Courtesy of Wesley Athletics
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Wesley College took home a share of four of the five special awards announced and placed 21 student-athletes on the All-Atlantic Central Football Conference team.
Wesley's award winners started with quarterback Justin Sottilare (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills), who shared the Offensive Player of the Year award with Apprentice School wide receiver Bryan Cain. Defensive End Chris Mayes (Waldorf, Md./Westlake) won Defensive Player Of The Year honors, while freshman linebacker Byron Eaton (Randallstown, Md./Randallstown) won Rookie Of The Year honors and Mike Drass was named Coach Of The Year.
Sottilare became the Wolverines' quarterback during the first drive of the season after last year's Offensive Player Of The Year Shane McSweeny went down with a season-ending knee injury. He became the first Wesley QB since 2005 to throw for 400 yards in a game and he did that in consecutive weeks against Capital (407) and Huntingdon (408). Sottilare, a Columbia, Md. native, has three games of at least 300 yards passing and four with at least four touchdown passes. He becomes the fifth Wesley winner of the Offensive Player Of The Year award in the last six years.
Mayes, the reigning D3football.com South Region Defensive Player of the Year, has 10.5 sacks this year to rank fourth nationally and is second in tackles for loss in NCAA Division III with 20. Mayes, a native of Waldorf, Md., has 40 tackles, 20 for a loss, 10.5 for sacks and anchors a Wolverine defense that is ranked in the top ten in NCAA Division III in five different categories. He is the fifth straight Wolverine to win ACFC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Eaton takes home the Rookie Of The Year honors for Wesley making him the first Wesley Rookie Of The Year winner since Colin Blugis in 2007. Eaton, a native of Randallstown, Md., had 13 solo tackles, 25 assisted tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble for the 9-0 Wolverines.
Drass won the Coach Of The Year award for the fifth time in the last six seasons. His Wolverines, six-time ACFC Champions, have won 36 straight regular-season games and are the overall number one seed in the upcoming NCAA Division III National Championships.
Sottilare and Mayes led a contingent of 14 Wolverines on the first team. Wide receiver Ellis Krout (Dallas, Texas/Roosevelt), running back Brandon Wright (Clayton, N.J./Clayton), tight end Sean McAndrew (Lanoka Harbor, N.J./Lacey Township) and linemen Anthony West (Laurel, Del./Laurel) and Tim Putman (Garnet Valley, Pa./Garnet Valley) joined Sottilare on the first team. Linemen Paul Gilstrop (Lindenwold, N.J./Paul VI) and Jeffery Dorsey (Baltimore, Md./Woodlawn), linebackers Mike Asiedu (Yonkers, N.Y./Gorton) and Jeff Morgan (Vineland, N.J./Vineland) and defensive backs Aaron Benson (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven) and Marcus Wilson (Pennsauken, N.J./Camden Catholic) gave the Wolverines seven members of the first team defense. Placekicker Dan Tryon (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) rounded out Wesley's first team picks.
The Wolverines' 15 first team picks were nearly as many as any other school had between the first and second teams.
The second team featured wide receiver Leonard Stevenson (Nanjemoy, Md./Lackey), linemen James Buettner (Dundalk, Md./Patapsco) and Brian Cranmer (Cologne, N.J./Pettie School), safety Sean Scanlon (Cherry Hill, N.J./Camden Catholic) and punter John Smicklo (Toms River, N.J./Toms River East). Defensive tackle Eric Adams (Ocean, N.J./Ocean Township) and lineman Ken McDonald (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill) were chosen as honorable mentions.
Wesley enters the NCAA Division III Football Championships at 9-0. The top-seeded Wolverines will host Muhlenberg in the first round on Saturday, November 20 at noon.