CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Wesley College's Sosthene Kapepula has been named the 2012 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Football South Region Defensive Player of the Year, it was announced by the league office on Tuesday afternoon. Kapepula, who was also named to the South Region All-Star Team, was the 2011 ECAC Defensive Rookie of the Year and was a two-time ECAC Defensive Player of the Week in 2012.
A sophomore linebacker from Olney, Md., Kapepula led the Wolverines in tackles (120), tackles for loss (13.0), forced fumbles (4), fumble recoveries (4) and passes defended (nine). A First Team All-Region honoree by D3football.com, Kapepula closed out his second season with the Wolverines with a career-high 18 tackles in the National Quarterfinals at No. 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor. His 18 stops bested the 14 tackles he made in each of his two previous games against the Crusaders.
Kapepula is the sixth Wolverine to win an ECAC Football Player of the Year award, and the first to also have won the Rookie of the Year Award as well.
Also earning ECAC All-Star recognition for the Wolverines was defensive lineman Devin Hardy, defensive back Jared Morris, and offensive lineman Tim Putman. All three players are receiving ECAC All-Star honors for the first time in their careers.
A senior defensive end from Baltimore, Md., Hardy led the Wolverines with 5.5 sacks to go with 9.0 tackles for loss and 45 tackles in 2012. He also forced a fumble and blocked a kick. One of the premier pass rushers in the Nation, and a D3football.com First Team All-Region recipient, Hardy closes out his career with 23.0 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss, both of which rank 10th in Wesley College history.
After playing wide receiver his first two seasons, Morris switched sides of the ball to safety for his junior season in 2012. A native of Toms River, N.J., Morris led the Wolverines with six interceptions, with a Wesley single-game record four interceptions in a season-opening win at East Texas Baptist. Also a D3football.com First Team All-Region recipient, Morris also finished third on the team with 76 tackles and 8.0 tackles for loss.
In his final season, Putman anchored the offensive line from the center position and helped Wesley average 34.0 points and 364.7 yards per game. Voted as team captain for both his junior and senior years, Putman earned Second Team All-Region recognition from D3football.com in 2012 and was a First Team All-ACFC selection as a sophomore in 2010.
The Wolverines finished the season with a 10-2 record and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals. After making its eighth-straight postseason appearance, Wesley has now won 100 games since 2004.