Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Travis, Amedro Repeat as NCAA Division II All-Americans

WICHITA FALLS, Texas – West Liberty University’s record-setting senior tandem of tight end Ryan Travis and quarterback Zach Amedro have earned NCAA Division II All-America honors for the second consecutive year.

Travis was a first-team selection while Amedro garnered second-team honors when the 18th annual Daktronics NCAA Division II All-America Team was announced Tuesday night.

Travis and Amedro are West Liberty’s fourth and fifth multi-year All-Americans. This is the first time in more than 80 seasons of West Liberty football that two Hilltopper teammates have earned All-America honors in back-to-back years.

Both players have left their mark on the college football scene at the school, conference and national level.

Amedro, a 6-0, 200-pound senior from Moundsville, W.Va., was a two-time Harlon Hill Award finalist who threw for more yards (14,733) and completed more passes (1,079) than any quarterback in NCAA Division II history while leading West Liberty to back-to-back national scoring and total offense championships – another NCAA Division II first.

In just 10 games as a senior, the two-time WVIAC and Super Region One Player of the Year completed 329-of-485 passes for 4,085 yards (405.8 ypg.) and 38 TDs. He completed an NCAA Division II season-high 44 passes against NCAA Division II national semifinalist Shepherd and threw an NCAA Division II season-high 8 TD passes against Seton Hill while ranking among the top three nationally in passing yards per game, total offense per game, completions per game and points responsible for.

During his four years as West Liberty’s starting quarterback, Amedro also set NCAA Division II career records for passing yards per game (334.8), 300-yard passing games (30), 300-yard total offense games (29), consecutive 300-yard passing games (14) and consecutive 300-yard total offense games (14) while ranking No. 2 all-time in total offense (14,598), touchdown passes (126) and total offense per game (331.8).

Travis, a 6-3, 235-pound senior from Massillon, Ohio, led the nation with 126 catches for 1,402 yards this fall and tied the NCAA Division II single-season mark for tight ends with 15 touchdown catches.

The sure-handed tight end was the nation’s only college football player – all divisions – to catch at least 10 passes in every game this season. His 126 catches and 12.6 catches per game rank No. 2 all-time in the NCAA Division II annals.

A converted running back who didn’t become a full-time receiver until his junior year, Travis followed up a 104-catch season as a junior with his record-setting performance this fall to finish his career with 285 career receptions. That’s the fifth-highest total in NCAA Division II history.

Tom Priest was West Liberty’s first multiple All-American, earning first-team NAIA All-America honors in 1970 and 1971. Mickey Sworden was a second-team NAIA All-American in 1971 and 1972 while Darren Banks remains the only player in WVIAC history to earn first-team NCAA Division II All-America honors in three straight seasons (2006-07-08).

Senior quarterback Eric Czierniewski of Central Missouri was voted NCAA Division II Offensive Player of the Year after averaging 371.9 passing yards and 3.3 touchdowns per game in 14 games for the Mules.

Valdosta State (Ga.) senior linebacker Larry Dean was voted NCAA Division II Defensive Player of the Year after setting a school record with 340 career tackles. Amedro, Czierniewsky and Grand Valley State QB Blake Bolles will be guests of honor at the Harlon Hill Trophy Banquet in Florence, Ala. on Friday.

The Daktronics All-America Team is the culmination of a nationwide balloting process involving all sports information directors from the 148 football-playing schools in the NCAA Division II ranks.

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