CARMEL, Ind. - The Mount St. Joseph University football team placed 13 players on the all-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football team, including eight first teams as well as the leagues Special Teams Player of the Year in returner Troy Speakman (Grove City, Ohio/Central Crossing).
First team honorees included quarterback Chaiten Tomlin (Mt. Orab, Ohio/Western Brown), wide receiver Chase Pankey (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller), running back/receiver Cornell Beachem Jr. (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods), kicker Spencer Dufresne (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade Julienne), linebacker Sean Sullivan (Covington, Ky./Holmes), defensive lineman Spencer Kandra (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder), tight end Paul Minor (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central), with Speakman representing the Lions as both a cornerback and a return specialist.
Four Mount players were awarded second team All-HCAC, including linebacker Julius Fisher (St. Mary's, Ohio/St. Mary's Memorial), defensive lineman David Guck (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder), as well as defensive backs Payton Leugers (Goshen, Ohio/Goshen), and Peyton Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio/Norwood). With linebacker Nathan Stone (Cincinnati, Ohio/Glen Este) being named honorable mention all-HCAC.
Tomlin leaves the program as the all-time leader in almost every passing category. This season he led a Lions offense that remained near the top of nation all year in passing, and points scored. For the year he completed 64 percent of his passes for 2943 yards and 31 touchdowns. His top three targets this season were all also on the list. Sophomore Beachem Jr. was the Lions leading runner and receiver this season, carrying the ball 95 times for 648 yards and seven touchdowns, while catching 53 passes for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns. Pankey was second on the team with 49 catches for 646 yards and five touchdowns, and Minor added 27 catches for 292 yards and four touchdowns.
The team was represented on the first time by someone from all three levels of the defense. Kandra was selected to first team after leading the Lions with 8.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Sullivan led the team with 83 tackles from his middle linebacker position, with a pick and a pair of forced fumbles. And Speakman was the Lions top cover man, was second on the team with three picks and led the team with eight pass breakups.
The Lions special teams unit was also well represented on the first team, with Speakman taking home Special Teams Player of the Year due to his outstanding return abilities. Dufresne the Lions place kicker was also named to the first team, after going 6-of-9 on field goal attempts and 40 of 44 on PAT's, finishing second in the HCAC in scoring with 58 points.
The Lions finished the season 7-3, for the schools seventh consecutive winning season.