By Tim Glon
ADA — Ohio Northern senior linebacker Zach Schmerge (Wapakoneta) was named Second Team Preseason All-America for the upcoming 2017 season by D3football.com.
Schmerge is a three-year starter and a two-time First Team All-Ohio Athletic Conference honoree at middle linebacker for the Polar Bears.
He was also named Second Team All-North Region by D3football.com last season and Third Team All-North Region in 2015.
Schmerge led the team and the OAC with 103 tackles as a junior in 2015 after being second in the league with 111 tackles as a sophomore in 2015.
Last year, he was named Preseason All-American by The Sporting News magazine.
In 28 career games (23 starts), Schmerge has 226 career tackles, which is just outside ONU's all-time top 10.
He has also been named OAC Defensive Player of the Week three times in his career.
The Polar Bears welcome back 12 starters and 35 lettermen from last year's squad that finished 5-5 overall and were 5-4 in the OAC, which was its 20th upper division finish in the 10-team league in the past 21 seasons.
ONU will open its 2017 season Sept. 2 with a 6 pm game at Adrian (Mich.) under 14th-year head coach Dean Paul.