Boemer, Strother, McElroy named first-team All-MVFC

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    Nov. 28, 2011

    By John Lock

    ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Nine Southern Illinois football players were named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference's All-Conference teams, the league announced Monday. Bryan Boemer (Offensive Line), Mike McElroy (Safety) and Steve Strother (Return Specialist) were named first-team All-MVFC, marking the eighth time in the last nine years that at least three Salukis made the All-Conference first team.

    Jewel Hampton (Running Back), David Pickard (Offensive Line) and Kayon Swanson (Defensive Line) were all named second-team All Conference. Kenneth Boatright (Defensive Line), MyCole Pruitt (Tight End) and Jackson MacLachlan (Kicker) were all named honorable mention All-Conference.

    Bryan Boemer, a preseason All-American at center, earned first-team honors for the second straight year. He was a second-team All-Conference selection as a sophomore in 2009. In 2011, Boemer posted a 93% blocking percentage and didn't give up a sack all year. He blocked for seven 200-yard rushing games.

    Mike McElroy earned his second first-team All-Conference nod at safety. McElroy led the team with four interceptions in 2011, giving him 15 for his career, which is third in school history. McElroy posted two two-interception games. In the season finale at Indiana State, McElroy returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown--the only defensive score SIU had this year. He picked off his second pass of the game on the one yard line with less than a minute remaining to secure the Saluki win.



    Steve Strother earned the first-team nod as a return specialist. Strother led the conference in kick return average by more than three yards per return. He had seven returns of 35 yards or longer. He ended the season with 746 kickoff return yards in 2011, just 10 shy of the single-season school record set by Craig Turner in 2007. Strother has 1,167 career kickoff return yards, already fourth in school history. He needs 506 yards in 2012 to break the school career record of 1,672, held by Billy Swain.

    Jewel Hampton earned second-team All-Conference honors in his first season for SIU. Hampton had six 100-yard rushing games and led the Valley and was fifth in the nation with 17 touchdowns. He was twice named MVFC Newcomer of the Week during the season and earned MVFC Newcomer of the Year honors after the season.

    David Pickard was named to the All-Conference team for the third time in his career. He was a first-team honoree in 2009 and a second-team member in 2010 and 2011. The senior posted a 93% blocking percentage and didn't give up a sack all season. He blocked for seven 200-yard rushing games.

    Kayon Swanson earned honorable mention All-Conference accolades for the first time in his career. The junior led the team with 52 tackles and was second on the team with 4.0 sacks. He was named National Defensive Player of the Week by College Football Performance Awards and Beyond Sports Network after setting career highs with eight tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks against Ole Miss.

    Kenneth Boatright earned honorable mention All-Conference in his first season on the field with Southern Illinois. Boatright led the team with 6.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. His 13.5 TFLs ranked fourth in the conference, and Boatright was second on the team with 51 tackles. He recorded a tackle for loss in eight of the last nine games. He came on strong at the end of the season, recording 7.5 tackles for loss in the last three games of the season.

    Jackson MacLachlan, a redshirt freshman, kicked the game-winning field goal with less than a minute remaining against Missouri State. The kick earned him MVFC Newcomer of the Week honors. MacLachlan was third in the conference with nine made field goals, and he hit eight of 10 attempts from longer than 30 yards.

    MyCole Pruitt, another redshirt freshman, led the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. He caught at least three passes in the last eight games of the year. Pruitt averaged five receptions and 62 yards per game in the last eight games of the year. He was eighth in the conference in receiving yards per game.

    The MVFC All Newcomer Team will be announced tomorrow, and the MVFC All-Academic teams will be announced Wednesday.

    2011 all-Missouri Valley Football Conference Team (selected by coaches, sports information directors and media panel)

    OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: RB Shakir Bell, Indiana State

    QB -- Kurt Hess, Youngstown State 6-3 235 So. Dayton (Ohio) Chaminade-Julienne High
    Tirrell Rennie, Northern Iowa 6-0 201 Sr. North Lauderdale (Fla.) Coconut Creek / Ellsworth CC
    RB -- Shakir Bell, Indiana State 5-8 185 So. Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central High
    Jamaine Cook, Youngstown State 5-9 205 Jr. Cleveland (Ohio) Midpark High
    FB -- Brock Lough, Indiana State 6-0 220 Jr. Terre Haute (Ind.) South Vigo High
    WR - Terriun Crump, Western Illinois 6-3 220 Sr. Country Club Hills (Ill.) Rich Central / DuPage
    Jermaine Saffold, Missouri St. 6-1 198 Sr. Grandview (Mo.) High / Univ. of Central Missouri
    TE -- Alex Jones, Indiana State 6-3 235 Sr. Centerville (Ind.) High
    OL - Bryan Boemer, Southern Illinois 6-2 317 Sr. St. Louis (Mo.) St. John Vianney High
    Paul Cornick, North Dakota St. 6-6 309 Sr. Orono (Minn.) High
    FN Lutz, Indiana State 6-3 290 Jr. West Lafayette (Ind.) Lafayette Harrison High
    Cal McCarthy, Illinois State 6-2 285 Sr. Shorewood (Ill.) Minooka High
    Jay Teply, Northern Iowa 6-7 328 Sr. Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Xavier
    PK -- Tyler Sieversten, Northern Iowa 6-2 185 So. Cedar Rapids (Iowa) C.R. Kennedy High

    DL -- Ben Boothby, Northern Iowa 6-0 280 Sr. Clinton (Iowa) High
    Colter Boyer, North Dakota St. 6-4 245 Sr. Hurley (S.D.) High
    Eric Brunner, Illinois State 6-2 285 Sr. Greendale (Wis.) High
    Ben Obaseki, Indiana State 6-3 235 Jr. Washington (Ind.) High
    LB -- Aaron Archie, Indiana State 6-0 235 Jr. Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech
    L.J. Fort, Northern Iowa 6-1 232 Sr. Waynesville (Mo.) High
    Evan Frierson, Illinois State 6-2 230 Jr. Washington (D.C.) H.D. Woodson High / Univ. of Illinois
    Chad Willson, North Dakota St. 5-11 221 Sr. Layton (Utah) High / Snow (Utah) Junior College
    DB -- Mike McElroy, Southern Illinois 6-1 212 Sr. Lowell (Mich.) High
    Alex Sewall, Indiana State 6-1 210 Sr. Western Springs (Ill.) Lyons Township High
    Varmah Sonie, Northern Iowa 5-9 166 Jr. Burnsville (Minn.) Apple Valley High
    Marcus Williams, N Dakota St. 5-11 190 So. Minneapolis (Minn.) Hopkins High
    P -- Jason Schlautman, S. Dakota St. 6-2 195 Sr. Columbus (Neb.) High / Univ. of Nebraska-Omaha
    RS -- Steve Strother, S. Illinois 5-8 170 Jr. Culpepper (Va.) Eastern View High

    QB -- Matt Brown, Illinois State 6-4 215 Jr. Marion (Ill.) High
    RB -- Jewel Hampton, S. Illinois 5-9 210 Jr. Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central / Univ. of Iowa
    Ashton Leggett, Illinois State 5-11 230 Sr. Muskegon (Mich.) High / Michigan State Univ.
    FB -- Jordan Neukirch, Illinois State 6-2 235 So. Algonquin (Ill.) Huntley High
    WR - Dale Moss, South Dakota State 6-4 210 Sr. Brandon (S.D.) Brandon Valley High
    Tyrone Walker, Illinois State 5-11 200 Jr. Indianapolis (Ind.) Cardinal Ritter High
    TE -- Matt Veldman, N. Dakota State 6-7 257 Sr. Becker (Minn.) High
    OL - Nick Bledsoe, Illinois State 6-1 295 Sr. Wheeling (Ill.) High
    Ben Geffert, Indiana State 6-3 310 Sr. Griffith (Ind.) High
    David Pickard, S. Illinois 6-5 306 Sr. Oak Park (Ill.) High
    Mark Pratt, Youngstown State 6-3 320 Jr. Tooele (Utah) High / Snow Junior College
    Austin Richard, N. Dakota State 6-3 314 Sr. Fargo (N.D.) South High
    PK -- Ryan Jastram, N. Dakota State 6-1 200 Sr. Sioux Falls (S.D.) Roosevelt / New Mexico State

    DL -- Nate Palmer, Illinois State 6-3 220 Jr. Chicago (Ill.) Simeon High / Univ. of Illinois
    Mikel Ruder, Missouri State 6-5 280 Sr. Lawrence (Kan.) Free State High
    Kayon Swanson, S. Illinois 6-1 282 Jr. Southfield (Mich.) High
    Andrew Johnson, Youngstown St. 6-3 285 Sr. Detroit (Mich.) Southeastern / Bowling Green
    LB -- Mike Lien,
    South Dakota State 6-0 220 Sr. Castaic (Calif.) Valencia High Kevin Palermo, Western Illinois 6-1 225 Sr. West Chicago (Ill.) Driscoll Catholic High
    Jordan Smith, Northern Iowa 6-2 223 Sr. Humboldt (Iowa) High
    Jacolby Washington, Indiana St. 6-1 235 Jr. Deltona (Fla.) Deltona Trinity Christian High
    DB - Colten Heagle, N. Dakota State 5-11 195 So. Appleton (Wis.) Kimberly High
    Otis Merrill, Illinois State 5-11 185 Sr. Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville / Univ. of Wisconsin
    Jimmie Strong, Missouri State 5-10 190 Sr. Texarkana (Texas) Texas High
    Winston Wright, S. Dakota State 5-10 185 So. Lee's Summit (Mo.) Blue Springs South / Univ. of Missouri
    P -- Lucas Hileman, Indiana State 6-1 195 Jr. Anna (Ill.) Jonesboro High / Baylor Univ.
    RS -- Ryan Smith, North Dakota State 5-7 174 So. Wahpeton (N.D.) High

    Honorable Mention
    Illinois State: LB Josh Howe, DL Colton Underwood, OT Cody White • Indiana State: QB Ronnie Fouch, DL Rod Hardy, LB Ryan Roberts Missouri State: P Jordan Chiles, TE Matt Thayer, QB Trevor Wooden • North Dakota State: WR Warren Holloway, QB Brock Jensen, P Matt Voigtlander • UNI: DL Darren Branch, RB David Johnson, RS Jarred Herring • South Dakota State: WR Aaron Rollin, FB Kyle Sheehan, OL Bryan Witzmann  • Southern Illinois: DL Kenneth Boatright, PK Jackson MacLachlan, TE MyCole Pruitt • Western Illinois: DE Dwight Harris, OG Jimmy Holtschlag, DB Kieron James • Youngstown State: WR Christian Bryan, OL Chris Elkins, LB Teven Williams