Nine Hampden-Sydney players make All-State Football Team
Published 12:12 am Friday, January 27, 2023
Hampden-Sydney College placed nine student-athletes on the 2022 Virginia Sports Information Director’s (VaSID) College Division All-State Football Teams, including four First Team and five Second Team selections. In addition, junior safety Will Pickren was selected as the VaSID Defensive Player of the Year, while freshman wide receiver Mason Cunningham was picked as the VaSID Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Earning First Team All-State honors were Pickren, senior tight end David Byler, junior running back Melik Frost and junior offensive lineman TJ Minter.
Garnering Second Team All-State accolades were Cunningham, sophomore wide receiver Austin Fernandez, fifth-year defensive lineman Michael Harris, junior linebacker Dorian Green and junior kick return specialist Brice Wilson.
A spotlight on Pickren, Cunningham and Byler
Email newsletter signup
Will Pickren started all 10 games and had 123 total tackles, including 48 solo and 75 assisted, 5.0 tackles for loss, two interceptions, three pass breakups, one forced fumble, one quarterback hurry and one blocked PAT kick. He led the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in total tackles and tackles per game, and tied for sixth in interceptions. Pickren ranked third in NCAA Division III in total tackles and tackles per game.
Will was additionally named to the 2022 Associated Press (AP) Division III All-America First-Team and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Coaches’ All-America Second Team, while a three-time All-ODAC First Team selection and a two-time All-Region 3 selection by D3football.com, including First Team this year.
Mason Cunningham started seven of 10 games and had 59 receptions for 660 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He ranked second in the ODAC in receptions and receptions per game (5.9), tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns, and tied for fifth in receiving yards and receiving yards per game (66.0). Cunningham averaged 5.4 yards on eight punt returns with a long return of 10 yards. Mason was an All-ODAC Second Team selection as well as the ODAC Rookie of the Year.
David Byler started all 10 games and had 49 receptions for 547 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He ranked fourth in the ODAC in receptions (47), tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns, fifth in receptions per game (4.9), and seventh in receiving yards and receiving yards per game (54.7). An All-ODAC First Team selection, and All-Region 3 Third Team, David established a new school record for receptions by a tight end with his 49, and completed his career with 59 career receptions for 640 yards and seven touchdowns-starting 12 of 27 career games.
More on the Hampden-Sydney honorees
Melik Frost started all 10 games for Hampden-Sydney. He rushed for 943 yards on 201 carries (4.7) and 12 touchdowns, adding 236 yards receiving on 26 receptions and one receiving touchdown. He led the ODAC in rushing yards and rushing yards per game (94.3), and ranked second in all-purpose yards (1,179), all-purpose yards per game (117.9), rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns (13). Melik was an All-ODAC First Team selection, and All-Region 3 Third Team.
TJ Minter started all 10 games, anchoring the offensive line from his left tackle position as the Tigers accounted for 4,275 yards of total offense (427.5), including 1,139 yards rushing (113.9) and 3,136 yards passing (313.6) with 44 touchdowns. Minter graded out at 92% on the season and allowed just one sack, and is a two-time All-ODAC First Team selection, and All-Region 3 Third Team.
Austin Fernandez started all 10 games and had 60 receptions for 775 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He led the ODAC in receptions and receptions per game, was third in receiving yards and receiving yards per game (77.5), and tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns. Austin was an All-ODAC Second Team selection.
Michael Harris, a team captain for Hampden-Sydney, started all nine games he played and had 29 total tackles, including 12 solo and 17 assisted, three tackles for loss, one sack, one quarterback hurry and one blocked PAT kick. Michael is a two-time All-ODAC selection, including Second Team this year, and completed his Hampden-Sydney career with 101 career tackles, including 36 solo and 65 assisted, nine tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one quarterback hurry and one blocked PAT kick-starting 29 of 33 career games.
Dorian Green started all nine games he played and had 70 total tackles, including 24 solo and 46 assisted, 7.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, two interceptions, two pass breakups and three quarterback hurries. He ranked sixth in the ODAC in tackles per game (7.8), tied for sixth in sacks and interceptions, and tied for eighth in total tackles.
Brice Wilson, a wide receiver, started one of eight games for Hampden-Sydney. He averaged 23.5 yards on 12 kick returns with a long return of 34 yards, adding four receptions for 29 yards. He ranked third in the ODAC in kick return average.
What is VaSID?
VaSID names 44 all-state teams in 23 sports each year, as well as an Academic All-State squad and an all-sports champion in both the University and College Divisions. Membership in VaSID is open to all media relations professionals working at a college, university or conference in Virginia.