HADLEY, Mass. -- Three members of the Bates College football team received all-conference recognition, including two on the first team, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced the 2011 All-NESCAC football teams on Thursday.
Senior wide receiver John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.) was named to the First Team Offense and senior inside linebacker Kevin Helm (Norwell, Mass.) made the First Team Defense. Junior cornerback Kyle Starr (Concord, N.H.) was named to the Second Team Defense at defensive back.
Squires was one of the top offensive threats in the NESCAC for the second straight year, catching a career-high 42 passes for 601 yards and six touchdowns. Squires' height, strength, outstanding hands and good speed all combined to make him a matchup nightmare for any defense, and he ranked fourth in the NESCAC in receiving yards per game (75.1), sixth in receptions per game (5.25) and tied for second in touchdown catches. In 16 games over the past two seasons, Squires caught 72 balls for 1,111 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Helm becomes Bates' first two-sport All-NESCAC athlete since Tom Beaton '10 did it as a football and baseball player in the 2009-10 academic year. Helm was the top tackler on the fourth-best run-stopping defense in the NESCAC, and he led the conference in solo tackles for the second straight year, with 65. He also tallied 2.5 sacks on the year and finished second in the league in tackles for a loss, with 12.5 for a loss of 49 yards. Helm finished with a career-high 92 tackles in all, a year after tying for the conference lead with 80 tackles in 2010.
Starr tied for the conference lead with five interceptions, heading a ballhawking Bates defense that picked off 15 passes all season, second only to Amherst. Starr returned his five pickoffs for a total of 96 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown return in Bates' win at Williams. Starr also made a career-high 37 tackles (30 solo) and tied for eighth in the NESCAC in passes defended, with seven. He becomes Bates' first All-NESCAC cornerback since Pat Boyaggi '03 in 2002.
All three men are starters on two varsity teams at Bates. Squires participated in his first practice yesterday with the Bates men's basketball team, and the 6-foot-8 forward is expected to be in the starting lineup when the Bobcats play host to UMaine-Fort Kent on Friday night at 7pm. Helm is a two-sport captain and was named to the 2011 All-NESCAC men's lacrosse team as a junior defender. Starr is a teammate of Helm's on the men's lacrosse team, where he started eight games as an attacker for the Bobcats last season.
Go to the NESCAC Football All-Conference Team release.