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Thomas and Coach Boyd highlight numerous postseason OAC honors
NEW CONCORD, OHIO, November 21, 2011 - The Ohio Athletic Conference has announced that Muskingum University senior linebacker Alex Thomas was named the Gene Slaughter Most Outstanding Linebacker and that Muskingum defensive coordinator Shap Boyd was named the OAC Co-Assistant Coach of the Year.
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Other Muskies receiving all-league honors were senior defensive end Rob Premdas, senior linebacker Ethan Wetzel, senior safety Anthony Zarcone, sophomore offensive lineman Denny Ardman, sophomore wide receiver James Washington and junior defensive end Steve Stooksbury.
Thomas, a first team all-league honoree, led the OAC with 116 tackles, which also ranked 13th in the nation. Additionally, he ranked 17th in Division III with 66 solo tackles. Thomas also added nine tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception. Thomas is just the second Muskie to ever be awarded the Linebacker of the Year honor (Jack Junker - 2006).
Boyd, who just completed his fifth season as defensive coordinator for the Muskies, masterminded the hard-hitting unit that led the league with 37 sacks, ranked second in rushing defense, third in total defense and third in scoring defense. In the national spotlight, the Muskie defense ranked fifth in sacks, 20th in rushing defense and 71st in total defense.
Premdas, a First Team All-OAC selection, recorded 24 tackles, seven tackles for loss and had five sacks, which was second on the team.
Receiving Second Team All-OAC accolades were Wetzel, Zarcone and Ardman.
Wetzel ranked 12th in the OAC with 76 tackles and second in the league with three forced fumbles. He ended the season with six tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery – which he returned for a touchdown.
Zarcone ranked fifth in the OAC in passes defended and led the Muskies with nine pass break-ups. He registered two interceptions and was fifth on the squad with 50 hits.
Ardman was the anchor of the Muskie offensive line. He helped the Muskies average 115 yards rushing per game and average 292.9 yards of total offense per game.
Receiving Honorable Mention All-OAC was Washington and Stooksbury.
Washington led all Muskie receivers with 738 yards and four touchdowns. His 738 receiving yards rank second all-time for a single season at Muskingum. The standout receiver ranked fifth in the OAC in receiving yards and eighth in receptions.
Stooksbury led the Muskies in tackles for loss with 7.5, was sixth on the team with 44 stops and recorded four sacks with one forced fumble.