All-MEC Honors for Eight Hilltopper Gridders

All-MEC Honors for Eight Hilltopper Gridders

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Eight West Liberty University football players were named to the Spring 2021 All-Mountain East Conference Team on Thursday afternoon when the MEC coaches released the results of their post-season balloting.

    Running back Quincy Wimbish and punter/kicker Owen Rozanc were first-team selections while H-Back Kyle Ritz, offensive tackle Francisco Pedrozo, defensive end David Gilcreast, linebacker Clay McDonald and the defensive back tandem of Koty Hudson and Jason Mitchell all earned second-team laurels in the abbreviated spring season.

    Notre Dame running back Tabyus Taylor was voted MEC Offensive Player of the Year while Frostburg State lineman Zach Strand was the MEC Defensive Player of the Year. UNC Pembroke's Jai'Veon Smalls (Offensive) and Dante Bowling (Defensive) swept the MEC Freshman of the Year awards. Notre Dame first-year head coach Mickey Mental was the MEC Coach of the Year.     

    Following are brief capsules on West Liberty’s All-MEC honorees:

QUINCY WIMBISH, a 6-0, 200-pound senior from Carson, Calif., led the Hilltoppers in rushing and ranked No. 3 in the MEC with 350 yards on 80 carries. He had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games against Alderson Broaddus and Wheeling, the first WLU back to top 100 yards in consecutive games since 2017.

OWEN ROZANC, a 5-10, 175-pound junior from Sheffield Lake, Ohio, is a two-time All-MEC selection, having earned second-team honors as a freshman. The two-time MEC Special Teams Player of the Week led the league in punting at 42.6 yards per punt and was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts.

KYLE RITZ, a 6-3, 230-pound senior from New Martinsville, W.Va., caught at least one pass in every game and was regarded as one of the top blocking tight ends in the conference.

FRANCISCO PEDROZO, a 6-7, 310-pound junior from Canton, Ohio, was West Liberty's top vote-getters on an improving offensive line that averaged nearly 200 rushing yards a game over the Hilltoppers' final three outings.

DAVID GILCREAST, a 6-3, 210-pound junior from Akron, Ohio, was one of the leading playmakers on an opportunistic WLU defense with 6.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks - both team-highs!

CLAY McDONALD, a 6-3, 235-pound senior from Wheeling, W.Va., is a repeat All-MEC selection after earning second-team honors in 2019. McDonald ranked second on the team with 25 tackles, highlighted by a team season-high 11 stops against Wheeling.

KOTY HUDSON, a 6-0, 190-pound senior from Follansbee, W.Va., was the Hilltoppers' leading tackler with 28 stops from his free safety spot, including a team-high 18 solo tackles.

JASON MITCHELL, a 5-10, 175-pound freshman from Springdale, Md., emerged as an impact performer in his debut season, leading the team with two interceptions and ranking third on the squad with 21 total tackles in just four games.


Spring 2021 All-Mountain East Conference Team

        Offensive Player of the Year: Tabyus Taylor (Notre Dame)

        Offensive Freshman of the Year: Jai'Veon Smalls (UNC Pembroke)

        Defensive Player of the Year: Zach Strand (Frostburg State)

        Defensive Freshman of the Year: Dante Bowling (UNC Pembroke)

        Coach of the Year: Mickey Mental (Notre Dame)



Pos.  Name                                            School                             

QB     Josh Jones                                    UNC Pembroke              

QB     Guy Myers                                    Charleston                      

RB     Tyreik McAllister                         Charleston                      

RB     Tabyus Taylor                              Notre Dame                    

RB     QUINCY WIMBISH                     WEST LIBERTY               

WR    Kyle Belack                                   Frostburg State              

WR    Devanaire Conliffe                     Notre Dame                    

WR    Marquis McCoy                           Charleston                      

TE      Zaire Mitchell                               Notre Dame                    

FB      Nate Forte                                    Frostburg State              

OL     Gottlieb Ayedze                          Frostburg State              

OL     Nick Beans                                   Notre Dame                    

OL     Jimmy Burchett                           Notre Dame                    

OL     Greg Gaines                                 Frostburg State              

OL     Brandon Nicholson                    Notre Dame                    


DL      Savion Davis                                 Notre Dame                    

DL      BJ Faniran                                     Charleston                      

DL      Noah Harris Lyles                        Notre Dame                    

DL      Carl Igweh                                    Frostburg State              

DL      Jack Kosko                                    Notre Dame                    

DL      Zach Strand                                  Frostburg State              

LB      Jake Broschart                             Frostburg State              

LB      Dustin Crouser                            W.Va. State                    

LB      Keon Freeman                             Charleston                      

LB      Guam Lee                                     Notre Dame                    

LB      Nate Moore                                 Notre Dame                    

DB     Kei Beckham                                Charleston                      

DB     Tavon Hooks                                Notre Dame                    

DB     Devin Jones                                  UNC Pembroke              

DB     Ibrahim Sesay                              W.Va. State                    

DB     Bryce Shepphert                          Notre Dame                    

Special Teams

P        OWEN ROZANC                          WEST LIBERTY

K        Tanner Harding                           Notre Dame                    

RET   Devin Jones                                  UNC Pembroke              



QB     Chris Brimm                                 Notre Dame                    

RB     Sy Alli                                             Wheeling                         

RB     Joe Early                                       UNC Pembroke              

RB     Dante Jones                                 W.Va. State                    

RB     Dymier Still                                   Alderson Broaddus       

WR    Trey Dixon                                    UNC Pembroke              

WR    Zay Huff                                        Glenville State                

WR    Ryan LaFollette                           Wheeling                         

WR    Jai'Veon Smalls                            UNC Pembroke              

TE      Will Hall                                        Frostburg State              

HB     KYLE RITZ                                     WEST LIBERTY               

OL     Gage Baldwin                              UNC Pembroke              

OL     Michael Kyle                                Notre Dame                    

OL     Elbert Munn                                 Charleston                      

OL     Tariq Parkings                              Charleston                      

OL     FRANCISCO PEDROZO               WEST LIBERTY               

OL     Adam Riegler                               Notre Dame                    


DL      DAVID GILCREAST                     WEST LIBERTY               

DL      Eliah Goodman                            Charleston                      

DL      Ben Jaramillo                               UNC Pembroke              

DL      Masanka Kanku                           UNC Pembroke              

DL      Kendell Robinson                        W.Va. State                    

LB      Dylan Culpen                               Frostburg State              

LB      Dalton Hoover                             Wheeling                         

LB      CLAY MCDONALD                      WEST LIBERTY               

LB      Michael Perry                              Charleston                      

LB      Kenjae Rose                                 Charleston                      

LB      Dylan Spaeth                               Notre Dame                    

DB     Reggie Collins                              Charleston                      

DB     KOTY HUDSON                            WEST LIBERTY               

DB     JASON MITCHELL                       WEST LIBERTY               

DB     Tyleeke Smith                              Alderson Broaddus       

DB     Rich White                                    Wheeling                         

DB     DeVonte Whitt                            Charleston                      

Special Teams

P        Dominic Buttazzoni                    Notre Dame                    

K        Tim McCutcheon                        Charleston                      

RET   Andre Allen                                  Notre Dame                    


          QB: Graham Walker (FROST)

          HB: Brady Kolb (WU)

          WR: Shammond Hicks (UNCP), Barry Hill (WVSU), Malik Morris (FROST)

          TE: Tristan Ballard (WU)

          OL: Brandon Dillard (FROST), Aaron Hess (WU), Zach Lyons (AB), Donnie McCollister (UC) Ian Pomeroy (GSC), Cade Raudebaugh (WU), Andres Sagastume (WVSU)

          DL: Jordan Gardener (WU), Ellis Lilly (GSC), Brandon Munoz (WU), Rudy Ngougni (NDC)

          LB: Ryan Gorman (WU), Sawyer Koons (AB), Ryan Shelton (FROST), Jason Simon (WU)

          DB: Dante Bowling (UNCP), Jermichael Isom (WU), Dane Lynch (GSC), Ron Salter (NDC), Josiah Wright (WU)

          P: Shawn Bliss (FROST)

          K: Dayne Koontz (FROST)

          RET: Chris Canady (WU)

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