Mesa’s Price is defensive freshman of year in RMAC

Colorado Mesa University freshman Jordan Price caught the attention of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference this football season.

The cornerback from Fort Worth, Texas, was selected the RMAC defensive freshman of the year Wednesday.

“That’s a heck of an award for that young man,” Mesa coach Joe Ramunno said. “He is very deserving. He grew as the season went.”

Price tied for second in the conference in passes defended with 17, led the Mavericks in pass break-ups (15), intercepted two passes, forced one fumble and recovered one fumble. He had 36 tackles, including one for a loss, and returned six kickoffs for 278 yards, including a 100-yard return for a touchdown against CSU-Pueblo.

Teammate Connor Wright made the all-conference first-team defense. The senior defensive end dominated the RMAC with 106 tackles (second in the conference), 20.5 tackles for a loss (second) and 11 sacks (first). He ranked eighth in the nation in tackles for a loss per game and ninth in sacks per game

Trent deBraga made the first team on special teams. The junior kick returner led the RMAC with 29.1 yards per kickoff return (24 returns for 698 yards).

Mesa offensive lineman Trevor Stapp made the second team. Senior linebacker Chad Benkelman, safety Trent deBraga and sophomore punter Michael Brady made the third team.

Redshirt freshman running back Jake Cimolino didn’t make the team despite finishing third in the RMAC and leading all freshmen with 974 rushing yards. Redshirt freshman cornerback Travis McRae was left off the team despite finishing second in the RMAC in passes defended (17) and interceptions (5).

CSU-Pueblo, which won the RMAC title and received a first-round bye in the NCAA Division II playoffs, won four of the player of the year awards.

Senior linebacker Lee Meisner was the defensive player of the year, senior kicker Kyle Major was the special teams player of the year, freshman running back J.B. Mathews was the offensive freshman of the year with 657 rushing yards and coach John Wristen is the coach of the year.

Nebraska-Kearney senior quarterback Jake Spitzlberger is the offensive player of the year. He threw for a school-record 10,946 yards in his career and rushed for a QB school record 2,296 yards.

Men’s Basketball

The Colorado Mesa University men’s basketball program has its first recruit for the 2012-13 school year.

Ryan Stephan, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound post player from Denver, signed a national letter of intent during the early signing period.

“We are excited to have Ryan coming to CMU next year,” associate head coach Andy Shantz said in a press release. “We feel like he is a tremendous person, student and player that will fit in great with his teammates here. He has a unique skill set for his size and has a great feel for the game. He can play inside and out.”

The Green Mountain High School senior was an all-conference selection in the Jefferson County League and an all-state honorable mention pick as a junior.

He averaged 13.6 points, 5.5 rebounds per game and shot 83 percent from the free-throw line.

Women’s Soccer

Colorado Mesa midfielder Sara Islas was selected to the NCAA Division II Daktronic All-Central Region women’s soccer second team.

The senior from Tucson, Ariz., scored four goals and had one assist this season. She led the team in shots on goal with 26. Islas made the all-RMAC first team after leading the Mavericks to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000.

The all-region team consists of 25 players from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and the RMAC. The sports information directors at the institutions vote on the team.


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