MONMOUTH — Western Oregon's junior safety Bryce Peila, a former Crater High standout, has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference defensive player of the week for Oct. 10-16.
Peila had 129 return yards — 90 on two interceptions, 30 on a fumble recovery and nine on a punt return — to lead the Wolves to a 34-10 win against Simon Fraser.
With WOU leading 20-10 in the fourth quarter, Pelia's fumble return set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Haynes with 4:54 left. Thirty-eight seconds later, Peila, who also had nine tackles, sealed the win with a 48-yard touchdown interception return.
Peila leads the GNAC with six interceptions for 195 yards. The yardage total is a GNAC single-season record, breaking the old mark of 163 by Brandon Kennedy of Central Washington in 2005.
Peila has 12 career interceptions for 303 yards, which is 70 shy of Kennedy's career GNAC record.
"Peila's two picks were very crucial plays," Western Oregon head football coach Arne Ferguson said. "They really put the game away."
The Western Oregon football team is preparing for a homecoming showdown with GNAC leader Humboldt State on Saturday, with first place in the conference on the line.
Sarah Reiersen, a senior at South Medford High School, and Aaron Ghiglieri, a senior at Cascade Christian High School, have been named to USA Swimming Scholastic All-Americans.
It was the second straight selection for Ghiglieri.
Both students swim for Superior Stingray Swimming.
Athletes were selected based on achieving junior national time standards and maintaining a 3.5 grade-point average. The list of athletes was released this weekend by USA Swimming.