What a Great RunJun 19th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Sports
BY GEOFF GOYNE
MOST FANS WOULD not have predicted the season that the football team produced if you had told them that 18 student-athletes would go down with season-ending injuries. Even more remarkable about the team’s success was the fact that many of the injured players had titles such as All-American, All-Region and All-Conference attached to their names.
Despite the setbacks, the Wolverines showed they had as much depth as any team in the nation. Wesley overcame the rash of injuries to produce the program’s second straight undefeated regular season. The team not only earned a bid to the NCAA Championships for the sixth straight year, but was awarded the top overall seed in the tournament.
That meant the Wolverines had home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and Wesley holds some of the best home field statistics in small college football. The Wolverines rolled through the first three rounds, claiming the NCAA South Region Championship and the right to host perennial contender Wisconsin– Whitewater in the national semifinals. Wesley took an early lead in the game, but the eventual national champion Warhawks proved too much, ending the Wolverines run at 12–1.
Defensive end Chris Mayes won nearly every defensive player of the year award imaginable, taking home honors in the D3football.com South Region, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) South and the Atlantic Central Football Conference (ACFC). He turned in another dominant season as a junior with 32.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. He also was named an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, D3football.com and the Associated Press. Mayes helped spearhead a defense that led Division III in total defense and placed two other players on All-America squads—linebackers Mike Asiedu and Jeff Morgan.
On the other side of the ball, backup quarterback Justin Sottilare was forced into action on the first offensive series of the year, but the Wolverines offense did not skip a beat. The junior threw for a school and conference record 38 touchdowns and was 14th in Division III in pass efficiency.
Many of those touchdowns went to wide receiver Ellis Krout, who topped 1,000 yards and scored 18 touchdowns before suffering a knee injury in the South Region Championship. The 6’4” senior has drawn interest from nearly every NFL team.
Senior guard Anthony West turned in an All-American season, helping keep opposing defenses away from Sottilare and opening holes for sophomore running back Brandon Wright, who rushed for over 1,000 yards on the season.
Head Coach Mike Drass also reached a milestone during the season with his 150th career win. After the season concluded, the Wolverines were proudly honored with the ECAC Team of the Year and Lambert Meadowlands Trophy, awarded for Eastern football supremacy.
For all the latest scores and highlights, visit the athletics website at athletics.wesley.edu