SPRINGFIELD — Wittenberg Tigers defensive end Chandler Ferko, a Jonathan Alder High School graduate, was named the 2017 North Coast Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award. Ferko won the award after putting together a campaign that featured 48 stops and 9.5 sacks which was third in the NCAC. Ferko also recorded two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, an interception and a defensive touchdown.
The 10th Tiger to win the NCAC’s Defensive Player of the Year award, Ferko becomes the second Tiger to do so in as many years, following in the footsteps of Tiger linebacker Dustin Holmes who won the award a year ago.
Ferko has been the undisputed leader of the Wittenberg defensive unit that allowed just 133 points through 10 regular season games and limited opponents to an average of 98.1 yards per game on the ground this season. He had his best game of the season in a pivotal 21-14 home win over Wabash on Oct. 28 as he tallied 10 tackles (5 solo, 5 assists) and 3 sacks in the seven-point win that helped lead the Tigers to their league-leading 15th NCAC title.
After winning his 200th game as head coach of the Tiger’s in 2017, Joe Fincham was honored by the league as the Coach of the Year. Fincham has now been named coach of the year 10 times in his 22 seasons in Springfield.
The NCAC also handed out All-Conference awards, with 11 different Tigers named to the team. Those Tigers include: tight end Tyler Everidge, offensive linemen Luke Jahnke, Brenden Jurden and Scott Turner; linebackers Jack Kayser, Terrance Crowe and Jonathan Seay; Ferko and his partner in crime on the defensive line, Jeremy Asiffo and defensive backs Jay Mastin and Keenan Wilson.
Wittenberg also saw running back DeShawn Sarley, wide-out Liam Duncan, defensive lineman Brandon Daniels, punter Bryce Bailey and return specialist Nick Kendall all earn second team All-NCAC honors. Tiger quarterback Jake Kennedy was named honorable mention.