University of Maryland fullback Trevor Tanifum and University of North Carolina inside center Amir Khan are the 2012 Atlantic Coast Rugby League Co-Players of the Year as voted on by the conference’s coaches. This is the second consecutive year that players from these two teams shared the honor.
Tanifum, a senior, and Khan, a junior, tied for the conference lead in tries with 9 apiece. Tanifum also took on much of Maryland’s kicking duties after Cima was lost for the year to an injury early in conference play.
Both players boasted multiple multi-try games and were integral to their teams’ success. Tanifum’s importance to the Terrapins was underscored when he was injured last week in practice and was unavailable for Maryland’s national playoff game against Tennessee.
His absence was clearly noticeable, as the Terps lost to the Volunteers, a team they had beaten earlier in the season with Tanifum on the field. Khan, meanwhile, capped off his stellar season by being selected to play for the USA Rugby South Men’s All-Star side that will play the Bermuda national team next weekend in Atlanta.
Other award winners were Dan Collins from Clemson, who took home Freshman of the Year honors and Patrick Kane from Wake Forest who was voted the conference Coach of the Year.
A product of the famed Gonzaga high school program in Washington, DC, Collins excelled at hooker for the Tigers before a slew of injuries forced the coaching staff to move him to the flyhalf position. The Tigers proceeded to finish the season on a 5 game winning streak with Collins running the team in the number 10 jersey. Kane, in his eighth year at the helm of Wake Forest, lead the Demon Deacons to a 4-3 record and fourth place conference finish after the team was picked to finish seventh in the coaches’ preseason poll.
Maryland and Clemson, who finished first and second respectively in the conference, led all teams in All-Conference players with eight apiece. Wake Forest was close behind with seven honorees. Maryland’s Matias Cima, last year’s Co-Player of the Year, was named Honorable Mention despite missing the majority of the season with a hamstring injury; a testament to the respect the coaches around the league have for his talent. Cima will be playing for the United States U-20 team this summer.
In keeping with its member schools’ emphasis on academics, the conference again named an All-Academic team, with one player from each school represented. Wake Forest’s Brandon Turner and North Carolina State’s Brandon Mosiman were repeat All-Academic performers. Turner was the recipient of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship this year and will attend Oxford in the fall, while Mosiman has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA at NC State over four years while majoring in mechanical engineering.
A full list of the 2012 Atlantic Coast Rugby League All-Conference Teams and Award Winners is below.
2012 ACRL Co-Players of the Year: Amir Khan, UNC and Trevor Tanifum, Maryland
2012 ACRL Freshman of the Year: Dan Collins, Clemson
2012 Coach of the Year: Patrick Kane, Wake Forest
2012 All-ACRL First Team
Prop- Abe Harmon, NCSU
Prop- Tanner Hall, GT
Hooker-Alek Belokepetov, UNC
Lock- Christian Gutowski, Wake Forest
Lock- Spencer Hutchinson, Clemson
Lock- Ron Pelkey, Virginia Tech
Loose Forward- Brendan Shea, Wake Forest
Loose Forward- Keith Sneddon, Maryland
Loose Forward- Mic Minichiello, Virginia Tech
Forward- Bill Whelan, Virginia Tech
Forward- Matt Pace, NCSU
Flyhalf/Hooker- Dan Collins, Clemson
Scrumhalf-Tyler Thompson, Clemson
Scrumhalf- Chris Curtin, UVA
Flyhalf- Rob Kelly, Wake Forest
Inside Center- Amir Khan, UNC
Outside Center- Dan Hudgens, UNC
Wing- Tyler Blaser, Clemson
Wing/Fullback- Trevor Tanifum, Maryland
Fullback- Johnny McMurray, Wake Forest
Back- Evan Burch, UVA
Back- John Davis, Maryland
2012 All-ACRL Honorable Mention
Prop- Victor Ochy, Maryland
Prop- Max Simons, Clemson
Hooker- Kevin Hurley, Virginia Tech
Hooker- Nate Young, Georgia Tech
Hooker- Luna Mishoe, Maryland
Lock- James Watson, Wake Forest
Lock- Joseph Murphy, UVA
Loose Forward- Matt Fetty, Clemson
Loose Forward- Dylan Martin, NCSU
Loose Forward- Tommy Evans, Clemson
Scumhalf- Pat Pacious, Maryland
Flyhalf- Matias Cima, Maryland
Flyhalf- Dylan Cunningham, UNC
Inside Center- Nolan Courvall, Clemson
Inside Center- Matt Heitzer, Virginia Tech
Outside Center- Ryan Tacon, Wake Forest
Wing- Brandon Cree, Maryland
Wing- Brandon Turner, Wake Forest
Fullback- Stefan Friend, Clemson
2012 All-Academic Team
Chris DiSanto, Clemson (Management, 3.72 GPA)
Karl Sofinowski, Georgia Tech (Materials Science Engineering, 4.0)
Drew Herpel, Maryland (Electrical Engineering, 3.96)
Brandon Mosiman, North Carolina State (Mechanical Engineering, 4.0)
Alek Belokepetov, UNC (Mathematics and Economics, 3.925)
Brandon McMichael, Virginia Tech (Marketing, 3.7)
Kevin McGrath, Virginia (Finance and Accounting, 3.77)
Brandon Turner, Wake Forest (Biophysics, 3.89)