Above photo by Luke C. Zayas/True To The Cru
BELTON, Texas- ASC All-Conference honors poured in for the UMHB football team on Tuesday afternoon, as 22 different players were recognized by the conference for their performances in this shortened spring season.
Jefferson Fritz headlined the awards for the Cru, as the senior safety was named the ASC Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in his collegiate career. He also earned First-Team honors both as a defensive back and a punter. Through five games, he tallied three interceptions, and extended his school and conference record to 21. He had 28 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss (TFL) and two pass break-ups. Per punt he averaged 43.3 yards.
Center Steven Sellers, in his final season at UMHB, was named ASC Offensive Lineman of the Year for the second consecutive year. He played a key role on a UMHB offense that averaged 42.2 points and 198.8 rushing yards per game. The Crusader offensive line allowed just nine sacks on the five-game season.
The incredibly elusive KJ Miller picked up Special Teams Player of the Year honors and was also named First-Team as a slotback and returner. As the Cru’s primary kick and punt returner, he averaged 17.7 yards per punt return and 22.6 yards per kick return. He also hauled in 20 passes for 181 yards and one touchdown. His best return this spring came against Louisiana College when Miller returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown.
Also named First-Team on offense was guard Jeffrey Sims Jr., who aided in the Cru’s strong offensive line. On defense, defensive end Khevon Shepard, and linebackers Akeem Jackson, Jacob Mueller and Mikkah Hackett each were included on the First Team. Shepard started all five games and posted an impressive 6.5 TFL. Jackson led the Cru in that stat category with 10.5 TFL. Mueller had UMHB’s only “pick-six” this season, as he returned an interception for eight yards and a touchdown against Louisiana College. Hackett led the team with 23 solo tackles.
Six Crusaders found their names on the conference’s Second Team.
Wide receiver Kadarius Daniels, in his final season of college football, caught nine passes for 227 yards and four scores. Tight end Gary Ruckman proved to be a consistent blocker in the run game, and also hauled in four catches. Quarterback Kyle King, who stepped into a starting role for the season’s final two games, threw for 613 yards and six touchdowns. He also had six scores on the ground and 181 rushing yards. Montana Miller rounded out the Second-Team group of offense as he had 209 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, linebacker E’Monte Smith, with 2.5 tackles for loss, and cornerback Drake Johnson, who tallied two interceptions, each were named to the Second Team.
The Third Team featured three UMHB standouts in running back Kenneth Cormier Jr., defensive tackle Sante Parker Jr. and cornerback Titus Dunk.
Wide receiver Brenton Martin, offensive tackle Ethan Ruckman, kicker Anthony Avila and defensive tackle Tristan Green received Honorable Mention selections.
Quarterback Tommy Bowden was honored as a member of the ASC’s Sportsman Team of the Year.