Beloit, WI -- The Beloit College Football team officially closed the book on the 2016 season recently with the season-ending Buccaneer Football Awards Banquet, held in Flood Arena.
Third-year head coach Seth Duerr and his staff recapped the season and handed out awards during the event.
The award honorees included: Mike Nolden, Offensive Player of the Year; Riley Pearson, Defensive Player of the Year; Kam Sallee, Special Teams Player of the Year; David Lafayette, Carl Nelson Team Player of the Year; Danny May, Ed DeGeorge Leadership Award; and Mason Dixon, Dick Shanahan Team MVP.
Nolden, a senior wide receiver from Belleville, Wisconsin, was a three-time First Team All-MWC selection, the first Buccaneer Football player to be so honored since linebacker Tony Baratti from 2008-10, led the Bucs in receiving with 60 catches for 889 yards and nine touchdowns. The nine touchdown receptions were the second-most in the MWC and are the third-most in a season in Beloit history while the 60 catches are tied for the fourth-most in a season at Beloit and the 889 yards receiving were fifth-most in a season. For his career he finished as the all-time leader in receptions (193) and receiving TDs (30), was second in receiving yards (2,605) and fourth in all-purpose yardage (3,464). In his career he had eight 100-yard receiving games and two games with three touchdown catches, which ties for the most ever for the Bucs.
Pearson, a senior defensive lineman from Beloit (Orfordville, Wisconsin/Parkview) was a Second Team All-MWC selection. He was second on the team in tackles with 71, 36 of them solo. He led the team in sacks with 7.0 for 44 yards and tackles for loss with 12.5 for 58 yards. He also had a forced and a recovered fumble and blocked a kick. He finished his career with 262 tackles, 16.0 sacks and 31.0 tackles for loss.
Sallee, a senior kicker/punter/wide receiver from Huntley, Illinois, was 11-11 on field goals during the 2016 season, including a Beloit record-tying 52-yarder against Knox College at Strong Stadium on September 10. He also set a school record with a 40.8 punting average, including a record 75-yarder at Lawrence University on October 1. He was also 30-32 on extra points. When he wasn't kicking he was the team's second-leading receiver with 37 catches for 347 yards. He completed his career with 28 field goals (28-42), 106 extra points (106-110), 190 kicking points and a 37.4 punting average, all at the top of the list in Beloit Football history.
Lafayette, a senior linebacker from Madison, Wisconsin/East, led the 2016 team in tackles with 72, including 38 solo. He also had 4.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. For his career he finished with 223 tackles, 135 solo, 18 tackles for loss, four sacks, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
May, a senior quarterback from Maitland, Florida/Bishop Moore, was Second Team All-MWC after having a second straight 2,000-yard passing season, just the third Buccaneer quarterback to record two such seasons. He finished 174-269 thru the air, breaking his own season record with a 64.7% passing percentage, for 2,079 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed for 608 yards and five TDs, giving him an average of just under 269 yards per game in total offense. His 22 total touchdowns passing and rushing were more than half of the team total. In just two seasons, he ended his career first in passing percentage (63.8%), second in pass completions (350) and fourth in both passing yards (4,167) and touchdowns (34).
Dixon, a senior running back from Walworth, Wisconsin/Big Foot, earned First Team All-MWC honors for the first time after earning Second Team the past two seasons. He was a four-time All-MWC honoree, the first since Baratti. He battled through an injury-plagued final season as the team leader with 172 rushes for 848 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes for 80 yards. For his career he finished second in Beloit history in rushing attempts (863), rushing yards (4,511), touchdowns (39) and yards per season (1,128). He recorded 27 100-yard rushing games in his career, including six this past season.
The Buccaneers open the 2017 season on Saturday, September 2, against Lake Forest College at Strong Stadium.