13 USM Spires Football Players Named to All-Conference Teams

11/13/2012 12:00:00 AM

Quarterback Mike Keese Wins Offensive Player of the Year

Mike Keese(Leavenworth, Kan.)—Thirteen University of Saint Mary Football Players have been honored by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) with end-of-season awards, including Offensive Player of the Year honors for Spires senior quarterback Mike Keese.

Keese, from Olathe, Kan., threw for 3,189 yards on the season with 26 TDs. He also completed 61 percent of his passes, and led the conference in passing yards per game, with just under 290 per contest.

Keese was also one of two Spires named First Team All-Conference by the KCAC, along with junior wide receiver Jerrell Young, of Portland, Ore.

“Mike Keese is very deserving of the honor of KCAC Offensive Player of the Year,” said Head Spires Football Coach Lance Hinson. “Our team relied heavily on Mike and he performed. Mike was not only the top quarterback in our league, but he finished the season as the third leading passer in the nation. Mike will be an Academic All-American again and very well may get some national recognition for his 2012 season.”

“Jerrell Young was very deserving of his First Team All-KCAC honor as well,” Coach Hinson said. “Jerrell finished the season ninth in the nation in receiving and dropped only two passes all year long.”

Making Second Team All-KCAC were: sophomore running back Will Ryan, of Pleasant Ridge, Kan., junior wide receiver Ronnie Cooper, of Plano, Texas, senior offensive lineman Sean Santillan, of Bakersfield, Calif., freshman defensive lineman Vincent Ta'ala, of Pago Pago in American Samoa, sophomore defensive back Eli Amador, of New Waverly, Texas, and senior linebacker Cris Basch, of Las Vegas.

Earning KCAC Honorable Mention were: junior running back Evan Hearn, of Plainview, Texas, sophomore defensive back David Harley, of Sugar Hill, Ga., sophomore offensive lineman Alan Gudka, of Keenesburg, Colo., sophomore wide receiver Alex Gomes, of Cameron Park, Calif., and senior defensive lineman Opetia Tuiava, of Colorado Springs, Colo.

“All of our guys who received recognition were very deserving,” Coach Hinson said. “These guys played their hearts out, and it showed in our strong finish to the season.”

The Saint Mary Football Team finished the season with a 6-5 record overall, 6-3 in the KCAC—good for third place in the conference.

Saint Mary has 12 varsity sports programs—football, volleyball, baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, cross country, and track & field—along with co-ed cheerleading and dance. Visit www.gospires.com to learn more about USM athletics.