Hepola Named Coach of the Year; Evans Earns Defensive Player of the Year as 14 Crusaders Honored

Hepola Named Coach of the Year; Evans Earns Defensive Player of the Year as 14 Crusaders Honored

Complete All-Heart South Division 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Heart of America Athletic Conference South Division Champion Evangel Crusaders were well represented on the All-Heart South Division team, released Monday, placing four players on the first, 14 players overall on the team and taking home four individual postseason awards.

Among the individual honors, second-year head coach Chuck Hepola was named Heart South Division Coach of the Year and defensive end Josh Evans was named Heart South Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Coach Hepola becomes the first Evangel coach to win the award since Charlie Linn was named Coach of the Year in 2001 and is the fourth coach overall joining Dave Schroeder (1988), Keith Barefield ('96, '97), and Linn.

Evans is the first Crusader to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors since Lamont Wynn won the award in 2001. The senior joins Wynn, Troy Clayton ('96) and Jay Hellwig ('94) as only players to win Heart Defensive Player of the Year.

Also earning honors, were offensive and defensive coordinators for the Crusaders, Dennis Darnell, and Jeremy DeSoto shared Assistant Coach of the Year honors in the South Division in a three-way tie with Baker. Darnell and DeSoto are the first Evangel coaches to win the award since it was instituted.

The Crusaders who shared the Heart South Division Championships placed Josh Carlton (Cassville, Mo.) on the First Team offensive line. Junior Dallas Hester (Strafford, Mo.) and sophomore Kade Kelley (Urbana, Mo.) earned second-team honors at wide receiver and on the offensive line.

Defensively, Evangel was well represented with Evans (Pleasant Hope, Mo.) earning first-team accolades on the defensive line along with ZaKorey Barr (Willard, Mo.) at cornerback. Evangel linebackers, senior Malachi Cobb (Mesquite, Texas) and sophomore Brady Dawson (Willard, Mo.) were named to the all-Heart Second Team along with sophomores, Micah Daniels (Kansas City, Mo.) and Andrew Poppen (Chanhassen, Minn.).

Junior kicker Derek Roberts (Springfield, Mo.) was named all-Heart First Team kicker as Jansen Acklin (Mountain View, Mo.) was named second-team kick returner.

Three Crusaders were also named All-Heart Honorable Mention as quarterback Cameron Hardesty (Norman, Okla.), running back Zayne Kyser (Salem, Mo.) and defensive lineman Andreas Moeller (Hebo, Ore.) rounded out the all-conference honors.

The 14 players honored are the most for Evangel since the Heart moved to separate all-conference teams for the North and South Divisions with a first team, second team and honorable mention.

For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.