MANSFIELD, Mass. – Seven members of the Saint Anselm College football team were recognized by the Northeast-10 Conference on Monday with All-Conference or All-Rookie Team placement following the 2018 season.
Senior linebacker Zack Mercer (Melrose, Mass.), sophomore defensive back Ryan Sullivan (Stoughton, Mass.) and sophomore punter Joey Cody (Cinnaminson, N.J.) earned Second Team Defense honors with senior wide receiver Kyle Hill (Upper Marlboro, Md.) joining senior place kicker Daniel Parisi (Georgetown, Mass.) on the Third Team Offense.
Junior linebacker CJ Miller (Clinton, Md.) was named to the Third Team Defense squad while freshman running back Christian Matthews-Byrd (Saddle Brook, N.J.) was an All-Rookie Team pick after a stellar first-year campaign for the Hawks.
Mercer finished the year with 87 tackles across nine games played for the Hawks, averaging the fifth-most in the NE10 with 9.7 per contest to his credit. His 45 solo tackles were the seventh-most in the league and he reached double-digit tackles in all but four games on the season, recording a season-best 15 on two occasions (Sept. 8 vs. Stonehill, Nov. 10 vs. Pace).
Sullivan averaged 11.6 tackles for the Hawks across nine games, the sixth-best average by any student-athlete competing in NCAA Division II this past year. His 104 tackles on the season make him only the second student-athlete in team history to break the century mark in takedowns. His 5.9 solo tackles per game stands as the 16th best mark in the division and the second-most in the NE10. He set the single-game team record with 20 tackles at Southern Conn. St. on Sept. 29.
Cody averaged 38.2 yards per punt in 2018, the second-best average in the conference while ranking in the top-80 nationwide. The sophomore had 36 punts on the season, totaling 1,376 yards while recording five punts inside the 20-yard line. Three of his punts were longer than 50 yards, including a season-long 60 yard punt against Pace on Nov. 10.
Hill capped a stellar career on the Hilltop with three touchdown receptions, catching 49 passes for 566 total yards. Averaging 62.9 receiving yards per game, Hill ranks ninth in the conference in that statistic. Posting over 130 all-purpose yards in each of his first two games on the season, the senior will graduate ranked second in team history with 21 touchdown catches and third in career receiving yards (2,336).
Parisi made 17 point-after touchdowns in 2018, kicking nine field goals on the season. Against Stonehill in his team's season-opening contest on Sept. 8, Parisi made four field goals, including three in overtime. He made a 45-yard (career long), 42-yard and 19-yard field goal in overtime, helping his team stretch its program-record overtime game to three stanzas. He will depart with 14 made field goals, the fourth-most all-time, and a .899 career point-after percentage.
Miller finished the year with 94 total tackles on the season, the third-best figure in the conference. He posted more than 11 tackles in a game on five total occasions and never finished a game with fewer than six total tackles. Entering his senior season, Miller has recorded 175 career tackles and needs only five more to crack the top-20 list in program history.
Matthews-Byrd, the NE10 Rookie of the Week on Oct. 29, was his team's leading rusher with 359 yards on the ground in 2018. Averaging four yards per carry, Matthews-Byrd also led the team with 90 rushes and recorded his first career rushing score at New Haven on Nov. 3. He hauled in his first touchdown pass at home against American Int'l on Sept. 22.