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Eight Skyhawk football players earn RMAC honorable mentions

Hyson of Durango among players honored
Fred Mady III of Fort Lewis College wraps up a ball carrier from New Mexico Highlands this season. Mady was one of eight FLC football players recognized by the league. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference released the 2021 all-conference football teams and award winners on Thursday, and eight Skyhawks earned honorable mention recognition.

Individual awards and all-conference rosters were voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches. Coaches were unable to vote for their own players.

Fort Lewis is represented on the honorable mention list by redshirt freshmen Fred Mady III and Ethan Vlchek, redshirt sophomores Jayden Helms and Max Hyson, juniors Dylan Holt, Zach Russell and Jalani Blade, as well as senior Devon Taylor.

On the defensive side of the ball, Helms led all RMAC players during the regular season with 73 solo tackles and 117 total tackles; the 12th-most in a single season in FLC history. He’s currently tied for the third for the most total tackles and third in solo tackles among all NCAA Division II players. He added two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two pass breakups in 11 games played.

Max Hyson of Fort Lewis College lines up for special teams practice. Hyson, who is from Durango, was recently honored by the RMAC. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Mady III and Hyson joined Helms in the top 15 for RMAC tackles, with Mady III tallying 97 tackles and one sack in his first season as a starting linebacker. On the edge, Hyson produced 74 tackles and a team-high 10.5 tackles for a loss. The Durango product added two sacks and a fumble recovery.

As for Blade, the junior defensive back led all Skyhawks with three interceptions, adding three pass breakups and one forced fumble to go with his 37 tackles in 11 starts.

Holt led the FLC offense honorable mention players with 236 receiving yards and a team-high three touchdowns. He made 19 catches on the season with an average of 12.4 yards per catch.

Right behind Holt was Russell at the tight end position with 17 catches for 157 yards. He started nine games for the Skyhawks in his return from a back injury.

Fort Lewis also placed two offensive linemen on the honorable mention team in Taylor and Vlchek. Taylor, featured in the “Meet 2022 NFL Draft Prospects” by NFL Draft Diamonds, started in nine games for the Skyhawks this fall.

Vlchek, a redshirt freshman from Parker, started 10 games across the FLC front in his first season at the collegiate level.