OGDEN -- The 2009 Big Sky All-Conference First Team, released Tuesday, features seven Weber State Wildcats.
Wide Receiver Tim Toone, running back Trevyn Smith, center Kyle Mutcher, defensive back Josh Morris, and defensive end Kevin Linehan are all a part of the team for a second straight season. Making it on the team for the first time are linebacker Taylor Sedillo and punter Mike Snoy.
Wildcat running back Trevyn Smith earned his First Team honors for the fourth straight season, once again etching his name in the history books. Smith is just the third player in the 47 year history of the Big Sky Conference to earn First Team honors in four straight seasons.
Smith joins another Weber State Wildcat, Scott Shields, and Nevada running back Charvez Foger as the only players in league history to earn a four-peat. Smith is also a candidate for the Walter Payton Award this year.
One of the six unanimous selections to the team was wide receiver Tim Toone. Toone, also selected to the First Team as a return specialist, broke a few records of his own this season. He broke a punt return for 95 yards in a game this season, which is a Big Sky record.
He is also the first Wildcat receiver to get 3,000 receiving yards and only the seventh player in Big Sky history to reach that milestone. Toone leads the nation with a punt return average of 21.2 per game.
Along with the seven Wildcats on the First Team, four Wildcats earned themselves Second Team honors. Safety Beau Hadley is joined by freshman fullback Bo Bolen, guard J.C. Oram, and tackle Nestor Cruz.
The Big Sky Conference also gave Honorable Mention to a handful of Wildcat players. Junior wide receiver Mike Phillips is joined by quarterback Cameron Higgins, tight end Cody Nakamura, who was lost to a season ending knee injury, tackles Ryan Eastman and Maiah Fa'atoafe, outside linebacker Nick Webb, cornerback Thyrell Lewis, safety Jordan Brown, and on special teams' sophomore Caldwell Taylor.
For the second time in three seasons, the Big Sky Conference named Eastern Washington quarterback Matt Nichols the Offensive Player of the Year. Nichols tallied a league high 3,454 yards of total offense during the regular season. His passer efficiency rating of 164.1 ranks fourth in the nation; and he's also fifth in the nation in total offense. Nichols threw 30 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 2009.
The award for Defensive Player of the Year was handed out to Montana State senior defensive end Dane Fletcher. Fletcher, a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award caused havoc for team's week in and week out during the regular season, leading the league with 17 tackles for loss. He finished off his senior campaign with 66 total tackles and anchored a defense which ranked first in the league and seventh in the nation against the rush.
Earning the Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year was Sacramento State safety Zach Schrader. Schrader transferred to the Hornets after Division 2 School Western Washington decided to drop their football program. The junior safety recorded 102 tackles and forced a league high four fumbles.