WORCESTER – WPI senior Spencer Herrington (Clearfield, PA) was named as the Worcester Area Football Association's Special Teams Player of the Year and was joined by 10 fellow Engineers on the 28th Annual Steve "Merc" Morris All-Star Team. Selections were made by the sports information directors from the eight colleges and universities that sponsor the sport in Worcester County, including Division I Holy Cross and Division II Assumption.
WPI, who tied Assumption with 11 different student-athletes garnering recognition, saw all of its All-NEWMAC honorees earn a spot on this year's scroll. The Boynton Hillers have also boasted a major award winner each of the last three years.
Joining Herrington on the first team were senior offensive lineman Nick Day (Northampton, MA) and junior defensive back Sam Casey (Winchester, MA), as well as, senior defensive back Collin Saunders (Westwood, NJ), junior wide receiver Nic Rossi (Howell, NJ), junior defensive lineman Mike McGoff (Ashland, MA) and junior linebacker Nick Ostrowski (Charlton, MA). Two-time major award winner, junior Sean McAllen (Prospect, CT) headlined the second team, along with senior linebacker Blayne Merchant (Sanderson, FL), junior offensive lineman Vince Lucca (Granby, CT) and sophomore Lou Duh (Monroe, CT).
Herrington was the second team kicker a year ago behind then-Assumption senior Cole Tracy, who went on to win the 2017 Fred Mitchell Award and earn All-SEC accolades as a graduate student kicker at LSU this season, earned the promotion after leading the NEWMAC in points, field goals made and extra points made. In all, he was 12-for-15 with a career-long 42-yard field goal and 30-for-30 in extra point opportunities. His with 66 points also tied for second amongst all NEWMAC student-athletes. Herrington concluded his career a perfect 75-for-75 in PATs, 22-for-27 in field goals, and 141 points. As a punter, Herrington boomed 113 for 3882 career yards with a long of 55 and eight landing inside the 20.
Day, a second team selection in 2017, helped guide the offense which scored on all 16 red zone opportunities in NEWMAC play and was successful 90 percent (28 of 31) of the time over the span of the 10 games. The Engineers were also second overall with 15 passing touchdowns.
Casey, who moved up from the second team a year ago, ranked third on the team with 65 tackles of which 42 were solo and three were for-loss. He added three interceptions, two pass breakups, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. His totals were bolstered by a career-high 13 tackles – 10 solo – with 1.5 for-loss and a 32-yard interception return at Coast Guard.
Saunders made a career-best 11 stops with 10 solo versus Springfield en route to 51 overall tackles and 39 by himself. He also recorded three pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and an interception.
Rossi, the NEWMAC leader in receiving touchdowns with eight, was fifth in yards per game (52.2) and yards per catch (13.1). His 40 catches for 522 yards ranked sixth overall. Rossi scored twice at Anna Maria before breaking the plane in four consecutive games (Becker, Springfield, Maine Maritime, Catholic). He caught nine passes against the Cardinals and totaled 110 yards at RPI.
McGoff made 33 stops with 23 solo, three sacks and a fumble recovery. Eight of his career-high nine tackles at Merchant Marine were unassisted while his three sacks came in non-conference action.
Ostrowski led the Engineers and ranked fourth in the NEWMAC with 76 tackles – 40 solo – with four for-loss including a sack, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He achieved double digit stops in three games with career-bests 16 total and 11 unassisted to go with a fumble recovery at Merchant Marine.
McAllen, the 2017 co-offensive player of the year, 2017 first teamer and 2016 freshman of the year, ranked in the top 10 in most NEWMAC rushing categories despite limited action in the latter part of the season. He was third overall with 576 yards and 64 yards per game to go nine touchdowns. The junior ends the season fifth all-time in the WPI record book with 2,645 rushing yards and is seventh in attempts (552). McAllen also collected 223 yards on 17 receptions and two scores, featuring a 99-yarder, in 2018.
Merchant finished second on the team and eight in the NEWMAC with 68 tackles, including a team-high 44 unassisted stops. He tied his career-best of 12 tackles, this time with 10 solo, versus Springfield. Six tackles were for-loss including a sack to go with a fumble recovery and a blocked punt, also against the Pride. He punctuated his career with a 57-yard pick-six against Norwich in the season finale. In all, Merchant rolled up 225 tackles – 149 solo – with 29 for loss and five sacks, as well as, three interceptions, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Lucca, the starting center, also helped anchor the offensive line that was in the top half of the league in a number of categories including the second-ranked touchdown percentage (58%) inside the red zone on the year.
Duh amassed 32 tackles – 19 unassisted – with a sack in 2018. He notched a career-best seven stops at Merchant Marine and blocked an extra point at Coast Guard. The sophomore also broke up a pass against Catholic and Norwich.
Assumption senior wide receiver and kick returner Deonte Harris (Middle River, MD) and Holy Cross senior linebacker Ryan Brady (Plymouth Meeting, PA) were tabbed as the offensive and defensive players of the year while Fitchburg State's Samuel Kenny (South Yarmouth, MA) was selected as the rookie of the year. Nichols' Dale Olmsted, meanwhile, was named as the coach of the year for the second time in three seasons.
The Worcester Area Football Association All-Star Team is named in the memory of Steve "Merc" Morris, the longtime Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations and Assumption Hall of Famer. "Merc" was a 1972 graduate of Assumption and was a member of the athletics staff for 39 years before passing away in January of 2011. In addition to being the founder of the Worcester Area Association All-Star program, he was a tireless supporter of collegiate athletics in the Worcester area and had a key role in the lives of thousands of student-athletes.