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Walker, Segall-Abrams head five Bobcats on All-NESCAC team

Myles Walker '11 is Bates' first linebacker named to the NESCAC All-Conference Team since Dave Bodger '06 in 2005.
Gavin Segall-Abrams '11 raised his play to become the top punter in the NESCAC in his senior season.

HADLEY, Mass. -- Five players from the Bates College football team were named to the NESCAC All-Conference Team, announced on Thursday by the New England Small College Athletic Conference, including a pair of seniors named to the First Team.

Senior linebacker Myles Walker (Needham, Mass.) was named to the First Team Defense, while senior punter and kicker Gavin Segall-Abrams (Greensboro, N.C.) earned the nod as the First Team punter. Named to the Second Team Offense was left tackle Ryan Weston (Bangor, Maine), and included on the Second Team Defense were senior defensive lineman Devin Horvath (Parsippany, N.J.) and first-year defensive back Andrew Kukesh (Exeter, N.H.).

It is the first All-NESCAC award for all five Bobcats. That may be a bit of a surprise in the case of Walker, who led the team in tackles for the third consecutive season -- tying for the top spot this year with junior fellow linebacker Kevin Helm (Norwell, Mass.). Walker racked up 80 tackles in 2010, tied for the top of the conference with Helm and Cyprian Oyomba of Wesleyan, to go with two sacks, 7.0 tackles for a loss, one interception, four passes defended and one forced fumble. One of three team captains this season, Walker joins his older brother and former Bates running back Jamie Walker '07 as an All-NESCAC honoree. Jamie Walker was named to the First Team Offense in 2006. After seeing no field time as a freshman, Myles Walker finishes his career with 218 tackles (146 solo) over 24 games.

Horvath

Kukesh

Weston

Segall-Abrams

Walker

Segall-Abrams punted for Bates 201 times, in 31 of a possible 32 games, in his career. Always a solid punter, his play rose in his senior season, punting 62 times for a 38.6-yard average, all career-highs. He was the leading punter in the NESCAC in 2010, and ranked 28th in Division III. Segall-Abrams placed 13 of his punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line, and also helped Bates rank first in average net punting yardage (34.50). He was also Bates' placekicker for most of his career, scoring 43 points for the Bobcats, including four field goals and 31 points after touchdowns.

Weston, the only Maine native on either all-conference squad, remarkably was named All-NESCAC in his first season playing on the offensive line. Yet his play at left tackle was instrumental in Bates' establishing an improved running game. The Bobcats ran for 106 yards per game in 2010, sixth-best in the NESCAC, up from 57.9 yards per game in 2009, which ranked ninth. Weston also played a key role in the Bobcats limiting their sacks-allowed total to drop from 31 in 2009 to 16 in 2010. Weston started all eight games last year at tight end, after missing his freshman season due to injury.

Kukesh is the only rookie to be named to either All-Conference team, although Trinity running back Evan Bunker was named Rookie of the Year. Kukesh's six interceptions were second most in the NESCAC, and his interceptions-per-game average of 0.75 places him 13th in all of Division III. He tied for eighth in the league in passes defended, with eight. Kukesh's 37 tackles (23 solo) tied him for 47th in the conference.

Like most defensive tackles, Horvath's contributions to the team don't translate into gaudy statistics, though he accumulated 28 tackles, including 4.0 for a loss and one sack. Horvath also batted down three passes and blocked a kick. His gap-plugging abilities were perhaps the key component in the Bobcats' third-place conference rank in rushing defense, at 116.9 yards per game. A three-year starter on Bates' defensive line, Horvath concluded his career with 110 tackles (52 solo) over 25 games played, including 10.5 for a loss.

It is the most All-NESCAC honorees for Bates since 2003, and tied for second-most in the 12-year history of the All-NESCAC Football Team, with Bates' 2002 and 1999 squads.

Read the 2010 NESCAC Football All-Conference Teams release (PDF)