North Central College football players Joe Fehrle (Sr., Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic), Billy Douds (Sr., Geneva, Ill./Geneva) and Tommy Sora (Sr., Morton Grove, Ill./Notre Dame Prep) have been honored with selections to the 2017 D3football.com Preseason All-America Teams. This year’s selections were announced on Tuesday.
Sora has started all 22 of North Central’s games the past two seasons. He was a First Team All-CCIW and Third Team All-North Region pick in 2016, when he ranked second on the team in tackles (57), including 12 tackles for loss and 7.5 quarterback sacks.
Fehrle is one of two offensive tackles selected to the All-America First Team, while Douds is one of two defensive ends and Sora is one of three linebackers on the Second Team. A total of 50 players from 40 of the 247 NCAA Division III football-playing institutions were recognized with selections to the two teams. North Central is one of just five schools with more than one selection and matches Hobart College (New York) and Hardin-Simmons University (Texas) for the most total selections this year.
Fehrle has started all 32 of the Cardinals’ games the past three seasons, starting 30. He has been North Central’s left tackle the past two campaigns, earning Second Team All-College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) honors in 2015 before claiming First Team All-CCIW and Second Team All-North Region accolades last season.
Douds started all 12 games at defensive end for the Cardinals in 2016, recording 13.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 quarterback sacks (the fourth-highest single-season total in the Cardinals’ history) and three forced fumbles. Douds ranked second in the CCIW in quarterback sacks per game and received First Team All-CCIW and Third Team All-North Region honors.
The three selections are the second-highest achieved by a North Central team in the preseason. The Cardinals’ 2009 team had four Preseason All-America honorees.
The Cardinals finished the 2016 season with an overall record of 11-1, claiming the program’s 12th CCIW championship. North Central opens the 2017 schedule on Sept. 2, hosting Robert Morris University-Chicago.