Senior quarterback Gary Muntean earned the North Coast Athletic Conference's Mike Gregory Offensive Player-of-the-Year honor while sophomore wide receiver Nick Strausbaugh collected the conference's Newcomer-of-the-Year award, and in all, 10 student-athletes from The College of Wooster football team were named to the all-conference team, as announced by the league office on Thursday morning. The duo of major award winners were joined on the first-team by senior right guard Clayton Geib. Senior placekicker Trevor Bowden, sophomore defensive tackle D'Andre Brown, senior defensive back Patrick Johnson, senior center Patrick Mohorcic, and senior left tackle Drake Schwenke earned second-team honors, while junior running back Antonio Bailey and sophomore tight end Jacob Lewis earned honorable mention certificates.
Muntean, who elevated to first-team from the 2016 honorable mention squad, re-wrote Wooster's record book this season. The signal caller led the NCAC in nearly every passing category this season, completing 220-of-337 pass attempts for 3,165 yards and 33 touchdowns, with the yards and touchdowns ranking at the top of the single-season record book at the College, and the completions and attempts trailing only his 2016 single-season program records. Additionally, Muntean's 65.3 completion percentage and 172.3 passing efficiency points were league-bests as well as single-season program records. Muntean's 3,556 yards of total offense topped the 3,140 he had last year, and the senior standout logged five games with at least four passing touchdowns, and seven games with at least four total touchdowns.
Notable, Muntean's the third Scot to earn the Mike Gregory Award and the first since W Association Hall of Famer Tony Sutton in 2003 and 2004. Additionally, Muntean joins W Association Hall of Famer Rich Judd (1997) as the only first-team All-NCAC quarterbacks in program history.
Strausbaugh exploded onto the football scene with three receptions for 79 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown in the season-opening win over Bluffton University, and that was a sign of things to come. The sophomore, who was a standout on the 2017 NCAC champion baseball squad, followed the Bluffton game with five straight 100-yard games, and Strausbaugh had seven 100-yard games overall, including an eight-catch, 212-yard first half at Kenyon College that saw the speedy sophomore match the single-game program record for touchdown receptions with four. On the year, Strausbaugh broke Wooster's single-season records for yards and touchdowns, finishing at 1,294 and 17 respectively, both marks currently third in Div. III, and the touchdowns tied the NCAC's single-season record.
Strausbaugh's the fourth Scot to earn the NCAC's newcomer honor, and the first to do so since former standout Richard Barnes in 2010. The Fredericksburg, Ohio native is the first Scot to earn first-team All-NCAC honors as a receiver since W Association Hall of Famer Reggie Ray did so in 1999.
Geib is now a two-time all-conference honoree. An honorary member this year, Geib was one of the leaders of a veteran offensive line for the first three games of the season before unexpectedly passing away on Sept. 17. For his career, Geib was a three-year starter, and a key member of the top two passing offenses in program history.
Bowden, one of seven first-time all-conference honorees for Wooster, capped his career with 66 points, a total second among NCAC kickers. Bowden went 48-for-51 on extra points this season and 6-for-9 on field goals, with the 48 extra points ranking as the second-most in a season in program history.
Brown thrived in his first season as a starter on the defensive line, and ended the year fifth on the team with 47 tackles, and second with six tackles-for-loss. The sophomore recorded a sack in three of Wooster's four games and turned in a strong effort with eight tackles versus Denison University.
Johnson, now a three-time all-conference honoree, was elevated to the second-team after back-to-back honorable mention all-conference seasons. One of the conference's premier defensive backs, Johnson forced four fumbles, recorded three interceptions, and recovered two fumbles on the year, all while leading the team with 72 tackles.
Mohorcic and Schwenke, both first-time honorees on the all-conference team, logged a combined 68 career starts between them up front. This season, the duo helped lead the way for an offense ranked first in the NCAC in yards per game (456.3), first downs (241), and second in scoring offense (37.8) - three stats where Wooster sits in the top 35 nationally in the latest Div. III statistical rankings report.
Bailey delivered a career year on the gridiron, and really upped his play over the second half of the season, as the junior averaged over 100 yards rushing per game over the last five games, and finished at 835 yards on 185 totes on the year. Bailey added 10 total touchdowns, including eight on the ground.
Lewis, who transitioned over to tight end for the season, emerged as a key weapon for the conference's top passing offense. The sophomore ranked second on the team in yards (461) and touchdowns (6), and averaged 15.4 yards per catch.
Wooster finished its season at 6-4, the team's best record since 2013.