True To The Cru’s Week 8 Players of the Week

The votes have been counted, and it is now time to announce True To The Cru’s Week 8 Players of the Week presented by the Crusader Football Alumni Association.

As a former Crusader football player, the benefits of becoming a member of the Cru FAA are endless, including family tickets to all Regular Season Home Games, Alumni Tailgates and Post Game celebrations. It also ensures that you will receive the Cru FAA’s Semi- Annual Newsletter and access to all social media communication! Learn more at

Offensive Player of the Week: Aphonso Thomas

Thomas rushed for 100-plus yards for the second time in 2022, tallying 121 total yards on 13 carries in the victory. He also scored his sixth rushing touchdown of the season, and an impressive 9.3 yards per attempt. 

Thomas earned 45 percent of the vote in a close race. 

Photo by Russell Marwitz

Defensive Player of the Week: Sante Parker Jr.

Parker was dominant from his position at defensive end, producing an exceptional stat line of five tackles, three solo tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. He tied his season-high for total tackles, and set a new career best for sacks in a single game. His 4.0 TFL was the most he had recorded since a Feb. 27, 2020 win over Southwestern, when he tallied 4.5. 

Parker earned 73 percent of the vote. 

Photo by Russell Marwitz

Special Teams Player of the Week: Anthony Avila

Avila made his eighth field goal of the season, connecting from 20 yards out, for UMHB’s first points of the game. He was also a perfect 6-of-6 on extra-point attempts. His eight kickoffs went for an average of 54.8 yards per kick.

Avila earned 62 percent of the vote. 

Photo by Russell Marwitz

Volleyball Player of the Week: Ella Brunson

Brunson tallied a team-best 15 assists in the 3-0 loss to UT-Dallas, before coming back the following day with 42 in a sweep of LeTourneau. She played in all six matches for the Cru, and added four kills along with 21 digs. Brunson now has 574 assists in 23 matches. 

Men’s Soccer Player of the Week: Dalton Lloyd

Lloyd was named the ASC Defensive Player of the Week for the second straight week, after two fantastic performances against McMurry and Hardin-Simmons. The goalkeeper broke UMHB’s career win record, with six saves against McMurry and nine in the win over HSU. In total, he had 15 saves on 26 shots as UMHB claimed the regular season conference title. 

Women’s Soccer Player of the Week: Kelli Diaz

Diaz earned the ASC’s Defensive Player of the Week honor, helping UMHB’s defense record consecutive shutouts against McMurry and Hardin-Simmons. The senior played 165 minutes in the two matches, as UMHB improved to 14-0-1 on the year. Her play on the Crusader back line was critical in the program’s first win ever over HSU on Saturday evening.

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