CARMEL, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) announced the Football All-Conference and marquee awards winners on Thursday.
After sweeping the conference slate, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology earned three of the major award winners.
Senior Noah Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.) earned the title of 2021 HCAC Offensive Player of the Year. Thomas led the league in yards (955-yards), touchdowns (10), and yards per game average (95.5 ypg). He racked up 54 catches over the course of 2021, with his longest a 58-yard haul-in against Defiance College.
Fellow Fightin’ Engineer Michael Stevens (Orland Park, Ill.) was named the 2021 HCAC Defensive Player of the Year. The senior was atop the league leaderboards in several categories, including second in forced fumbles (three) fourth in solo tackles (49), fifth in total tackles (77), 10th in assisted tackles (28), and 11th in sacks (1). Stevens also picked up an interception he returned for 32-yards and had a career-high 11 tackles against Manchester University.
Joining his teammates for the 2021 awards is Jailen Hobbs (Bunnlevel, N.C.), named the 2021 HCAC Special Teams Player of the Year. The sophomore was a standout returner for the Fightin’ Engineers, with 15 kickoff returns in 2021 for an impressive 394-yards. His average per return was an impressive 26.3-yards and he had a long return of 65-yards. Hobbs also racked up an notable tally on punt returns, with 12 returns for 95-yards, for an average of 7.9-yards.
The HCAC recognizes an athlete in their first year of athletic competition who stands out above the rest as the Newcomer of the Year. The coaches selected Garrett Cora (Lizton, Ind.) as the 2021 HCAC Newcomer of the Year. The running back put up impressive numbers in his first year in a Grizzlies uniform, posting 700-yards on the ground. Cora was second in the league in yards per game with 70.0 and was fourth in the conference with his seven touchdowns. His 4.4-yards per carry is good enough for seventh in the league standings, and he tallied and impressive 160 carries over the course of 2021.
Rose-Hulman head coach Jeff Sokol was voted as the 2021 HCAC Coach of the Year, following a perfect 7-0 record in HCAC play, claiming the 2021 HCAC Football Regular Season title and a berth in the 2021 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs. He also led the Fightin’ Engineers to an 8-2 mark overall on the year.
Offensive Player of the Year – Noah Thomas, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Defensive Player of the Year – Michael Stevens, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Special Teams Player of the Year – Jailen Hobbs, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Newcomer of the Year – Garrett Cora, Franklin College
Coach of the Year – Jeff Sokol, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
The HCAC also honors an All-Conference First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention team. The members of those teams are selected by a vote of league coaches and are listed below.
For more information on HCAC football, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the HCAC’s home on the internet at www.heartlandconf.org. Be sure to stay up to date on all of your Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference news by following @HCACDIII on Twitter and by liking the “HCAC DIII” Facebook page.
All-Conference First Team
|Noah Able||DB||Mount St. Joseph|
|Austin Brock||WR||Mount St. Joseph|
|Jonathan Finn||LB||Mount St. Joseph|
|Jarrett Gibson||WR/R||Franklin College|
|Danny Mabe||OL||Mount St. Joseph|
|Joey Newton||WR||Mount St. Joseph|
All-Conference Second Team
|Devon Donawerth||DB||Mount St. Joseph|
|Julius Fisher||LB||Mount St. Joseph|
|Noah Hammond||DL||Mount St. Joseph|
|Eric Moultrie Jr.||OL||Defiance|
|Richard Pope IV||DL||Defiance|
|Austin Price||R||Mount St. Joseph|
|Josh Taylor||QB||Mount St. Joseph|
|Andrew Weeks||OL||Mount St. Joseph|
|Anthony Wright||LB||Mount St. Joseph|
All-Conference Honorable Mention Team
|Brophy Decklan||DL||Mount St. Joseph|
|Kyle Farfsing||K||Mount St. Joseph|
|Keith Holmes Jr.||DL||Bluffton|
|Chandler Kinhalt||WR||Mount St. Joseph|
|Mariano Mckenzie||RB||Mount St. Joseph|
|Ryan Murray||P||Mount St. Joseph|
|Willis Sands Jr.||LB||Manchester|