Week one of football in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference provided fans, families and followers some strong early season performances by first-year student-athletes and some notable returners. Sadly, it was also marked in tragedy as a terrible accident claimed the life of a well-liked and respected football student-athlete at Vermilion Community College. Our condolences and respects to the Vermilion Community College campus and football program and the family of Sean Westly Giles, Jr., who has been named the MCAC Football Eastern Division Player-of-the-Week.
For MCAC statistical leaders, go to: http://www.mcacsports.org/sports/fball/2018-19/leaders
MCAC Football Eastern Division
Sean Westly Giles, Jr.
Vermilion Community College
Vermilion Community College football student-athlete Sean Westly Giles, Jr. tragically drowned while swimming on Monday, September 3 in Ely, MN.
Giles, Jr., of Detroit, was a second-year student at VCC. He was a multiple-academic scholarship recipient from the Vermilion Community College Foundation and played defensive end for the school's Ironmen football team, according to school provost Shawn Bina.
Shawn Bina, provost for the 560-student school, said that Giles "became part of the Ely community and stayed over the summer" after the end of the previous school year.
Between school years Giles worked at the college, and at the Rockwood restaurant and Front Porch coffee shop.
"There is a lot of shock among students and teammates," Bina said. "Sean was known as a happy and confident young man. There always was a smile on his face."
His former coach at River Rouge High School, Corey Parker, wrote on Facebook and described Giles as "one of mine ... what a great kid."
Notable Performances in the MCAC Eastern Division:
Trebian Suggs (Pensacola, FL) of Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College found multiple ways to contribute to a week one win for first year coach Davin DePoe and the Thunder.
As a receiver, Suggs hauled in seven catches for 86 total yards and two touchdowns. His longest catch on the day was for 42 yards and he earned a 12.3 yard average. On the ground, Suggs rushed five times for 38 total yards, averaging 7.6 yards a carry. He also ran two kickoff returns for the Thunder, with a longest return of 15 yards. Dondre White had three kickoff returns for a total of 144 yards and a 94-yard touchdown dash. KeAndre Smith contributed two picks, with one returned for a TD.
Anthony King, a sophomore defensive lineman at Central Lakes College, was a force for the Raiders in week one. King, from Green Bay Wisconsin, had six tackles on the day, including 2.5 sacks for the Raiders. He was a part of 3.5 tackles for losses for head coach Greg Mececk's squad against a high-powered MnWest offense. Also, Zach Severtson had five catches for 108 yards and a TD while teammate Jordan Thompson hauled in seven catches on the day. QB Jake Franklin threw for 217 yards and one touchdown.
Greg Henry, a running back at Rochester Community & Technical College racked up 128 yards on 10 carries including a 70 yard effort against Northland Community & Technical College. The sophomore clocked in as one of the leading rushers in MCAC football for week one as one of only three backs to eclipse the century mark on the ground. Trey Johnson and Cazz Martin combined for 92 yards worth of kickoff returns for RCTC while Bangalee Bamba had ten tackles.
Sam Okuayinonu was a dominant force for Mesabi Range College in their 48-6 win over M State-Fergus Falls. Okuayinonu had three sacks for a total of 29 yards among his five tackles for loss on the day. He finished his week one contest with six total stops, all of the solo variety. QB John Guerra was 11-for-17 with two touchdowns, while Ny'Travious Barkley rumbled for 111 yards on 20 rushing attempts, with two Norse scores.
Itasca Community College DB Maleek Davis returned a pick for a touchdown in the Vikings 15-13 win on Saturday while receiver Michael Dunn hit double-digits in catches with 10 against the 'Jacks. Cameron Strapp collected 11 tackles on the day - 10 were solo stops - along with a sack and a tackle-for-loss. Punter Mitchell Miller hit nine kicks on the day, with a long boot of 45 yards and dropped one inside the twenty yard line.
Vermilion quarterback Breon Jackson went 8-for-14 passing with 184 yards and two touchdowns, with much of it to receiver Jeffrey Crittendon, whose three catches accounted for 162 yards. Haden Leach and Malik Gainer had eight and six tackles, respectivley for the Ironmen. Michael Innello chipped in 33 yards on the ground and threw for 92 more on a 5-for-13 passing day.
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About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system. The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions. The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.