 yards per return. He had 33 kick returns with a long of 58 yards.
He was named honorable mention All-MIAA.
Frericks with another double-double
Jordan Frericks scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Missouri women's basketball team's 66-51 victory over Quinnipiac last weekend, giving the Quincy Notre Dame graduate her 25th career double-double.
She ranks third among active SEC players in double-doubles and surpassed the 800-rebound mark for her career.
She scored 26 points and collected eight rebounds in an 82-80 victory over Wright State on Thursday.
The senior forward has 815 career rebounds, which ranks sixth in program history. She's 17 rebounds from climbing into the top five.
Wildcats land two on All-Heart team
Culver-Stockton College outside hitter Gabby Hickman and defensive specialist Anna Stock were named to the Heart of America Athletic Conference all-conference volleyball team.
Hickman and Stock both earned honorable mention.
Hickman, a junior, recorded a team-high 348 kills, which ranked 14th in the Heart. She finished with 274 digs, a team-high 32 service aces and nine double-doubles.
Stock had a team-best 417 digs, which ranked 15th in the Heart, and had a team-best 531 passes. She was third on the team with 27 service aces. In her career, Stock recorded 822 career digs in 262 sets played, an average of 3.14 digs per set.
Hummert earns all-conference nod
St. Ambrose University sophomore outside hitter Riley Hummert, a Quincy Notre Dame graduate and the 2015 Herald-Whig Player of the Year, earned All-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference honors.
Hummert was a second-team selection after leading the Bees' return to the CCAC Tournament. They missed the tournament in 2016.
Hummert led the Bees with 288 kills and ranked 10th in the CCAC with 2.64 kills per set. She was second on the team with 311 digs and third with 33 aces.
Feller-Blakemore receives honors
Quincy High School product Maliah Feller-Blakemore, a sophomore setter for the Lincoln Christian volleyball team, received a pair of Association of Independent Institutions Conference honors.
Feller-Blakemore was a second-team all-conference selection, earning her second straight all-league honor. She also was named to the all-AIIC Tournament team after helping the Red Lions finish second behind College of the Ozarks.
The top-two finish secured the Red Lions' first berth in school history in the NAIA national tournament. They open the tournament at 1 p.m. Saturday against Bellevue in Omaha, Neb.