FERRUM, Va. - Following voting conducted by the members of the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID), six Bridgewater College players were named to the College Division All-State football team in a release by the organization on Monday afternoon.
Offensive lineman Kyle Keister, defensive lineman Joel Francis and cornerback Darrick Gore each earned first team accolades while offensive lineman Shawn Otte, defensive lineman Danny Grogg and linebacker Andrew Palmer each picked up second team honors.
For Francis, the recognition comes on the heels of his selection by the Richmond Times Dispatch and Richmond Touchdown Club as the state's top defensive lineman and as the Roanoke Times College Division Defensive Player of the Year.
Francis earned a spot of the D3Football.com South Region team, becoming the first All-Region defensive choice for the Eagles since Dominic Jeter's third team selection in 2010. Earlier in the offseason, Francis was also named the Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and also picked up first team all-conference accolades.
Francis turned in a stellar senior season for the Bridgewater Eagles football team cracking the top five in the ODAC in sacks and tackles for a loss. Francis ranked in a tie for fifth in the league in sacks among defensive linemen with 4.5 and led the conference in tackles for a loss among defensive linemen with 12.5.
Overall, the Woodbridge, Va. native finished in a tie for sixth in the league in sacks and was ranked third in tackles for a loss. Francis also forced one fumble on the season and accounted for a score with a safety in Bridgewater's season opening victory at St. Vincent.
On the year, Francis amassed 55 tackles which led the league among defensive linemen and ranked him in a tie for 23rd in the league overall.
Francis ranks sixth in program history in tackles for a loss with 33.5 and is seventh all-time in sacks with 12.5.
Gore was brilliant all season long in Bridgewater's new-look defensive umbrella. The sophomore started in all 10 games and led the secondary in tackles with 50 on the year. Gore broke up three passes on the year and also recorded one interception in Bridgewater's five-interception performance in the season finale at Catholic. The Petersburg, Va. native also posted eight tackles for a loss on the year.
Keister made 10 consecutive start and saw time in 673 plays on the year. The Roanoke, Va. native led the offensive line group in knock down and surrendered just one sack on the year.
Grogg was a disruptive force with Francis in the middle of Bridgewater's four-man front. The Harrisonburg, Va. native posted 43 tackles on the year and also recorded 2.5 sacks, which ranked him 16th in the league. Grogg started in all 10 games for the Eagles on the year and also posted one fumble recovery to go along with one blocked kick and was named the ODAC Defensive Player of the Week following the Shenandoah game.
Palmer was Bridgewater's statistical leader in the linebacking corps. The Penn Laird, Va. native ranked eighth in the ODAC in total tackles with 84, while ranking seventh in tackle assists with 48. On the year, Palmer recorded 1.5 sacks and six tackles for a loss. Palmer also intercepted two passes, with one in the season opener at St. Vincent and the other coming in Bridgewater's non-conference finale at the Apprentice School.
Otte made 10 consecutive starts and saw time in 679 plays. The senior surrendered one sack and was named to the All-ODAC list for the second season in a row after a third-team selection in 2011.
Francis, Grogg, Palmer, Otte, Gore and the rest of the Eagles finished the 2012 season with a 7-3 overall record.
2012 VaSID College Division All-State Football Team
Coach of the Year: Scott Abell, Washington and Lee
Offensive Player of the Year: Luke Heinsohn, RB, Washington and Lee
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Paul Dukes, RB, Christopher Newport
Defensive Player of the Year: Evan Moog, LB, Christopher Newport
First Team - Offense
QB – Nash Nance, So., Hampden-Sydney
RB – Luke Heinsohn, Sr., W&L
RB – Will McGhee, Jr., Randolph-Macon
WR – Rudy Rudolph, So., CNU
WR – Holton Walker, So., Hampden-Sydney
TE – Jeff Waldron, Sr., Southern Virginia
OL – Will Ferrell, Jr., Hampden-Sydney
OL – Connor Hollenbeck, Jr., W&L
OL – Bobby Jones, Jr., W&L
OL – Kyle Keister, Jr., Bridgewater
OL – JL Tyree, Jr., Ferrum
First Team - Defense
DL – Joel Francis, Sr., Bridgewater
DL – Scott Hall, Jr., Emory & Henry
DL – Justin Navarro, Jr., CNU
DL – Lynwood Pickett, Jr., Ferrum
LB – Kenny Fryman, Sr., Hampden-Sydney
LB – Jujuan Johnson, Sr., Shenandoah
LB – Evan Moog, Jr., CNU
CB – Darrick Gore, So., Bridgewater
CB – Tyshawn Harris, Sr., CNU
S – Steven Fogleman, Jr., Hampden-Sydney
S – Jake Pelton, Sr., W&L
First Team - Specialists
RET – Storm Parker, Fr., CNU
PK – Max Antwerpes, So., Hampden-Sydney
P – Wes Franklin, Jr., Ferrum
Second Team - Offense
QB – Tim Reynolds, So., Ferrum
RB – Paul Dukes, Fr., CNU
RB – Brett Murray, Sr., W&L
WR – Cameron Williams, Sr., Southern Virginia
WR – Luke Sellers, Sr., Randolph-Macon
TE – Zach Midulla, Jr., Randolph-Macon
OL – Matt Doty, Jr., CNU
OL – Justin Farmer, Jr., Emory & Henry
OL – Harry John, Sr., Averett
OL – Ryan McTheny, Sr., CNU
OL – Shawn Otte, Sr., Bridgewater
Second Team - Defense
DL – Ian Candelaria, Sr., Randolph-Macon
DL – Danny Grogg, Sr., Bridgewater
DL – Luke Herndon, Sr., Southern Virginia
DL – Scott Hill, Jr., Emory & Henry
LB – Jatavious Adams, Jr., Ferrum
LB – Andrew Palmer, Jr., Bridgewater
LB – Devan Sproles, Sr., Emory & Henry
CB – DeMikael Burse, Jr., Emory & Henry
CB – Zachary Grkman, Jr., Averett
S – Tae Motley, Sr., Ferrum
S – Tarrell Owens, Jr., Ferrum
Second Team - Specialists
RET – Odis Wesby, Jr., Apprentice
PK – Matt Turchin, Sr., Emory & Henry
P – Cory Gay, Sr., Shenandoah