PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Seven student-athletes from the University of New Hampshire were selected to the Atlantic 10 Football all-conference teams, the league announced Wednesday. Senior linebacker Brett Bashaw (Newburyport, Mass.) led the list with his selection to the All-Conference Defense First Team.
Classmate Eric Mitchell (Atco, N.J.) was the only other Wildcat named to a defensive team, as the defensive back earned Third Team honors. The offense featured sophomore running back Stephan Lewis (Coatesville, Pa.) and linemen Jason Ball (Londonderry, N.H.; junior), Ryan Ward (Niagara Falls, Ont.; senior) and Al Willis (Queens, N.Y.; senior) on the Second Team. Senior wide receiver Kamau Peterson (Windsor, Ont.) was voted to the Third Team.
The conference also announced that Villanova junior running back Brian Westbrook and Delaware senior linebacker Brian McKenna were named Atlantic 10 Football Conference Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. Rich Musinski of William & Mary was voted Rookie of the Year and Richmond's Jim Reid captured Coach of the Year honors.
Bashaw led the team in unassisted tackles (63), assisted tackles (64), total tackles (127) and tackles-for-loss (18). He ranked third in the conference at 11.5 tackles per game. With 297 career tackles, Bashaw is tied for third (with Romande Carter, 1993-96) on UNH's all-time list.
Mitchell tied for the team lead in interceptions with three and averaged 14.3 yards per return. He finished second to Bashaw in tackles with 86, including 39 solo tackles.
Lewis, despite missing the last two games due to injury, led the 'Cats with 953 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns (nine rushing). He compiled 515 receiving yards for a total of 1,468 all-purpose yards. A Gold Helmet and conference Player of the Week selection Oct. 30, Lewis ranked third in the Atlantic 10 with 105.9 rushing yards per game; he was second in both all-purpose yards (163.1 per game) and scoring (8.7).
Lewis had Ball, Ward and Willis to credit for his success. The trio anchored an offensive line that propelled UNH to a No. 5 conference ranking in both rushing and passing.
Peterson led the Wildcats in both receptions (53) and receiving yards (733) and was third in touchdowns (six). His 53 receptions is the program's sixth-best single-season total. Peterson averaged 13.8 yards per catch and 73.3 yards per game. His 12-catch, 180-yard performance against Delaware helped New Hampshire upset the second-ranked Fightin' Blue Hens.
UNH, ranked as high as 23rd in the nation, finished the season at 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the Atlantic 10.