Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cohen Gets All-America Nod

Senior LB Matt Cohen can now add something else to his trophy case: all-American.

Cohen becomes Lehigh’s first First-Team All-America since 2004 when DL Tom Alfsen and TE Adam Bergen garnered the accolade from various outlets. Cohen, who is a three time All-Patriot League selection, is just the 14th player in Patriot League football history to be named to the Walter Camp All-America Team, which is voted upon by the head coaches and sports information directors of the FCS schools.

Cohen was one of three linebackers from around the nation named to the Walter Camp All-America Team, joining J.C. Sherritt of Eastern Washington and Brandin Jordan of Southern Illinois. A native of Allentown, Cohen led the Patriot League in sacks (9.0) and tackles-for-loss (13.5) marking the second consecutive season he has accomplished that feat. A business supply major, Cohen was the first Mountain Hawk to win a major award from the Patriot League since PK Jason Leo in 2006 and the first Lehigh player to earn the Defensive Player of the Year honor since DB Abdul Byron in 2001.

The amount of all-American honors may just be starting for Cohen since there are several others that are forthcoming after the FCS championship game this Friday. Incidentally, one of the participants in that game is Villanova - Lehigh's opponent in Week Two this year - and I wrote a wrapup of the frigid game this past weekend.

I know I'm overdue for a wrapup of the Lehigh 2009 season - including postseason awards such as the "LFN Player of the Year" and such - but quite frankly it's been a difficult stretch to close out this football season. I had not one but two hard drive failures over the past two months, and while I was able to back up one of the drives, one just gave me the "click of death", which - of course - was the one I was using to record all the Lehigh games on the year. It took me a month and a half to completely recover from the failures - but, happily, with a replay of the 145th airing just this morning on FCS Atlantic, I was able to get nearly every televised game.

With the computer issues - and, of course, the decisions by Hofstra and Northeastern to drop football - it's been an unusually busy month, which has prevented me from doing my regular pivot to Lehigh's winter sports - namely, men's and women's basketball and wrestling.

The men's team (3-5, Real Time RPI 176) have played a pretty brutal schedule (Richmond, Dayton) and have a pretty disappointing record so far, but the Patriot League in general is no better. Only 7-2 Army (Real Time RPI: 121) has a winning record - and the league's best win, a 56-53 mudder against Harvard - but it's clear that this is still anyone's league.

The Lady Hawks (7-2, Real Time RPI 51) have simply gone from strength to strength after last year's Patriot League championship and NCAA tournament appearance. Better yet, while losing to perennial powerhouse Vanderbilt (9-1), and Princeton (7-2) the Lady Hawks' win on the road over 6-2 Villanova (Real Time RPI: 89) has to be a sign that Lehigh isn't going away any time soon as a force to be reckoned with.

Wrestling, meanwhile, has also had some good early success with a 6-2 dual record. The No. 12-ranked Mountain Hawks have three dual wins over Top 25 programs (Penn State, Michigan, and Nebraska), with only two dual defeats (at the hands of No. 5 Ohio State and No. 6 Maryland).

This Thursday, I'll start doing my weekend previews for the winter sports, and next week I'll probably have a wrapup of the 2009 football season. I may have some stuff about the latest meeting of the Patriot League presidents, more Hofstra/Eastern Football Realignment madness, and who knows what else. Assuming no more hard drives crash on me.

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