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Bormann, Munk ascending to key roles on defense

Entering his final spring football season, Dakota Wesleyan University senior linebacker Adam Bormann knows his role: lead the defense. On a changing unit, Bormann will be a key vocal leader for the Tigers, who are seeking to improve on a 9-2 season.

Dakota Wesleyan University linebacker Adam Bormann (19) pursues a play during the first quarter of a game against Concordia (Neb.) on Nov. 7 at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. (Marcus Traxler/Republic)
Dakota Wesleyan University linebacker Adam Bormann (19) pursues a play during the first quarter of a game against Concordia (Neb.) on Nov. 7 at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. (Marcus Traxler/Republic)

Entering his final spring football season, Dakota Wesleyan University senior linebacker Adam Bormann knows his role: lead the defense.

On a changing unit, Bormann will be a key vocal leader for the Tigers, who are seeking to improve on a 9-2 season.

"What I hope to accomplish is to help this team operate in the highest way possible," the Stickney native said. "We need to be perfect in the process, and hopefully the end result will be what we want, because of that process. I hope I can look back at the end of the year and know we did things right."

In 2015, Bormann led the Tigers with 82 total tackles. He racked up 4.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and one interception. Bormann and fellow linebacker Brady Bonte created a dynamic linebacker duo for the Tigers. Alas, Bonte and his 8.5 sacks will be lost to graduation, meaning the reins of the defense will be completely transferred to Bormann. But that's not a role that will provide problems for Bormann, who has 206 career tackles.

"I don't think we're asking anything more out of Adam than what he's done for us the last two years," DWU head coach Ross Cimpl said. "He was really the quarterback of the defense last year. Brady Bonte got a lot of the credit because of the plays he made, but Adam really has been coordinating things. With Brady gone, he's more of the focus on the defense."

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While his coaches have always seen him as a reliable tackler, Bormann hopes to add a pass-rush dynamic to his game to make him a complete player.

"That's probably been the weakest part of my game," he said. "We do drills every day to help, such as blitz drills and one-on-ones against the offensive linemen. I'm trying to be more conscious of the moves I'm making and what moves I'll make to counter my opposition."

Munk granted medical redshirt

Tanner Munk won't forget Week 2 of last season.

The senior defensive back suffered a season-ending knee injury against Ottawa University (Kan.), leaving his future football career in question.

"It was very upsetting, since you never think it can happen to you, until it does," Munk said. "It took me a couple weeks to gather myself, but I eventually just made the choice to come back. I have one more year left in me, and I want to keep playing."

Munk was officially granted his request for a medical redshirt by the NAIA a few weeks before spring practice began, leaving the Dell Rapids native and the Tigers thrilled.

In 2014, Munk was an Great Plains Athletic Conference first-team all-conference selection after recording 72 tackles, 14 pass break deflections and four interceptions.

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"Any time you get a first-team all-conference player that you thought was either going to be done or graduating and have the opportunity to see him back on the field, I don't know how to describe that," Cimpl said. "We missed his experience at the corner spot last year, and obviously, he's a very good football player."

Needless to say, Munk is relishing his final chance for helping DWU earn an NAIA postseason berth.

"You spend the next 50 years of your life working, and you only get so many years to play football. I had so much support from the guys, and they were all instantly having my back and helped me through the process," he said. "I knew I couldn't give up (football) right now. I had to come back and play for my teammates this season. I know I still have something to prove and something left in the tank."

Munk figures to join Cody Bonte, Bailey Schriever and Matt Jensen in pursuit of playing time at cornerback.

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