Nine members of the Blinn College football team have been named to the Southwest Junior College Football Conference (SWJCFC) all-conference teams.
Three Buccaneers received first-team recognition, while two others were named to the second team and list of honorable mentions. Recipients are voted upon by coaches of the conference’s eight teams.
“As a staff, we are extremely proud of those individuals,” Blinn head coach Ryan Mahon said. “These types of awards really show you how hard your players worked throughout the year.”
Freshman running back Antonio Martin, freshman offensive lineman Dominic Eldridge, and sophomore defensive back Maurice Evans each were first-team selections. Sophomore center William Thursland was named to the second team, while freshman offensive lineman Eric Aschenbeck, sophomore linebacker Caden Holt, sophomore defensive end Brien Taylor, sophomore defensive back Courage Ugochukwu, and punter Breck Chambers were honorable mentions.
“Every one of those kids was a leader on this team,” added Mahon.
Martin finished his collegiate debut as Blinn’s top rusher this season. He racked up 603 yards on just 103 carries (5.9 yards per carry) to go with five touchdowns.
“Antonio was a force in every single game he played,” Mahon said. “Every coach in our conference talked about how well he played for us and how hard he was to game plan against.”
Eldridge’s freshman campaign saw him stand out on a Blinn offensive front that boasted four second-year linemen and paved the way for a rushing attack with average 225 yards per game.
“Dominic was a pillar on the offensive line,” Mahon said. “He’s a great kid and a great leader up front.”
Evans’ second season as a Buc saw the talented defender finish third on the team with 41 tackles, including 31 solo stops. He also had one pass breakup, one quarterback hit, and a fumble recovery.
“Maurice was a playmaker from start to finish,” said Mahon. “He was constantly a high-energy guy whom the defense rallied around, and he had a tremendous sophomore season.”
Thursland anchored Blinn’s offensive line as the team’s center. Mahon said the SWJCFC was teeming with talented snappers this fall, so for Thursland to earn a spot on any all-conference team was impressive.
“He’s tough, he’s intelligent, he’s an anchor on the offensive line,” Mahon explained. “I’m really proud of what he did considering the competition we faced week in and week out.”
Rounding out Blinn's offensive honorees was Aschenbeck, who like Eldridge, earned starting time on an experienced offensive line despite starting the season in a reserve role. Aschenbeck is a homegrown product from Brenham High School.
"You can't be anything but proud of what he achieved as a freshman this season," said Mahon. "In practice and in games, he earned his starting spot and played a bunch of snaps for us. He is going to bring great leadership and experience to this team next season."
Defensive honorable mentions included Holt, who led the team in tackles with 62; Taylor, who tied for the team lead in QB hits with seven to go along with 19 tackles; and Ugochukwu, who had 14 tackles, two interceptions, and seven pass breakups. Chambers finished his season with 21 punts and a long of 55 yards, and pinned opposing offenses inside their own 20-yard line five times.
"Each of those young men is an outstanding leader and a competitor who helped us each and every week," Mahon said.
(Story by Joe Alberico, Blinn College Sports Information)