CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT was well represented in the New England Football Conference post-season awards released by the league. Freshman Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.) was recognized for his outstanding first year with the Engineers as the NEFC Boyd Division Offensive Rookie of the Year, becoming the first MIT player to be named to that honor. Senior Tyler Wagner (Bel Air, Md.) was named the Hal Chalmers Senior Student-Athlete of the Year, the fourth consecutive year the award has gone to an MIT student-athlete, with six other Engineers earning NEFC Boyd Division All-Division Honors.
Earning first team All-Boyd Division honors was junior offensive guard Ethan Peterson (Rutland, Vt.). Named to the second team were senior tight end Justin Kresz (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), sophomore linebacker Jake Laux (Dousman, Wis.), sophomore defensive lineman Joel Santisteban (Lawrence, N.Y.), sophomore defensive lineman Derek Vaughn (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) and Wallace.
Wallace had an outstanding first season at MIT, leading the Engineers in rushing with 981 yards and averaging 109.0 yards per game. He rushed for 100 yards four times, with a high of 190 in MIT's 23-0 win over Nichols. Finishing fourth in the NEFC in rushing, he was second among all freshmen nationally in Division III in yards per game. A second team all-division selection last season, Peterson helped led the way for Wallace and the rest of the MIT rushing attack that finished seventh in the NEFC in rushing and 10th in total offense.
Kresz closed out his career in fine style, finishing second on the team in receiving with 29 catches for 382 yards and two scores, all of which represented career highs. One of the top tacklers in the NEFC, Laux led MIT with 90 stops and was second among all defenders in the NEFC with his average of 10.0 tackles per game. Santisteban and Vaughn anchored the defensive line for MIT all season, with Santisteban totaling 34 tackles, including a team-high 11 for a loss, and Vaughn registering 27, with six of his stops coming behind the line of scrimmage.
Wagner is a National Football Foundation 2011 Scholar-Athlete nominee and was a New England Football Conference All-Academic pick in 2010. He finished the 2011 season second on squad among defensive linemen in tackles with 32 and recorded a career best 4.0 tackles for loss. Selected as a Paul E. Gray researcher at MIT, he received funding for MIT's International Genetically Engineered Machines competition team.