HADLEY, Mass. – Wesleyan senior wide receiver Mike Breuler (Hamden, Conn.) and Amherst junior Andrew Yamin (Cheshire, Conn.) have been voted by the conference coaches as the NESCAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Mike Breuler is the first Wesleyan player to earn the Offensive Player of the Year honor since 2014. The senior wide receiver led the league in receiving yards (1,172), receptions (87), receptions per game (9.7), and receiving yards per game (130.2). His 1,172 receiving yards and 87 receptions set new NESCAC single-season records. He also tied for the league lead in touchdowns (10) and ranked second in all-purpose yardage (1,172). Breuler recorded 100 or more receiving yards six times, including a pair of 200-yard games this season.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Andrew Yamin, a junior defensive end, is the fourth Amherst player to be named Defensive Player of the year since 2000, and is the second player in three years to garner the award. Yamin joins former Mammoths Pat McGee (2001), Michael Taylor (2009), and Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn (2015) in earning the honor. Yamin led the NESCAC in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (21.5 – 109 yards). His 13.5 sacks ranks second among the all-time NESCAC single-season records. He also recorded 38 solo tackles and 54 for the year.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Five members of the All-NESCAC First Team Offense are repeat selections, while two other players moved up to the First Team after earning Second Team honors last season.
Wesleyan junior quarterback Mark Piccirillo earns his second All-NESCAC honor after being a Second Team selection last season. He totaled 2,657 passing yards this season, which ranks fourth among the all-time NESCAC leaders in a single season. He completed 233 passes, which ranks fifth among the single-season leaders in the NESCAC record book, and threw 20 touchdowns to pace all quarterbacks. Piccirillo, who posted a league-best 70.4 completion percentage, led the league in total offense (347.9 yards per game) and averaged 295.2 yards through the air for the season.
Sonny Puzzo, the 2013 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, repeats as a First Team quarterback. He led Trinity to its second straight NESCAC title and an 8-1 record. Puzzo, a senior, owned the best pass efficiency number among the league’s quarterbacks at 155.2 and threw 17 touchdowns. He totaled 1,857 yards through the air and added 332 yards on the ground for the Bantams.
Juniors Max Chipouras of Trinity and Jack Hickey of Amherst were recognized as the First Team running backs. Chipouras, the 2015 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, is on the First Team for the second straight year and was a Second Team selection in 2015. He led the NESCAC in rushing with 937 yards and averaged 104.1 yards per game. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and scored 10 times on the ground, to also lead the league in rushing touchdowns. Hickey compiled 602 yards on the season, which ranked 5th in the NESCAC, averaging 5.8 yards per carry and scored nine touchdowns for the Mammoths. Hickey earns All-NESCAC honors for the first time in his career.
Hamilton’s Joe Schmidt and Conrado Banky of Middlebury were selected as the First Team wide receivers. Schmidt, a sophomore, averaged 14.7 yards per catch and tied for the league-lead in touchdowns (10). He amassed 811 receiving yards and recorded 918 all-purpose yards for the Continentals and earns his first All-NESCAC honor. Banky, a junior, repeats as a First Team honoree. He caught 33 passes, totaled 484 yards and registered five touchdowns for the Panthers, who were the NESCAC Runners-Up this season.
Sophomore Frank Cosolito was named to the First Team as a tight end for the first time in his career. He caught 28 passes and scored a team-high six touchdowns for the Middlebury. He recorded 391 yards on the season to help the Panthers lead the league in total offense (3,757 yards), yards per game (417.4) and passing yards (2,744).
Amherst senior guard Kevin Sheehan led the Mammoths offensive line corps. Amherst led the league in rushing touchdowns (20) and accumulated 1,607 rushing yards, averaging 178.6 yards per game on the ground.
Middlebury’s Kevin Wooding, a sophomore center, helped Middlebury average 417.4 yards in total offense and 304.9 yards per game in passing offense. The Panthers finished the season ranked second in the conference with 40 touchdowns.
Tufts’ Tim Reitzenstein helped the Jumbos compile 1,593 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground as a team, to rank third in the league in both categories.
Trinity teammates Chris Simmons and Austin Baiardi anchored the offensive line for the NESCAC Champions. Simmons, a senior, earns All-NESCAC recognition for the fourth consecutive season. He was the Rookie of the Year in 2015 and earned First Team honors in 2015 and 2016. Baiardi was a Second Team selection last year. The Bantams scored a league-high 305 points, averaging 33.9 points per game, and led the league in yards per rush (4.6) and passing yards per attempt (8.7).
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Three of the 15 All-NESCAC First Team Defense honorees are repeat selections and two players were elevated from Second Team last season to First Team this year.
Junior nose guard Corey Jean-Jacques ranked fourth on the Trinity squad in tackles with 38 this season. He was among the league leaders and tied for the team lead in sacks (4.5). Jean-Jacques also collected nine tackles for loss, and forced two fumbles for the Bantams.
Tufts’ defensive end Micah Adickes earns All-NESCAC honors for the third time in his career after being selected to the Second Team in 2015 and 2016. He registered 9.5 sacks as the Jumbos recorded 30 as a team to rank second in the NESCAC in that category. Adickes, a senior, also totaled 32 tackles, 23 solo, on the season for the Jumbos.
Wesleyan junior defensive tackle Grant Williams ranked among the team leaders in tackles for loss with five for 29 yards and totaled 26 stops on the season for the Cardinals. Wesleyan limited opponents to 119 yards per game on the ground this season.
Williams senior Chris Hattar was active on the defensive line for the Ephs. He totaled 34 tackles, 3.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
Hamilton junior linebacker Tyler Hudson is a repeat First Team honoree. He led the league in solo tackles (64) and was one of two players with 90-plus tackles on the year (91). He also recovered a league-best four fumbles and Hamilton tied for second in the league in fumble recoveries (11).
Senior linebacker Wesley Becton registered 62 tackles for NESCAC Runner-up Middlebury. The senior earns his first All-NESCAC honor. He returned an interception and recovered a fumble for touchdowns this season for the Panthers. He led the team in tackles (62), sacks (6.5) and had 9.5 tackles for loss for 70 yards. Becton helped the Panthers defense lead the league in sacks (31) and defensive touchdowns (3).
Senior Liam Kenneally is an All-NESCAC First Team selection for the third year in a row. A linebacker, he made 42 tackles, including 33 solo stops, and was part of a Trinity defensive unit that limited opponents to 98.7 rushing and 179.8 passing yards per game this season.
Tufts sophomore linebacker Greg Holt ranked third in the NESCAC in tackles with 84 this season, including 51 solo. He also had five pass breakups, an interception, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble to pace a Jumbo defense that ranked second in the NESCAC in sacks (30).
Junior linebacker Brandon Morris of Wesleyan, averaged 10.6 tackles per game and led the NESCAC with 95 stops. Morris led the Cardinals in sacks (4) and had 7.5 tackles for loss, totaling 44 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble to lead Wesleyan on the defensive side of the ball.
Amherst teammates Avery Saffold and Nate Tyrell represent the Mammoths on the First Team Defense. Saffold, a sophomore, had six pass breakups and 20 tackles. Tyrell, a junior, broke up three passes, recorded an interception and blocked a field goal.
As a safety, senior Kevin Hopsicker tallied five pass breakups, collected one interception and totaled 42 tackles for Middlebury.
Dominique Seagears registered five pass breakups for Trinity from his cornerback position. He contributed to the Bantams’ league-leading 14 interceptions with three of his own this season. The senior cornerback finished the year with 24 tackles.
FIRST TEAM SPECIALISTS
Sophomore Billy Wagner averaged a league-best 41.2 yards per punt for Hamilton. He landed 15 of his 53 punts inside the 20-yard line, six were fair catches, and five were touchbacks.
Trinity’s Eric Sachse repeats as the First Team kicker. He ranked second among the league’s kickers in scoring, accounting for 56 points for the Bantams. A junior, he made the most PATs in the conference (35) and was 35-for-38 on the year. He also went 7-for-11 in field goals, including a long of 46 against Williams.
Sophomore Sam Robinson joins Wagner as the second Continental on the First Team Special Teams. As a returner, he led in the NESCAC with 566 yards (21.8 avg.) and had a return of 87 yards that resulted in a touchdown against Bates.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Bobby Maimaron threw for 1,800 yards (200.0 avg.) and 12 touchdowns in his first season as quarterback for Williams. He also scored a team-high seven rushing touchdowns and set an Eph single-game rushing touchdown mark with four in a win over Amherst. Maimaron helped direct Williams to a 6-3 record. Maimaron, who also earned a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Team Offense, is the second Eph to earn Rookie of the Year honors, joining Chris Cameron in 2009.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Williams head coach Mark Raymond was voted as the NESCAC Coach of the Year by his peers. In his second season with the Ephs, Raymond engineered a dramatic turnaround, as Williams recorded a winning season with a 6-3 record and posted the most wins (6) since 2010. Raymond is the fourth Williams coach to garner the Coach of the Year honor and first since 2010.
Football All-NESCAC Teams