Six Chadron State College football players were named to the 2017 All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference First and Second Teams, and four others were listed in honorable mention, in a Tuesday afternoon release.
The Eagles had one First Team honoree in left tackle Travis Romsa. The junior from Burns, Wyoming, named the team’s MVP in 2016, was instrumental to an Eagle offensive line which finished as the best unit in the league at preventing quarterback sacks. Romsa also helped the CSC O-line pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in Derek Jackson.
Chadron State continues the RMAC’s longest streak of consecutive seasons with at least one all-conference first teamer. CSC has had a first team all-star following each of the 27 seasons since the Eagle football program became officially eligible for RMAC awards in 1991.
The Eagles’ other offensive All-RMAC nod went to tight end Colt Foster, for Second Team. The Hemingford, Nebraska, native had more than twice as many receptions and receiving yards as any other tight end in the league, and also scored one more touchdown than the first team tight end, Zach Boyd of CSU-Pueblo. He had 42 catches for 567 yards on the year, with four scores and two point-after conversions.
A trio of senior defensive players earned Second Team defense.
Senior linebacker Collin Eisenman earned his third straight appearance on the all-conference lists, after getting First Team honors in 2015 and a Second Team nod in 2016. He finished his career sixth all-time at CSC with 37.0 career tackles for loss, and is seventh with 18.0 career sacks. Eisenman, from Sheridan, Wyoming, compiled 46 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and 4.0 sacks in 2016.
Mitch Collicott, the starting nose guard from McCook, Nebraska, had equally impressive numbers this season, recording 45 tackles, 4.5 tackles per loss, and 2.0 sacks from the interior of the line. Head Football Coach Jay Long noted that the burly Collicott often drew and fought off double-teams, making it easier for the rest of the defense to attack. Collicott received All-RMAC honorable mention and All-Nebraska DII honors in 2016.
The third defensive senior, Truett Box of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, had the top statistical season of any RMAC interior lineman and was nominated for the Gene Upshaw Award this fall, which goes to the nation’s top senior offensive or defensive man in the trenches. He recorded 64 total tackles, finishing fourth on the team, and had 11.5 tackles for loss to the effect of 32 yards, and adding 4.0 sacks for 17 yards. Box forced three fumbles, recovered one, broke up two passes and intercepted a third, and had three quarterback hurries on the season.
Finally Punter Zack Kozlik, of Coronado, California, locked down the final Second Team spot. The two-time RMAC Special Teams Player of the Week had the second highest yards per attempt average, as well as the second-most 50-plus yarders in the league. Kozlik’s 21 kicks downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard lines were third-best among all RMAC punters, as was his season long 74-yarder, which he booted at New Mexico Highlands on October 14.
Players earning honorable mention, which goes to anyone receiving a minimum of either one First Team or two Second Team votes, were left guard Matt Barden, receiver Jackson Dickerson, linebacker Keenan Johnson, and safety Brian Wood.
The RMAC Players of the Year were Eystin Salum (offense) and Blake Nelson (defense), and Virnel Moon (special teams) of Colorado Mesa. The Offensive Freshman of the Year was Brandon LaBrie of South Dakota Mines, while the Defensive Freshman of the Year went to Terrence Jackson of New Mexico Highlands. CSU-Pueblo’s John Wristen was tabbed Coach of the Year.