MANSFIELD, Mass. – Saint Anselm College head football coach Patrick Murphy was named the Northeast-10 Co-Coach of the Year and seven others earned All-Conference selections as the league office announced its end-of-the-year awards Wednesday morning.
Senior WR Justin Bernard (Cambridge, Mass.), junior K Shane Grayson (Ormond Beach, Fla.), junior RB Elad Covaliu (Rockville, Md.), sophomore OL Ryan Barry (W. Newbury, Mass.), senior DL Justin Waltzer (Danbury, Conn.), junior DB Carroll Bailey (Clinton, Mass.) and freshman LB Eric Mercer (Melrose, Mass.) were the seven student-athletes feted by the conference.
Murphy, who just completed his seventh year at the helm for Saint Anselm (6-5, 5-4 NE-10), receives his first career Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Hawks to a five-game turnaround that produced the first winning season in 14 years. Saint Anselm's six wins matched the program record from that same 2000 campaign and equaled the total victories from the previous four years combined.
Bernard snagged All-Conference First Team recognition for the third straight season after catching 99 passes for 1,028 yards and six touchdowns. It was the third consecutive year going over 1,000 yards receiving for Bernard, who was the Northeast-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 6.
Bernard led the league in catches, ranked fourth in yards and tied for sixth in touchdown grabs, while placing fourth in the nation in receptions per game (9.0) and 29th in receiving yards per contest (93.5). His 99 receptions are the second most in a single season in program history, while the 1,028 yards rank fourth. Bernard already owned Saint Anselm's single-game, single-season and career records for catches, receiving yards and touchdown receptions.
Bernard reeled in his 326th career catch in a 55-24 win at Merrimack on Oct. 4 to become the NCAA Division II all-time leader in receptions. He finished his career with 386 catches and 4,169 yards, which rank first and third, respectively, among active Division II players.
Grayson joined Bernard on the First Team after enjoying a career year. Grayson went 10-for-13 on field goal tries to lead the league with a 77 percent success rating and rank second in field goals made. His 41-yard boot against American International College on Oct. 11 was the third longest field goal in the conference this season and matched his career long, which sits sixth in the program record book. Grayson's 63 points were third best in the league, while his 33 extra points ranked fifth and his 92 percent (33-36) PAT mark was seventh.
Grayson's 63 points are the most made by kicking in a single season in school history, while the 10 field goals are tied for the most in a campaign and the 33 PATs and field goal percentage are both second.
Covaliu was a Second Team selection following his first year in a Saint Anselm uniform. Covaliu ran the ball 136 times for 622 yards and eight touchdowns, as he ranked fourth in the league in both yards and touchdowns, fifth in yards per carry (4.6) and sixth in yards per contest (56.5). Covaliu's rushing total is the eighth highest in program history, while his rushing touchdowns are tied for sixth, his yards per carry are fifth and his yards per game are third.
Barry was part of an offensive line that paved the way for Covaliu and the rest of the Saint Anselm rushing attack that set a new program record with 23 rushing touchdowns and finished tied for second with 1,324 rushing yards. Barry helped the Hawks set a new single-season record for total offense (4,746) and also aided in pass protection as their 3,429 passing yards were just one shy of matching the program record.
Waltzer put together a career year as he amassed 75 tackles, including 8.0 for a loss and 1.0 sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, while also blocking a kick. Waltzer was 17th in the league in tackles, but also altered opponents' game plans by clogging the middle.
Bailey, who was an All-Rookie selection in 2011, earned a spot on the Second Team. Bailey registered 80 tackles, including 58 solo stops, 3.5 for a loss and 1.0 sack, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, an interception, seven pass breakups and a pair of blocked kicks. Bailey placed third in the conference in solo tackles and 13th in overall tackles. His 58 solo tackles are the fourth most in a single season in school history.
Mercer garnered an All-Rookie accolade after tallying 44 tackles, including 4.0 for a loss, and a forced fumble in his first collegiate campaign.