BROOKFIELD, Ill. – Wide receiver B.J. Bunn and defensive end Mike Keck added their names to a distinguished listing of current and former University of North Carolina at Pembroke football players this week when the duo was among 99 players selected to the 2015 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-Super Region Two squad.
Nineteen different players have now earned all-region accolades in the nine-year modern day history of the UNCP football program. It is the first-such honor for both Bunn and Keck. It is the seventh time in the last nine years that the Braves have been represented on the Don Hansen (Football Gazette) squad.
Bunn, a Burlington native, caught a career-best 58 passes and established a new program mark for single-season receiving yards (956) this season, while also accounting for 11 touchdowns as well. Bunn tallied at least five catches in six different contests, including a 12-catch performance at Catawba that produced a new program record for single-game receiving yards (219) as well. That performance was the first of three-straight 100-yard receiving games, including an 8-catch, 198-yard, 3-touchdown day against West Virginia State that eventually earned him a national offensive player of the week honor from HERO Sports.
A product of Fayetteville, Keck registered 53 tackles (33 solo) this season, including 16 tackles for loss (-98 yards) and a school record 11 sacks (-87 yards). He turned in five or more tackles in eight contests, and grabbed at least one tackle for loss in seven of those outings. Ranked among the nation’s sack leaders for most of the season, Keck amassed three sacks against both then-No. 20 Winston-Salem State and then-No. 17 Tuskegee as well. He also finished the season with a school record 13 quarterback hurries, two pass break-ups and a pair of forced fumbles.
The Don Hansen team carries out the legacy of long-time small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 on Aug. 29, 2010. Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., started and published Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette for three decades, selecting NCAA Division II All-America teams for the first time in 1988. Don Hansen’s Football Gazette began selecting Division II All-Region squads in 2003.
The first-team and second-team All-Region selections advance to a national ballot from which the 2015 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team will be named in February.
Gerhart named preseason all-PBC
AUGUSTA, Ga. – The preseason recognition began to roll in for the UNC Pembroke softball team this week when sophomore shortstop Taylor Gerhart was among 11 players named to the Peach Belt Conference Softball Preseason All-Conference Team, the league office announced.
Gerhart earned all-conference honors as a freshman last season after hitting .331 (41-for-124) with three home runs, 28 RBI and 24 runs scored. Her offensive numbers also included 10 multiple-hit and five multiple-RBI games, as well as five games in which she crossed home plate two or more times. She hit .339 with one homer and nine RBI against PBC competition. The Winfield Park, N.J., native also earned a PBC Freshman of the Week nod, as well as a spot on the PBC Presidential Honor Roll.
Gerhart and the Braves will open their 2016 campaign, Feb. 5-7, when they host the 3-day, 5-team Campbell Oil/Minuteman Invitational presented by Sunoco at LRA Field. The Braves are scheduled to open up tournament action Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. against Kutztown.
Soccer assistant leaves UNCP for Mount Olive
PEMBROKE – Athletics department officials at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke announced Friday that men’s soccer associate head coach Sean Brennan has resigned his position to become the head coach at Mount Olive.
“Sean Brennan has been the backbone of our soccer program over the past five years,” said athletics director Dick Christy. “He is someone that immediately affects your corporate culture in a positive way, and I know he will be a tremendous leader for Mount Olive. UNCP is very proud of UMO’s selection of Sean.”
The Braves rattled off 42 wins in five seasons with Brennan on the coaching staff, including an 11-5-2 mark in his first season in Pembroke in 2011. UNCP turned in a memorable 12-5-2 mark in 2012, a season that culminated with the program’s third trip to the NCAA Tournament. Brennan served an integral role as the goalkeeper coach for the Braves and personally mentored a pair of All-Peach Belt Conference standouts in Ryan Hanson (2011) and Kenneth Perkinson (2014, 2015). All told, the squad boasted 12 all-conference selections under Brennan’s watch.
Brennan spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Mount Olive before coming to Pembroke in the spring of 2011.
“I’d like to thank the entire athletics department as well as athletic directors Dan Kenney and Dick Christy for a wonderful five years,” Brennan said.
“It was an amazing experience that has only better prepared me for my next challenge. I owe a debt of gratitude to Phil Hindson whom I have learned a lot from during my time here. I am thankful for the success that I have gotten to share with him over the last five years. I wish everyone the best of luck in the future and am truly blessed for my time spent as a Brave.”