November 16, 2011

W&L Football's Westfal and Murray Receive Top ODAC Awards

FOREST, Va. – The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its all-conference football team on Wednesday and Washington and Lee was well represented as senior quarterback Charlie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) received J. Stokeley Fulton Offensive Player of the Year honors and junior running back Brett Murray (Lookout Mountain, Tenn./Baylor) was named the ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Both Westfal and Murray were first team selections as well, and they were joined on the first team by senior offensive lineman John Fitzgibbons (Martinsville, Va./Martinsville), senior linebacker Rob Look (Dallas, Texas/Hillcrest) and junior defensive back Jake Pelton (Charlottesville, Va./Monticello).

Senior linebacker John Kavanagh (Cos Cob, Conn./Greenwich), senior defensive back Mike Hartford (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel), senior punter Spencer Richards (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Prep), junior running back Luke Heinsohn (Charlottesville, Va./Covenant), sophomore tight end Alex Evans (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) and sophomore offensive lineman Connor Hollenbeck (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta) were all named to the second team. 

Additionally, senior placekicker Peter Alston (Norfolk, Va./Norfolk Academy), junior linebacker Stephen Peck (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Cranbrook-Kingswood) and sophomore offensive lineman Bobby Jones (Lynchburg, Va./Heritage) were all selected to the third team.

Westfal is the first General to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors since Marc Watson '02 received the award in 2000.  A Second Team All-ODAC selection last season and the ODAC Rookie of the Year in 2008, he led the conference in passing efficiency (178.7 rating) and was sixth in rushing (73.8 ypg).  All told, he completed 84-of-140 passes for 1,484 yards and 15 touchdowns with just four interceptions, and rushed 138 times for 738 yards and eight touchdowns.  He finished with 2,222 yards of total offense, the third-best total in school history.

Westfal completed his career with a school-record 6,987 yards of total offense.  He also threw a record 45 career touchdown passes and finished fourth all-time in passing yards (4,710) and fifth all-time in rushing yards (2,264).

Murray is the Generals' third straight Scholar-Athlete of the Year honoree after leading the conference with an average of 156.1 all-purpose yards per game.  The environmental studies and business administration double-major was also named to the first team after garnering second team recognition a year ago.  Murray started all 10 games at running back and rushed 128 times for 867 yards and nine touchdowns.  He also caught 25 passes for 378 yards and two more scores, and returned 13 kickoffs for a 24.3 average with another touchdown.

Fitzgibbons was named to the first team for the second consecutive season after serving as the leader of an offensive line that paved the way for the league's top offense.  The Generals averaged 491.8 yards and 38.9 points per game, and ranked among the leaders in Division III with an average of 331.8 rushing yards per game. Fitzgibbons started all 41 games the Generals played during his career, a school record for consecutive starts.

Look received his first nod on the first team after receiving second team accolades following his sophomore season.  The linebacker completed his senior campaign tied for second in the conference with 95 total tackles.  A starter in all 10 games, Look added eight tackles for a loss (-27), 2.0 sacks (-15) and one interception.  He completed his career with 254 tackles, 5.0 sacks and two interceptions.

Pelton was selected to the first team for the second-straight year.  Also a starter in all 10 contests, he finished sixth in the ODAC with 76 total tackles and added seven pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

An Honorable Mention All-ODAC pick as a defensive back last year, Kavanagh garnered second team recognition this year as a linebacker.  He started all 10 games and tied for the team lead with three interceptions and also notched 40 tackles and one sack.  Kavanagh completed his career with 152 tackles, seven interceptions and 4.0 sacks.

Hartford received his first career postseason honor when he was tabbed to the second team.  The cornerback finished the season with 40 tackles (31 solo) and four pass breakups in 10 starts.  He completed his four seasons with 152 tackles, six interceptions and 16 pass breakups.

Richards was also lauded with his first career postseason award when he was named to the second team.  He punted 39 times during the season for an average of 34.2 yards per punt.  A total of 14 punts were downed inside the 20-yardline, with only three touchbacks.  Like Fitzgibbons, Richards started all 41 of W&L's games during his career.  He finished with 175 punts for 6,001 yards and a 34.3 career average.

Heinsohn was named to the second team after posting first team laurels during his sophomore season.  The starting running back for all 10 games finished fourth in the conference with 900 yards rushing on just 142 carries.  His 13 touchdowns and 78 points were third in the ODAC.  He also caught four passes for 86 yards.

Evans was named to the second team after starting all 10 games at tight end.  He led the team in receiving with 25 catches for 470 yards and seven touchdowns, which is tied for the third-highest receiving touchdown total in school history.

Hollenbeck garnered second team honors in 2011 after notching honorable mention accolades as a first-year.  He started all 10 games and helped the Generals eclipse last year's record for total offense (4,918 yds.) and scoring (389 pts.).

Alston was honored with a postseason award for the first time when he garnered third team honors.  He was the conference's eighth-leading scorer with 66 points after making 6-of-8 field goal attempts and all 48 of his PAT attempts.  Alston won the Emory & Henry game with a career-long 40-yard field goal as time expired and he finished his career with a school-record string of 92 consecutive PAT makes.  For his career, Alston was 10-of-14 on field goals and 98-of-99 on PAT attempts.

Peck started all 10 games at linebacker and defensive line in earning his first career postseason award.  He was second in the conference with 6.0 sacks and notched 46 total tackles.

Jones was a starter for all 10 games on the offensive line and helped the Generals lead the league in both rushing yards (3,318) and passing efficiency (171.7).  W&L also led the conference in both third and fourth down conversion percentage, and was third in time of possession.

In other major awards, Hampden-Sydney's Marty Favret was honored as the ODAC Coach of the Year, Emory & Henry junior linebacker Devan Sproles was recognized as the Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year and Randolph-Macon first-year quarterback Zac Naccarato was named the Rookie of the Year.

Washington and Lee completed the 2011 season with an 8-2 overall record and a 5-1 mark in ODAC play.  It was the program's first back-to-back seasons with at least eight wins since three straight from 1960-62.

-- GENERALS --