Football - Fri, Jan. 23, 2009
Grand Island, Neb. - Junior linebacker Mike Lally (Oak Lawn, Ill./St. Rita) claimed first team honors to highlight four Saint Xavier University football players named to the 2008 College Fanz Sports Network NAIA Coaches All-American Team when the honors were released by the national media outlet Friday in Grand Island, Neb. The teams were voted on by a committee, which included 10 NAIA football coaches as well as NAIA football expert Jason Dannelly of College Fanz Sports Network. In addition to Lally, senior defensive back Chris Rodgers (Homewood, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) earned second team recognition, while junior wide receiver Bill McKeon (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) and junior offensive lineman Matt Renfro (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) claimed spots on the honorable mention team.
"I'm very proud of all these guys," said SXU head football coach Mike Feminis. "Mike was an absolutely dominant player this year and Chris rates right up there with John Miller (2002 NAIA All-American and SXU Hall of Famer) as far as great defensive backs in the history of our program. We've had some great tackles (former NAIA All-Americans Brandon Kukla and Charlie Russ), but Matt may prove to be the best of all of them when his career is over. Billy is like a Paul Hornung or Frank Gifford from the old days. I think he did everything for us, except sell the Split-The-Pot tickets. Fortunately for us, all of them but Chris are returning next season."
Lally finished the 2008 campaign with team-bests of 104 total tackles, 24.0 tackles for losses, nine sacks and seven quarterback hurries. Rodgers was also a force for the Cougars defensively leading the team with three interceptions, 18 pass break-ups and four blocked kicks. McKeon did a little bit of everything on offense and finished second for SXU in total offense with 498 yards (157 rushing and 341 passing yards) and scoring with eight touchdowns. He also had 462 receiving yards off of 51 receptions. Renfro helped set up a high-powered offense that averaged 438.9 yards of total offense per game.
The College Fanz Sports Network acquired the Victory Sports Network last November. College Fanz is the world's largest online college sports community, with students, alumni, and other fans of college sports. Founded by Bill Rasmussen, the innovator who launched ESPN in 1979, College Fanz boasts over 22,000 web pages devoted to more than 1,450 colleges and universities throughout the United States competing in over 225,000 NCAA and NAIA athletic events. Victory Sports Network, the leading voice of NAIA college sports, is now part of the College Fanz Sports Network.