Football - Thu, Nov. 19, 2009
Findlay, Ohio - Senior linebacker Mike Lally (Oak Lawn, Ill./St. Rita) was named the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League Player of the Year and the No. 4 ranked Saint Xavier University football team landed 18 players on the MSFA All-Mideast League Teams when the league office released the honors Friday. SXU had 12 First Team selections, five Second Team honorees, and one player earn Honorable Mention consideration. It is the first time the Cougars have nabbed the MSFA Player of the Year honor since moving to the Mideast League in 2007. In addition, SXU head coach Mike Feminis was named the 2009 MSFA Mideast League Coach of the Year, while offensive coordinator Mark Yanule garnered the league's Assistant Coach of the Year recognition.

Receiving first team honors as well, Lally leads the Saint Xavier defense with 99 total tackles, including 47 solo stops and 23 tackles-for-losses. Junior quarterback Anthony Kropp (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) also received first team recognition with 3,527 passing yards on 238 completions with 43 touchdowns (five rushing) and just eight interceptions. Joining Lally and Kropp on the first team were senior wideout Bill McKeon (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) with 66 catches for 918 yards and seven TDs, senior left tackle Matt Renfro (Rockford, Ill./Boylan) as a three-time All-MSFA First-Team selection, senior left guard Joe Leccesi (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) making his first appearance on the top squad, senior linebacker Shane Franken (Carol Stream, Ill./Driscoll Catholic) with 41 total tackles and three interceptions and senior defensive end Corey Smith (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) with 30 total tackles and team-best six quarterback hurries.

Also making appearances on the MSFA Mideast League First Team from Saint Xavier were junior running back Donnie Selby (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) posting 567 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns (one receiving), junior wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) with 73 catches for 1,029 yards and 13 scores, junior defensive back Pat Geary (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) was a huge lift in the secondary with 52 total tackles and a team-high 12 pass break-ups. Sophomore defensive tackle Patrick Appino (Rockford, Ill./Boylan) finished the regular season with 19 total tackles, including six sacks and sophomore kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois/Joliet Junior College/Lincoln-Way East) led the team in scoring with 90 points, including nine field goals and 63 PATs.

On the All-MSFA Mideast League Second Team, the Cougars had junior wide receiver Xavier Torres (Chicago, Ill./Central Michigan/Lane Tech) and sophomore running back KJ Franklin (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) on the offensive side. Saint Xavier defensive players earning second team honors included senior strong safety Joe Nee (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick), junior linebacker Brendan Sheehy (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) and sophomore defensive end Michael Prosser (Rockton, Ill./Rockton-Hononegah). The lone honorable mention selection for the Cougars was sophomore right tackle Michael Johnson (Harvey, Ill./Thornton).

Saint Xavier hosts No. 9 McKendree University (Ill.) in first-round action of the 2009 NAIA Championship Series Saturday at 1 p.m. at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.