Foote and Haynes Earn Player of the Year Awards After Dynamic Seasons
HADLEY, Mass. – Junior quarterback
McCallum Foote of Middlebury and senior
safety Rae Haynes of Trinity have been
selected by the conference coaches as the NESCAC Offensive and
Defensive Players of the Year. Foote is the first Panther to earn
the league’s top offensive award since 2009, when former
quarterback Donald McKillop was recognized. Meanwhile, Haynes
became the seventh Bantam defender in the last nine years to be
honored. He follows former linebacker Walter Fallas, who was
recognized in each of the last two seasons.
In just his second season under center for the Panthers, Foote (pictured right) was a nightmare for opposing defenses in 2012. The junior finished the year with NESCAC and program records for passing yards (2,897) and touchdowns (31) while completing 63.7% (256-402) of his throws. He averaged an eye-popping 362.1 yards per game (3rd nationally), posted an efficiency rating of 145.7 and also chipped in with a pair of rushing touchdowns. In eight games started, he was picked off just eight times.
Foote was named NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week on three occasions this year. He also earned the prestigious Gold Helmet Award for the second time in his career after completing 40 of 58 passes for 456 yards and five touchdowns in Middlebury’s 50-21 win at Hamilton on November 3. Over the course of the season, he piled up 400 or more yards through the air three times and tossed five touchdown passes on four occasions for the 7-1 Panthers. Foote was placed on the All-NESCAC First Team for the second straight season.
In addition to being named Defensive Player of the Year, Haynes also received All-NESCAC First Team recognition for the second year in a row. The free safety led the league’s top ranked defense with four interceptions while also piling up 44 tackles and five pass breakups. He was at his best in his team’s 32-20 triumph over Amherst on November 3. After breaking up a pass at his own goal line to hold the Lord Jeffs to a field goal in the first quarter, the senior scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 40-yard interception return in the fourth quarter. From there, the Bantams added one more score to close out their 47th straight home victory.
Haynes (pictured right) capped off his collegiate career with nine tackles and another interception in Trinity’s dramatic 30-24 overtime win at Wesleyan on Saturday. In the process, he helped the Bantams put the finishing touches a perfect 8-0 season and their sixth NESCAC title. As a team, they surrendered just 13.9 points and 254.8 yards per game.
Trinity running back Evan Bunker was named to the All-Conference First Team for the second year in a row after a dominant junior season. The 2010 Rookie of the Year headed up the league’s best rushing offense with 1,275 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 106.6 yards per game and 6.2 yards per carry. Bunker went over the century mark in all eight games, including a 215-yard performance against Amherst.
He was joined on the First Team by teammate Mike Budness, who caught 14 balls out of the backfield for 176 yards and three scores. The sophomore also added 146 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Hamilton’s James Stanell earned First Team honors after amassing a league-best 195.0 all purpose yards per game. Though the junior did the majority of his damage on the ground, running 191 times for 756 yards and five touchdowns, he also made 19 receptions for 194 yards. Stanell ran a kick back 94 yards for a touchdown in the Continentals’ season opener at Amherst on September 22.
Amherst senior offensive lineman John Ceccio was named to the All-NESCAC First Team for the third year in a row. Meanwhile, teammate Rob Wasielewski returned for the second straight year along with Trinity senior Mike Valenti and Wesleyan junior Jacob Scheffer. This year’s First Team also featured Middlebury senior Ryan Moores. With Ceccio and Wasielewski paving the way, Amherst’s rushing attack ranked third in the league with 191.0 yards per game. Valenti’s Bantams racked up a league-high 281 yards on the ground, while Scheffer’s Cardinals led the conference in time of possession. With Moores leading the way, Middlebury surrendered just five sacks in 2012.
Returning to the All-NESCAC First Team at wide receiver for the third year in a row was senior standout Darren Hartwell of Williams. Hartwell was among the league leaders with 34 receptions for 445 yards and five touchdowns. He finished his career as the Ephs’ all-time leader in touchdown grabs with 21. Hartwell was also honored as the return specialist on the First Team for the second year in a row. The senior led the league with a kick return average of 25.4 yards and returned 28 punts for 244 yards. Hartwell ran back the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in his team’s 34-26 win at Hamilton on October 27.
Fellow senior Zach Driscoll was voted to the First Team after a record-breaking year for Middlebury. The wide receiver established new NESCAC records for receptions (83) and touchdown catches (15) in a season, while coming up just three yards short of the yardage mark (1,134). Driscoll ended his career as the Panthers’ all-time leader in receptions (172), yards (2,257) and touchdowns (29). After racking up four touchdowns in a 42-13 win at Colby on September 29, he exploded for 250 yards and three scores in a 30-13 triumph at Williams two weeks later. Driscoll had 10 catches or more in six of Middlebury’s eight games this year.
Fellow Panther Billy Chapman repeated as the First Team selection at tight end. Another one of Foote’s favorite targets, he added 61 receptions, 693 yards and eight touchdowns to his already impressive career totals. The senior went over 100 yards four times, collecting two touchdowns in wins over Bowdoin (September 22), Amherst (October 6) and Bates (October 20).
Rounding out the First Team offensive unit was Amherst junior Jake O’Malley. The wide receiver caught 34 balls for 380 yards and two touchdowns for the Lord Jeffs. His 4.86 receptions per game were good for third in the league.
After two straight years of earning Second Team honors, Colby senior Ryan Veillette was promoted to the All-NESCAC First Team this season. The defensive lineman was the league leader with 7.5 sacks this year to bring his career total to 20.5. Eleven of his 30 tackles went for a loss, and he also chipped in with an interception and a forced fumble. Though Veillette starred on the defensive side of the ball, his biggest play of the year may have come on offense. On a trick play in overtime, he threw a three-yard halfback pass for a touchdown to lift the Mules to a dramatic 21-14 victory at Tufts on November 3.
Joining Veillette as First Team defensive linemen were Wesleyan sophomore Nik Powers, Amherst senior Travis Dickenson and Trinity senior D.L. McDonald.
Powers was a terror for opposing offenses in just his second season with the Cardinals, piling up 7.0 sacks. He was at his best in a 24-22 win at Bates, when he posted a pair of sacks and four tackles for loss. Nine of his 35 tackles this year went for a loss.
Dickenson was equally impressive for the Lord Jeffs, amassing a league-high 13 tackles for loss in 2012. He was among his team leaders in tackles (55), sacks (2.5) and forced fumbles (2).
McDonald also enjoyed a solid senior season for the Bantams, recording 23 tackles and a sack.
Williams linebacker Chris Cameron returned to the All-NESCAC First Team after an outstanding senior campaign. The 2009 Rookie of the Year led the Ephs with 65 tackles (50 solo) while also posting two sacks, two interceptions and 7.5 tackles for loss.
Fellow linebackers Griffin Cardew of Bowdoin, Mike MacDonald of Hamilton and Brett Cde Baca were also voted to the First Team.
Cardew enjoyed a dominant junior season for the Polar Bears, racking up a conference-best 97 tackles (53 solo) over eight games. He registered two sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and an interception. Cardew had 10 or more tackles six times this year, and his 17 against Bates on November 3 tied a program.
MacDonald was elevated to the First Team after earning Second Team honors last fall. The senior ranked third in the NESCAC with 82 tackles (50 solo) to bring his career total to 301. In the process, he became just the second Continental to reach 300 tackle mark. MacDonald tallied five tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries. He finished with 13 tackles in a 14-13 triumph over Bowdoin on October 13.
Cde Baca was among the league leaders with 8.0 tackles for loss. Over the course of his season, the junior collected 35 tackles and a sack.
Haynes was joined on this year’s All-NESCAC First Team by classmate Julian Brown and three other defensive backs. Brown did a little bit of everything for the Bantams, totaling 41 tackles (26 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, six pass breakups, one forced fumble and a sack. The safety came up with seven tackles, one interception and a forced fumble in Trinity’s 27-10 win at Bowdoin on October 20.
Wesleyan junior Jake Bussani repeated as a First Team honoree after picking off five passes this fall. He was among the league leaders with eight pass breakups and also chipped in with 25 tackles. Bussani earned NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors twice this season. After intercepting two pases in the Cardinals’ 35-14 triumph over Tufts on September 22, he added two more picks and a fumble recovery in their 34-14 victory over Bowdoin on October 27.
Bates was represented on the First Team by junior Andrew Kukesh, who finished in a tie for the league lead with six interceptions. As a team, the Bobcats led the conference with 32 turnovers while giving the ball away just 14 times. Kukesh was at the center of the action, posting 55 tackles (43 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The 2010 Second Teamer had interceptions in all but two games this year.
Amherst senior Mike Aldo rounded out this year’s First Team defensive back unit. In addition to picking off passes in three consecutive games, he also broke up five passes, forced two fumbles and collected 33 tackles (21 solo).
Williams placekicker Joe Mallock was voted to the First Team after connecting on a league-best 11 field goals this year. The junior was also 15 for 17 on point after attempts to finish fourth in the conference with 48 points. Mallock was named NESCAC Special Teams Player of the Week twice this fall. He converted a pair of 43-yard field goals and also made a 42-yarder.
Trinity punter Kyle Pulek also made the First Team after an outstanding rookie season. The first year led the conference with an average of 38.3 yards per punt and pinned opponents inside the 20 on 13 occasions. He boomed a 57-yarder in a 27-10 win at Bowdoin on October 20.
Middlebury linebacker Tim Patricia joined McKillop (2007) as the second player in program history to earn NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors. The first year made an immediate impact for the Panthers with 10 or more tackles in six games. His 85 stops (48 solo) were the second most in the league, and he also added five tackles for loss and an interception. Patricia (pictured right) amassed 12 tackles four times this year.
Jeff Devanney of Trinity and Mark Harriman of Bates earned a share of NESCAC Coach of the Year honors.
Devanney garnered the award for the second time (2008) after leading the Bantams to their 10th undefeated season. His team won by an average of 21.2 points and led the league in both scoring offense (35.1) and scoring defense (13.9). In Devanney’s seven seasons at the helm, Trinity has captured two NESCAC titles finished as runner-up five times. His winning percentage of .875 (49-7) is the best in program history.
Harriman’s Bobcats closed out the year with three straight wins to finish in a tie for fourth place with Wesleyan at 5-3. It was the program’s first winning season since posting a 6-2 mark in 1981. Bates finished third in the league with 27.1 points per game due in large part to a +18 advantage in turnover margin. Harriman now has 31 wins in 14 seasons at the helm.
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