Tiffin, Ohio – November 23, 2009 – Eight members of the Heidelberg University football team have been honored with a spot on the 2009 All-Ohio Athletic Conference Team as voted on by league head coaches. It is the second time in three years that Heidelberg has had eight representatives on the all-league team. Of its eight honorees, four earned a nod on the first team, marking the most selections since tallying four in 1991.
Heading the list on the first team offense was junior wide receiver Mike Preston (Maple Heights, Ohio / Euclid), junior offensive lineman Nathan Kater (Villa Hills, Ky. / Covington Catholic) and senior running back Jemar Lewis (Bedford Heights, Ohio / Bedford). Landing a spot on the first team defense was senior Matt Grieves (Huron, Ohio / Huron). Securing a spot on the second team offense was senior running back Kenny Sims (Garfield Heights, Ohio / Garfield Heights) and on second team defense was senior defensive back Julius Higginbotham (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria). Junior quarterback Andrew Miller (Dalton, Ohio / Dalton) and senior defensive back Wayne Glisson (Huntington Beach, Calif. / Fountain Valley) received honorable mention accolades.
Under the guidance of third year head coach Mike Hallett, the Berg finished the regular season with 4-6 overall record and a 3-6 record in OAC play. The Berg opened the year with a 42-26 victory at Westminster College and closed out the year victors in three of its last four outings. Included in its list of wins was its third-straight win over Baldwin-Wallace College and a road win at Wilmington College. Heidelberg also topped Marietta College for the second year in a row in a game that was played at Mayer Field, on the campus of Heidelberg. The game with the Pioneers marked the first football contest played on campus in 64 years.
Picking up his first postseason honors of his career is Preston. Preston emerged into the starting line up this season and led the team with 869 receiving yards and 47 receptions. He finished the year with five 100-yard receiving games, which included his first of his career and was highlighted by a 192 yard outing against Muskingum University Nov. 14. He also stood second on the team with eight touchdowns.
Joining Preston with his first postseason honor of his career is Kater. Kater has been a mainstay on the offensive line over the course of the last three years, starting every game that he has appeared in. In 2009, he helped to anchor the line that paved the way for four All-OAC picks on offense. He assisted with Miller topping his own single-season passing touchdowns record and helped to guide the Berg to tie the team single-game passing first down record.
Lewis has earned his second-straight All-OAC accolade. A season ago he was named to the second team. In his final campaign, Lewis eclipsed 100 yards rushing in four games led by a career-best 169 yards against Marietta Nov. 7. He was a two-time OAC Offensive Player of the Week selection. For the year he led the team in scoring with nine touchdowns, to go along with a team-leading 807 rushing yards in 147 carries.
A three-time All-OAC honoree is Grieves. Grieves has anchored the defensive line from the onset of his career. He is picking up his first nod on the first team, after garnering second team honors in 2008 and a nod on the honorable mention list as a sophomore. In 2009 Grieves led the team in tackles with 82, solo tackles with 39 and tackles for a loss with 19.5. He also ranked in the top-10 in the nation in tackles for a loss. Grieves registered seven sacks on the year to lead the way, to go along with eight quarterback hurries, four pass break ups, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick.
Sims second team accolade joins his first team nod from 2007. He returned following an injury and regained his all-conference performance. For the year he picked up over 100 yards rushing in four games. He ranked second on the team with 724 rushing yards in 137 attempts. In nine games he had four touchdowns, three rushing and one passing.
Another first team all-conference recipient for the Berg is Higginbotham. Higginbotham helped to anchor a strong secondary for the Berg. He finished in the top-10 on the team in tackles with 46, including 32 solo stops, which was fourth on the team. He shared team-honors with two interceptions and had four pass break ups.
Continuing to lead Heidelberg to new heights over the course of the last two years has been Miller and for his efforts he has snagged his first postseason honor. In his second year starting under center, Miller set a new single-season passing touchdowns record. He finished the year with 22 touchdowns which tops his previous record of 19 he set a season ago. For the year he completed 132-of-260 passes for 2,159 yards. He threw for over 200 yards in six games, highlighted by a career-best 381yards at Capital University Sept. 19.
Rounding out the list of All-OAC picks is Glisson. Glisson transferred to the Berg at the start of the 2008 season and found a spot immediately in the secondary. In his final season Glisson stood second on the team with 80 tackles and with 35 solo tackles. He also had two pass break ups and a forced fumble. Glisson opened the year with a career-high 17 tackles in a win at Westminster.