COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (November 17, 2015) – Twenty-one Colorado State University-Pueblo football student-athletes earned 26 honors from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Tuesday, as the yearly major and all-conference awards were doled out.
In addition to the player recognition, CSU-Pueblo Head Coach John Wristen earned his fifth straight RMAC Coach of the Year honor.
The 2015 RMAC Champions (10-1, 9-0 RMAC) nearly swept the major awards, as senior Cameron McDondle (RB, Littleton, Colo.) was named RMAC Offensive Player of the Year, senior Morgan Fox (DL, Fountain, Colo.) was honored as RMAC Defensive Player of the Year, quarterback AJ Thompson (Denver, Colo.) was recognized as Offensive Freshman of the Year and cornerback Darius Williams (Gilbert, Ariz.) earned Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Since 2011, the Pack have placed 18 or more players on the All-RMAC team each season. Since its first season back as a program in 2008, CSU-Pueblo now has 12 conference players of the year.
Senior Kieren Duncan (WR/Return Specialist, Goodyear, Ariz.) picked up three awards Tuesday, as he was named first team offense and first team kick returner, while also being recognized as honorable mention punt returner.
Honored as first team offense were McDondle, Duncan and offensive linemen Zach Martinez (Sr., Redlands, Calif.), Gary Dixon (Sr., Fontana, Calif.), Ty McCulley (So., Pueblo, Colo.) and Corbin Feenstra (So., Superior, Colo.).
First team defense honorees included Fox, senior Tony Campton (NG, Littleton, Colo.), senior Ben Estica (OLB, Palm Beach, Fla.), junior Sam Singleton (OLB, Denver, Colo.), Williams, and junior safeties Joseph Jones (Fountain, Colo.) and LaRon Tarkington (Phoenix, Ariz.).
Second team members were sophomore Bernard McDondle (RB, Littleton, Colo.), sophomore Zach Boyd (TE, Fort Lupton, Colo.), junior Josh Croy (DE, Littleton, Colo.), senior Joe Rosenbrock (ILB, Brush, Colo.) and senior Greg O'Donnell (K, Monument, Colo.).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR BIOS
Cameron McDondle (Offensive Player of the Year and First Team Offense) – McDondle leads NCAA Division II in rushing touchdowns (24) and scoring (14.3 ppg), while sitting second in rushing yards (1,943) and rushing yards per game (194.3) … Ranks third in all-purpose yards (202) and yards per carry (8.2) … Rushed for more that 150 yards in all 10 games played … Established a new single-season program record with 308 rushing yards against then-No. 7 Colorado Mines … Totaled four rushing touchdowns at Chadron State … Program's all-time leading rusher ranks second in career rushing in the RMAC with 5,659 yards … First at the school and second in the RMAC all-time in rushing touchdowns with 56 … Named RMAC Offensive Player of the Week twice and NFFCC Player of the Week on three occasions … Named All-RMAC First Team in 2014.
Morgan Fox (Defensive Player of the Year and First Team Defense) – Fox leads the nation in sacks per game with 1.67 … In nine games has totaled 15.0 sacks (-114 yards is second nationally) to rank second in total sacks (14 solo sacks is second) … Sits tied for eighth nationally with 2.0 tackles for loss per game … Totaled 18 tackles for loss resulting in -120 yards (third nationally) … Is one sack shy of establishing the new program single-season and career record … Owns 34 career sacks … Named RMAC Defensive Player of the Week twice and NFFCC Player of the Week once … Is now a three-time All-RMAC award winner (first team in 2014, second team in 2013).
AJ Thompson (Offensive Freshman of the Year) – Thompson went 9-0 as the starting quarterback for the ThunderWolves … Ranked third in the league in pass efficiency with a 167.8 rating … Passed for 1,268 yards and 12 touchdowns with just four interceptions on 130 attempts … Finished the regular season with a 61.5 completion percentage and averaged 9.7 yards per completion … Rushed for an additional 164 yards and two scores.
Darius Williams (Defensive Freshman of the Year) – Williams totaled 25 tackles (18 solo), as he earned a starting spot for the final seven games of the season … Brought down two interceptions and returned them 100 yards, which included a 53-yard touchdown return against Adams State … Led the team with eight break-ups and ranked seventh in the RMAC in passes defended (10) … Named RMAC Defensive Player of the Week once.
John Wristen (Head Coach) – The five-time RMAC Coach of the Year led the ThunderWolves to their fifth straight RMAC Championship in 2015, which includes four undefeated conference seasons … The 2014 National Coach of the year owns a 78-17 (.821) record in eight seasons with the Pack and a 57-12 (.826) mark in conference play … CSU-Pueblo is the winningest team in NCAA Division II since 2010 with a 67-7 record and .905 winning percentage.
FIRST TEAM BIOS
Kieren Duncan (First Team Offense, First Team Kick Returner, Honorable Mention Punt Returner) – Duncan has appeared in all eleven games for the Pack … Corralled 25 passes thrown his direction, leading the team in both receptions and reception yards with 468 on the year … Averaged 42.5 yards per game including a 18.7 yards per reception mark … Duncan received five touchdown passes, his season long 70-yard touchdown reception came Oct. 10 against Fort Lewis Returned 14 kickoffs and totaled 426 yards with a average of 30.4 yards to rank sixth nationally… Returned one kickoff for a touchdown Sept. 12 on a 98-yard return at West Texas A&M … Duncan returned 20 punts on the year and compiled 251 yards with a average of 12.6 yards per return to sit 15th nationally … Recorded a season long 41 yard return Oct. 31 at Black Hills State … Sits 27th in NCAA Division II in combined kick returns (677 yards) … RMAC Special Teams Player of the Week … First Team All-RMAC Offense in 2014.
Zach Martinez (First Team Offense) – Started all 11 games at left tackle … Three-time All-RMAC First Team member.
Gary Dixon (First Team Offense) – Started all 11 games at left guard … Two-time All-RMAC First Team member.
Ty McCulley (First Team Offense) – Started all 11 games at right tackle.
Corbin Feenstra (First Team Offense) – Started the last nine games at center.
Offensive Line Bio: The ThunderWolves finished fifth nationally in rushing offense with 314.9 yards per game … Guided RMAC Offensive Player of the Year Cameron McDondle … Sat 29th in sacks allowed (1.27 spg) … The Pack ranked 12th in NCAA Division II in scoring with 41.5 points per game … CSU-Pueblo finished 18th nationally in passing yards per completion (15.1 yards) and ranked 10th in the nation in red zone offense (90.2%).
Tony Campton (First Team Defense) – Campton started all 11 games and made 34 tackles (12 solo) … Recorded 3.5 sacks for -29 yards and 8.5 tackles for loss of 39 yards … The sack total ranked second on a team that finished tied for 14th nationally in the category ... Campton blocked one punt the season … Three-time All-RMAC (First team in 2014, second team in 2013).
Ben Estica (First Team Defense) – Estica started all 11 games at outside linebacker for the Pack … Totaled 48 tackles with 26 solo … Estica recorded 1.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss (35 yards) … Forced a fumble and brought down two interceptions for 51 yards … Added one pass breakup … Estica had a season-high seven tackles Sept. 5 against Central Washington … Three-time All-RMAC (Second team in 2014 and 2013).
Sam Singleton (First Team Defense) – Singleton started 10 games and recorded 38 tackles (22 solo) … Singleton earned one sack and three tackles for loss (9 yards) … Forced a fumble, corralled two interceptions for 30 yards and added three pass breakups … Singleton earned a season-high nine tackles Sept. 12 at West Texas A&M and also returned an interception 10 yards for a score … Blocked a punt Sept. 5 in the home opener against Central Washington that was returned 23 yards to the end zone.
Joseph Jones (First Team Defense) – Jones finished the regular season third on the ThunderWolves with 54 tackles (31 solo) … Jones earned a team-high four interceptions (fourth in the RMAC) for 52 yards and three pass breakups … Recorded two tackles for loss of eight yards … Totaled a season-high twelve tackles Sept. 12 at West Texas A&M … The Pack defense allowed 14.5 points per game (third nationally) and totaled 20 interceptions (fifth in the nation) during the regular season.
LaRon Tarkington (First Team Defense) – Tarkington was a part of the ThunderWolves defense that allowed 14.5 points per game (third nationally) and totaled 20 interceptions (fifth in the nation) … Recorded 41 total tackles including 19 solo … Tarkington earned one interception for twenty-five yards (went for a touchdown) and six pass breakups on the season … Tarkington posted a season-high eight tackles Sept. 26 against Western New Mexico … Named honorable mention all-conference in 2014.
SECOND TEAM BIOS
Bernard McDondle (Second Team Offense) – McDondle finished second behind older brother Cameron with 1,083 rushing yards (sixth in conference), averaging 108.3 yards per game (fourth in RMAC, 30th nationally) and 9.3 yards per carry in 10 games played … The yards per carry mark is best in NCAA Division II … McDondle rushed for 13 touchdowns (fourth in RMAC, 30th in nation), which included a season high 84-yard run Oct. 3 at Adams State … Finished with six kickoff returns for 134 yards, averaging 22.3 yards per return and recorded a 60-yard kickoff return Sept. 19 versus Western State … Earned RMAC Offensive Player of the Week.
Zach Boyd (Second Team Offense) – Boyd finished second on the team in total receiving yards (366) and receiving yards per game (33.3) … Caught five touchdown passes, including a career high (and season best for the Pack) 90-yard reception Oct. 3 at Adams State … Brought in 16 receptions, which was good for third on the ThunderWolves … Averaged 22.9 yards per reception.
Josh Croy (Second Team Defense) – Started 11 games on the Pack defensive line … Recorded 36 total tackles (21 solo) … Earned two sacks and eight tackles for loss (-31 yards) … Croy was the lone defender in on a blocked field goal attempt Sept. 12 at West Texas A&M.
Joe Rosenbrock (Second Team Defense) – Rosenbrock appeared in nine games for the Pack … Finished fourth on the ThunderWolves defense in total tackles with 51 on the year … Recorded 32 solo tackles and one sack (-6 yards) and five tackles for loss of (-13 yards) … Rosenbrock had three pass breakups on the year … Posted a season-high 10 tackles Sept. 12 at West Texas A&M.
Greg O'Donnell (Second Team Special Teams) – O'Donnell appeared in all eleven games and scored 81 points as the Pack's primary place kicker … Went 8-for-10 (80%) on field goal attempts and connected on a season-long 45-yard field goal Sept. 12 at West Texas A&M … O'Donnell ended the regular season with a 95 percent success rate in point after attempts (57-of-60) … Totaled 4,679 yards on 80 kickoffs to average 58.5 yards per kick … Compiled 36 touchbacks and didn't have a kickoff go out of bounds all year.
HONORABLE MENTION BIOS
Chance Rodriguez (Honorable Mention Offense) – Started in the first eight games for CSU-Pueblo before suffering an injury. See offensive line bio above.
Kevin Cuff (Honorable Mention Defense) – Cuff started all 11 games this season … Finished the regular season second on the ThunderWolves in solo tackles (34) and total tackles (55) … Recorded three sacks for a loss of 22 yards along with 5.5 tackles for loss (25 yards) … Added two pass breakups … Cuff earned a season high 11 tackles with one sack, one tackle for loss and a pass breakup Sept. 19 versus Western State … Named RMAC Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2012.
The ThunderWolves are prepared to appear in their fifth straight NCAA Playoffs Saturday when it hosts University of Indianapolis at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. Game time in the first round of the playoffs is set for noon.
Single-game tickets are on sale now at the Massari Arena Box Office from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and Friday until 12 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the ThunderBowl Ticket Office from 12-5 p.m. Friday or two hours before game time. Tickets are $12 and can also be purchased online at gothunderwolves.com beginning at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.