St. Louis, Mo. - The Youngstown State football team placed four players on the Missouri Valley Football Conference's preseason all-league team, the conference announced on Tuesday. TB Jody Webb, PK Zak Kennedy, DE Derek Rivers and FS LeRoy Alexander all earned preseason accolades.
In the race for the conference title, YSU was tabbed to finish fifth. Five-time defending National Champion North Dakota State was picked to win the league once again garnering 37 of 39 first-place votes and a total of 388 points. UNI picked up the other two first-place votes and tallied 343 points. South Dakota State was third (284), Illinois State was picked fourth (274) and YSU was right behind in fifth (254).
Rivers, Alexander and Kennedy were all first-team All-MVFC honorees in 2015 while Webb was a second-team selection following a breakout year in which he led the Penguins in rushing.
Kennedy set a school record by making 19 field goals last year, eclipsing the mark of 17. He made a field goal in all but one contest and led the team with 91 points. In MVFC contests he made 14-of-16 attempts, converting at an 87.5 percent clip. He ranked third in the FCS making 1.73 field goals per game. In the regular season, he was one of three FCS kickers to make at least 19 field goals.
Rivers was named first-team All-MVFC for the second consecutive season posting nine sacks and 15.5 TFLs. During the season, Rivers set the school record for career sacks with 26 and has one season remaining with the program. In 2015, he had 52 total tackles, including 37 solos. In conference games he had 36 tackles and five sacks.
Alexander transferred from Nebraska an immediately transformed the YSU secondary into one of the best in the nation. He was second on the team with 67 total tackles and 38 solo stops. In conference play he had 49 total tackles. Overall he led the squad with four interceptions. YSU ranked second in the country in fewest passing yards allowed per game after ranking 71st in 2014.
Webb rushed for a team-high 857 yards on 122 attempts. He had a team-high nine touchdown runs, five of which came in MVFC play. Impressively he averaged 7.8 yards per rush attempt in conference games.
Season and individual tickets for the 2016 season are available at the YSU Athletic Ticket Office in Stambaugh Stadium. Season tickets start at $99 for a six-game home schedule. For more information contact (330) 941-1978.