YUMA, AZ – The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced their 2013 Football All-Americans on Monday afternoon and three Arizona Western College Matadors made the list.
Linebacker Antonio Kinard was named to the First Team Defense. The 6’3” freshman played in all 11 games this season, totaling a team best 106 tackles, one and a half sacks, 16.5 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one interception. Kinard has 41 more tackles than the next closest Matador on the stat sheet, which happens to be Myrick Gwynn.
Sophomore defensive back Myrick Gwynn was honored on the NJCAA Honorable Mention Defensive team. Gwynn had 65 tackles this past season and three sacks. He also recovered two fumbles and had eight and a half tackles for a loss.
On the offensive side, sophomore offensive lineman Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy was honored on the First Team Offense. Paleka-Kennedy has been a two year starter for the Matadors and a key cog on the offensive line.
“This is a team award!” said AWC head football coach Tom Minnick. “This just solidifies everyone’s thoughts around the country that Arizona Western College is an elite JUCO program. This award is truly a team award and I am proud of our young men for gaining this great honor.”
The Matadors season ended on December 7th following a loss to New Mexico Military Institute in the Fisher Automotive El Toro Bowl. AWC kicks off their 2014 campaign back at home against NMMI at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday August 23rd. Kickoff time is TBD.