All-MEC honors for 8 West Liberty gridders
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Eight West Liberty University football players were named to the Spring 2021 All-Mountain East Conference Team on Thursday afternoon when the MEC coaches released the results of their post-season balloting.
Running back Quincy Wimbish and punter/kicker Owen Rozanc were first-team selections while H-Back Kyle Ritz, offensive tackle Francisco Pedrozo, defensive end David Gilcreast, linebacker Clay McDonald and the defensive back tandem of Koty Hudson and Jason Mitchell all earned second-team laurels in the abbreviated spring season.
Notre Dame running back Tabyus Taylor was voted MEC Offensive Player of the Year while Frostburg State lineman Zach Strand was the MEC Defensive Player of the Year. UNC Pembroke’s Jai’Veon Smalls (Offensive) and Dante Bowling (Defensive) swept the MEC Freshman of the Year awards. Notre Dame first-year head coach Mickey Mental was the MEC Coach of the Year.
Following are brief capsules on West Liberty’s All-MEC honorees:
QUINCY WIMBISH, a 6-0, 200-pound senior from Carson, Calif., led the Hilltoppers in rushing and ranked No. 3 in the MEC with 350 yards on 80 carries. He had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games against Alderson Broaddus and Wheeling, the first WLU back to top 100 yards in consecutive games since 2017.
OWEN ROZANC, a 5-10, 175-pound junior from Sheffield Lake, Ohio, is a two-time All-MEC selection, having earned second-team honors as a freshman. The two-time MEC Special Teams Player of the Week led the league in punting at 42.6 yards per punt and was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts.
KYLE RITZ, a 6-3, 230-pound senior from New Martinsville, W.Va., caught at least one pass in every game and was regarded as one of the top blocking tight ends in the conference.
FRANCISCO PEDROZO, a 6-7, 310-pound junior from Canton, Ohio, was West Liberty’s top vote-getters on an improving offensive line that averaged nearly 200 rushing yards a game over the Hilltoppers’ final three outings.
DAVID GILCREAST, a 6-3, 210-pound junior from Akron, Ohio, was one of the leading playmakers on an opportunistic WLU defense with 6.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks – both team-highs.
CLAY McDONALD, a 6-3, 235-pound senior from Wheeling, W.Va., is a repeat All-MEC selection after earning second-team honors in 2019. McDonald ranked second on the team with 25 tackles, highlighted by a team season-high 11 stops against Wheeling.
KOTY HUDSON, a 6-0, 190-pound senior from Follansbee, W.Va., was the Hilltoppers’ leading tackler with 28 stops from his free safety spot, including a team-high 18 solo tackles.
JASON MITCHELL, a 5-10, 175-pound freshman from Springdale, Md., emerged as an impact performer in his debut season, leading the team with two interceptions and ranking third on the squad with 21 total tackles in just four games.