November 23, 2010

W&L Places 11 Players on the All-ODAC Football Team

FOREST, Va. – The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2010 all-conference football team on Tuesday afternoon and Washington and Lee had numerous honorees, including the Coach and Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Senior offensive lineman Greg Kurkis (Roswell, Ga./Westminster) was tabbed the ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second-straight year, while Head Coach Frank Miriello was named the ODAC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his 16 seasons after guiding the Generals to an 8-3 overall record and the program's second ODAC title in the last five seasons.

Kurkis was also named to the first team all-conference squad, where he was joined by junior offensive lineman John Fitzgibbons (Martinsville, Va./Martinsville), junior running back Harrison Hudson (Salem, Va./Salem), sophomore running back Luke Heinsohn (Charlottesville, Va./Covenant) and sophomore defensive back Jake Pelton (Charlottesville, Va./Monticello).

Senior tight end Patrick Conley (Little Rock, Ark./Little Rock Central) was selected to the second team and was joined on that squad by junior quarterback Charlie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan), sophomore running back Brett Murray (Lookout Mountain, Tenn./Baylor School) and sophomore linebacker Jesse Jenkins (Roanoke, Va./William Fleming).

Junior defensive back John Kavanagh (Cob Cob, Conn./Greenwich) was placed on the honorable mention team as was first-year offensive lineman Connor Hollenbeck (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta) giving W&L 11 all-conference honorees.

Kurkis was picked to the first team for the first time in his career after receiving second team laurels in each of his first three seasons.  The biochemistry major and 2007 ODAC Rookie of the Year also received the scholar-athlete award for the second time.  A team captain, Kurkis started all 40 games that W&L played during his four seasons, blocking for three first team all-conference running backs during his time.  This season, he helped the Generals average 438.8 yards and 35.3 points per game, while setting a new school and conference record for rushing yards in a season (3,955).  W&L's 388 total points were also a school record.

Fitzgibbons has also started every game of his career on the offensive line (31 gms) and earned his first postseason recognition.  He was another mainstay for an offensive line that powered the nation's fifth-ranked rushing offense (359.6 ypg).

Hudson also received his first all-conference nod after finishing the season with 1,153 total yards and 13 touchdowns.  His selection was as an all-purpose back after he finished as the team's leading receiver and second-leading rusher.  He rushed for 792 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 361 yards and five more scores.  Hudson set a new school record for season rushing yards per carry (7.8) and he averaged almost 9.7 yards every time he touched the ball this season.

Heinsohn was selected to the first team for his first career postseason honor.  He led the conference and ranked among the national leaders in rushing with 1,321 yards and 13 touchdowns on 194 carries.  He had seven games of 100 yards or more and finished with an average of 6.8 yards per carry, among the best in school history.

Pelton was selected to the first team after being named the league's defensive player of the week on three occasions during the season.  He finished as the Generals' second-leading tackler with 82 tackles and led the conference with six interceptions.  He also had five pass breakups and notched a half sack in logging his first career postseason honor.

Conley was tabbed to the second team for his first all-conference award.  His blocking helped pave the way for one of the nation's top rushing offenses and he caught three passes for 67 yards and one touchdown.

Westfal earned second team laurels after receiving the ODAC Rookie of the Year Award in 2008.  He finished fourth on the team in rushing with 523 yards and seven touchdowns and completed 50.0 percent of his passes for 818 yards and 11 touchdowns with just two interceptions.  He has passed for better than 3,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,500 yards through his first three seasons and ranks fourth on the school's total offense list with 4,765 career yards.

Murray also garnered his first postseason award after posting second team honors as an all-purpose back.  He finished third on the team in rushing with 738 yards and nine touchdowns on 103 carries.  He also placed second on the team in receiving with 147 yards and three touchdowns on 14 catches in recording a team-best 1,381 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns.  Murray totaled three 100-yard rushing games and he averaged nearly 7.6 yards every time he touched the ball on offense.

Jenkins garnered his first all-conference honor after leading the team with 84 total tackles on the season.  He also had one pass breakup, one sack, one fumble recovery and one interception for one of the nation's top takeaway defenses (32 total turnovers).

Kavanagh was tabbed to the honorable mention team after finishing fifth on the team with 43 total tackles.  He also notched four interceptions and one sack.  Hollenbeck started a majority of the season at tackle and helped the Generals produce the finest offensive season in school history with a conference record 43 rushing touchdowns and a school record 54 total touchdowns.

Miriello's coach of the year award was his fifth after leading the Generals to the conference title despite being picked fifth in the ODAC Preseason Coaches Poll.  Along the way, he became the school's all-time winningest football coach with an 82-77-1 (.516) overall record.

Bridgewater senior wide receiver Tyler Beiler received the J. Stokeley Fulton Offensive Player of the Year Award, while Hampden-Sydney senior linebacker Trevor Ikwild was tabbed the Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year.  Mike Pitsenberger of Catholic University rounded out the top award recipients with his selection as the ODAC Rookie of the Year.

Washington and Lee's eight wins were the program's most since the 1981 season.  The Generals advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second time in program history, falling to ninth-ranked Thomas More, 42-14.  Eight of the team's 10 all-conference selections will return to the field for the 2011 season.

-- GENERALS --