ATLANTA- Monmouth University landed three players on the 2015 All-Big South Preseason team while Monmouth was selected to finish sixth in the 2015 Preseason Coach’s Poll.
Redshirt junior John Sieczkowski (Manalapan, NJ/Manalapan) and sophomores Mike Basile (Brick, NJ/Brick Memorial) and Alex Thompson (Haddon Heights, NJ/Milford/WVU) were each selected to the preseason All-Big South team. Basile was a First Team selection and Sieczkowski was a second team pick in 2014. Monmouth was the only school to have sophomores featured on the all-conference preseason team.
“It is an honor for Mike, Alex and John to be selected to the preseason all-conference team by the league’s coaches and media members. We are excited to begin camp here in a few weeks in preparation for our second season in the Big South Conference.”
Basile was named the Big South Freshman of the Year after the 2014 season, in which he led the Hawks in solo tackles with 59 stops. He was named Crons Big South Freshman of the Week a record three times and his 78 total tackles was second most in the Big South among defensive backs and sixth overall. The Brick Memorial product started all 11 games, the first Monmouth true freshman to do so since the 2011 season. His 59 solo stops was a 19th in the NCAA and second among league defenders. Basile averaged 8.4 tackles per game in league play in his first season for the Blue & White.
Sieczkowski led the Hawks in tackles with 85 from his outside linebacker position. The redshirt sophomore was second in the conference in tackles per game with 7.7 and fourth in total tackles. The Manalapan product was second on the team in solo tackles with 58, which ranks 20th in the NCAA. The two-year starter has started in 23 straight contests, more than any other current Hawk.
Thompson started 10 of 11 games at center as a true freshman, leading the way for the Big South leader in all-purpose yards, running back Lavon Chaney. The Haddon Heights native was part of an offensive line that helped Monmouth set a new school record in points scored with 322 (29.3 points per game).
Coastal Carolina was picked to win the conference earning 15 first place votes and 139 total points. Right behind them was Liberty with 129 points and six first place points followed by Charleston Southern (106 points) and Presbyterian (72). Gardner-Webb was chosen fifth with 57 points while Monmouth was just four points behind with 53. First year program Kennesaw State was picked seventh with 32 points. Coastal Carolina quarterback Alex Ross was named Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Gardner-Webb defensive tackle O.J. Mau was named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Monmouth finished 6-5 overall and 1-5 in 2014, its first season in the Big South. In addition to Basile and Sieczkowski, the Hawks had five other members earn all-conference honors. MU returns nine starters on defense and six starters on offense, including Chaney.
The 2015 season kicks off at home against Holy Cross on Sept. 5, 2015. Visit MonmouthHawks.com for ticket information.
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