PLAINVIEW, Texas – Seven members of the Lyon College football team were recently honored when they were named as first- and second-team members of the 2016 All-Central States Football League teams. Twelve Scots received honorable mention and 11 Lyon squad members earned Academic All-CSFL honors, the league office announced.
Two-time CSFL champion Arizona Christian University had the most superlative and first and second-team members with 20, followed by Langston University (12), Southwestern Assemblies of God (11), Wayland Baptist University (10), Lyon (7) and Bacone College (5). Texas College did not have a player recognized on the all-league first or second-team squads.
Lyon's Michael Bowles (SR/Earle, Ark.) and Tre Hawkins (SO/Houston, Texas) highlighted the Scot awards. Bowles, who was a first-team honoree in 2015, once again was chosen to the first team, along with Hawkins, who was named as both a kick returner and punt returner. Tight end Jonathan Hendrix (SO/Batesville, Ark.) was also a first-team player for the second consecutive year.
Scots being named to the second team included offensive lineman Tyler Vanlandingham (SO/Memphis, Tenn.), defensive lineman Nick Bernier (SO/Sarasota, Fla.) and defensive back Cedric Cooney (SO/Lonoke, Ark.).
Arizona Christian had four members of the squad earn superlative awards in the CSFL. Head Coach Jeff Bowen was named Coach of the Year, while the Offensive Player of the Year went to Firestorm quarterback Gerrit Groenewold. Wayland Baptist linebacker Alden Mann was named Defensive Player of the Year.
The Special Teams Player of the Year went to ACU kick returner Derek Brush, while teammate Johnathan Parks (wide receiver) was named Newcomer of the Year. Bacone linebacker Jaelon Rainey was named Freshman of the Year and Langston running back Kievon Jackson was named Athlete of the Year.
After finishing third in the country in total rushing yards in 2015, Bowles surpassed his total a year ago, finishing with 1,457 yards in 2016. He finished fifth in the country and first in the CSFL in total yards rushing this season, sixth nationally and first in the conference in rushing yards per game (132.5), 11th nationally and first in the CSFL in all-purpose yards (1,617), 13th nationally and second in the conference in all-purpose yards per game (147.0) and 30th in the nation second in the league in points scored (74). He had the highest single-game total of the season in the CSFL, running for 253 yards against Morthland College.
Bowles finished his two-year Lyon career with 2,888 yards, 18 touchdowns, 131.3 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry.
Hawkins led the nation in kickoff return yards, finishing with 1,047 yards. He also ranked seventh in the nation and first in the CSFL in kickoff return average (29.1), 25th in the nation and first in the league in punt return yardage (139) and 50th in the nation and fifth in the conference all-purpose yards (1,134).
Hendrix caught three passes last season, increasing that to 24 receptions in 2016, which ranked 13th in the CSFL. He tallied 230 yards on catches, averaging 9.6 yards per reception, while scoring three touchdowns.
SECOND TEAM ALL-CSFL
Vanlandingham (left photo) helped the Lyon offense finish sixth in the nation in total rushing yards, setting a school record with 2,886 yards. The Scots' offense ranked seventh nationally and second in the CSFL in rushing yards per game (262.4), 21st nationally in first downs per game (22.6) and 27th in fourth down conversion (51.9%).
Bernier (middle photo) totaled 31 tackles on the season, with 11 of those coming as solo stops. He also had nine tackles for losses for 40 yards and four sacks for 23 yards. He broke up one pass.
Cooney (right photo) intercepted one pass on the season, while leading Lyon in tackles with 72. He posted 39 solo stops on the season, one quarterback sack and 1.5 tackles for losses.
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-CSFL
Five Lyon offensive players received Honorable Mention All-CSFL. They included quarterback Dwane Robinson (SO/Palm Bay, Fla.), running back Joe Mahe (JR/Makawao, Hawaii), wide receiver Trent Webb (SO/Kingwood, Texas) and linemen Teago Thomas (FR/Jonesboro, Ark.) and Jacob Lovelace (SR/Stockton, Calif.).
Seven Scot defenders received honorable mention. Players included defensive linemen Sage Wood (SO/West Plains, Mo.) and Jon Alexander (SO/Vilonia, Ark.), linebackers DeAngelo Crawford (FR/Jonesboro, Ark.) and Peter Tuipulotu (JR/San Mateo, Calif.), and defensive backs Stephen Benedik (SO/Panama City, Fla.), Xavier Story (SO/Bushnell, Fla.) and Tre Hawkins.
ACADEMIC ALL-CSFL / CHAMPIONS OF CHARACTER
Eleven members of the Lyon squad earned Academic All-CSFL honors, for earning a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and having completed 12 hours of coursework at their current institution.
Lyon members earning this honor include: Cade Almond (SO/Van Buren, Ark.); Sam Burchfield (SO/Wooster, Ark.); Stephen Benedik; Christian Cain (SO/Huntsville, Ark.); Garrett Denton; David Knight (SO/Sarasota, Fla.); Joe Mahe; Xavier Story; Peter Tuipulotu; Trent Webb; and Braylon Wehrmann (SO/Brownsboro, Texas).
Lyon players Knight and Webb were named to the CSFL Champions of Character team. These players best exemplify the five core values of the NAIA, which are: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.