Grand Island, Neb. - Senior linebacker Mike Lally (Oak Lawn, Ill./St. Rita), senior offensive lineman Matt Renfro (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) and senior wide receiver Bill McKeon (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) all claimed first team honors to highlight eight Saint Xavier University football players named to the 2009 College Fanz Sports Network NAIA Football All-American Team when the honors were released by the national media outlet late Tuesday in Grand Island, Neb. The teams were determined by votes from NAIA football coaches as well as the College Fanz Football "Game of the Week" broadcast team. In addition to SXU's first team honorees, junior defensive back Pat Geary (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) earned second team recognition, while senior offensive lineman Joe Leccesi (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan), junior quarterback Anthony Kropp (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), junior wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) and sophomore kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois/Joliet Junior College/Lincoln-Way East) claimed spots on the honorable mention squad.
"When you have the type of season we had, it's nice to see so many of our guys recognized at the national level," said Saint Xavier University football coach Mike Feminis. "To have eight individuals receive All-America recognition is phenomenal and they all deserve it. I couldn't be happier for our four seniors who were recognized (Lally, McKeon, Renfro and Leccesi). Not only are they outstanding football players, but also excellent students and character kids. We'll certainly miss those guys, but I think we have a great core coming back led by Kropp, Maher and Geary. Also, it is obviously nice to have a talented kicker, like Lynch, returning as well."
Saint Xavier had a historic 2009 season finishing 13-1 overall, winning the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League for the first time in the program's 17-year existence and earning a berth in the NAIA semifinals. The Cougars swept through the regular season with a perfect 11-0 mark for the first time in team history and were ranked as high as No. 4 in the NAIA's weekly Top 25 Poll.
Launched September 7, 2007, 28 years to the day that Bill Rasmussen 's ESPN dream went on the air for the first time, College Fanz Sports Network is the world's largest online college sports community with students, alumni and other fans of college sports. College Fanz is changing the way college sports news and information is delivered to fans worldwide, just as Rasmussen's earlier creation changed the way people watched television. College Fanz boasts over 22,000 web pages devoted to more than 1,450 colleges and universities competing in over 225,000 NCAA and NAIA athletic events.Click here to see the official College Fanz Sports Network All-American Team release