Valparaiso University's Ryan Koepke (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead H.S.) is among 11 NCAA 1-AA, II, II, and NAIA football players selected to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.
The redshirt sophomore is one of only two players on the team that is not a senior, and is Valpo's first selection ever to this team dating back to the award's inception in 1992.
Koepke, a starting linebacker for the Brown and Gold, has worked at Camp Watcha Wanna Do, a week long camp for children who are cancer patients or survivors. In addition, he has participated in the Hands of Hope International Medical Mission Trip to Guatemala, is a member of Interfaith Hospitality Network where he has helped prepare meals, entertained children and served as an overnight host that provides shelters in local churches for homeless families. Koepke has also helped lead the Valpo football players into the local elementary schools to read to children, has been a member of Habitat for Humanity, and participated in various fund-raising walks.
On the field, Koepke is the Crusaders' leading tackler this season with 16 stops, including three for loss. Last year, he finished seventh on the team in tackles with 41 and was named to the Pioneer Football League Fall Academic Honor Roll.
To be selected for the team, nominees have to be actively involved and committed to working hard with a charitable organization, service group, or involved in other community service activities. They need to display sincere concern and reliability, while also having made a favorable impression on the organizations with which they are involved.