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Jeffs Rack Up All-NESCAC Honors
November 28, 2000

AMHERST, Mass. - 11 different Amherst College football players were named to the All-NESCAC First and Second teams on Tuesday, led by junior Derrell Wright (Hudson, OH), who was named to the first team at two different positions - wide receiver and kick returner. In all, Amherst, which finished with a 7-1 record and a share of the NESCAC Championship, placed five players on the first team and six on the second, three more total than conference Co-champion Middlebury College, which sent eight players.

Wright, the third-leading pass-catcher in the league with 39 catches for 640 yards, is joined on the offensive first team by classmate Okey Ugwonali (Dallas, TX), who anchored the league's second-best ground game, posting 156 carries for 856 yards on the season. The pair combined for 15 of the Jeffs' 21 offensive touchdowns, including Ugwonali's six rushing scores, as Amherst captured the Little III title outright for the first time since 1986 with their 20-12 season-ending win over arch-rival Williams College.

Defensively, the Jeffs earned three first-team selections, lead by senior Tri-captain defensive back Brian Daoust (Dover, MA), who saved his best career game for last, picking off three Williams passes in the Jeffs' November 11 win. The three picks against Williams gave Daoust a school-record 16 thefts for his career, despite missing parts of both his sophomore and junior years with injuries. Junior defensive tackle Pat McGee (Marshfield, MA) and junior Tri-captain linebacker Dan Lalli (Watertown, MA) round out the Jeffs' first-team selections.

Amherst also placed six players on the league's second team, led by senior signal-caller Peter Honig (Bronxville, NY). Honig's final season at Amherst was by far his best, finishing as the second-rated passer in the conference with 1,251 yards passing, a 52.3 completion percentage, and 10 passing touchdowns. Honig benefited all season from one of the league's strongest - and youngest - offensive lines, and two of the Jeffs' linemen - senior Mike Somerville (Hinsdale, IL) and sophomore Rob Vernicek (Mountville, NJ) were also named Second-Team All-NESCAC.

Defensively, senior lineman Ted Hollo (Aurora, CO), junior linebacker Gregg Stankewicz (Portland, CT) and senior defensive back Dave Frankel (New York, NY) round out Amhersts 11 selections.

Middlebury seniors Brian Sanchez (Fairfield, CT) and Andy Steele (Boise, ID) wrapped up the league's Most Valuable Player honors, with tailback Sanchez earning offensive MVP, and Steele, a linebacker for the 7-1 Panthers, netting the league's defensive MVP. Colby College Head Coach Tom Austin, whose White Mules finished as the third of three teams in the league with a 7-1 record, was rewarded with NESCAC Coach of the Year honors.