Upton, Foley, Lyons named to NESCAC All-Conference teams

Bates football players (left to right) Trevor Lyons, Mark Upton and Justin Foley were All-NESCAC selections for the 2016 season, announced on Nov. 22, 2016.

HADLEY, Mass. -- Bates senior Mark Upton was named First Team Defense while senior Trevor Lyons and sophomore Justin Foley joined him as all-conference selections, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced the All-NESCAC football teams on Tuesday.

Lyons (Hamilton, Mass.) and Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) received Second Team All-NESCAC honors, the first in both players' careers. 

Lyons, a team captain and four-year starter as both a cornerback and free safety, was second on the Bobcats in tackles with a career-high 54, including 43 solo stops. He also led Bates with four interceptions and collected 1.5 sacks, five tackles for a loss, two fumble recoveries and a blocked kick. Lyons finished his Bates career with 129 tackles, 10 interceptions and seven tackles for a loss.

Foley, also a pitcher on the Bates baseball team, was rewarded for his second outstanding season punting for Bates. Foley not only punted more than anyone in team history -- he broke the Bobcats' single-season record for number of punts in Week 6, finishing with 81 in all -- but his kicking proved immensely important with so many games turning into field-position battles. Foley averaged 37.9 yards per punt and landed 20 inside the opponent's 20-yard line, with only five going into the end zone for touchbacks.

Upton (Winthrop, Mass.), also a team captain, was named First Team Defense for the third consecutive year, after recording career-highs in tackles (87), sacks (7) and tackles for a loss (14) and ranking in the top three in the conference in all three categories. He also had one interception and one forced fumble. Upton finishes his Bates career with 272 tackles (164 solo), 14.5 sacks, 37.5 tackles for a loss, eight forced fumbles and two interceptions.

It is Upton's fourth award this season: he won NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 2; was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's Campbell Trophy for scholar-athletes; and became Bates' first-ever winner of the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston's "Swede" Nelson Award for exceptional achievement in sportsmanship, academics, and athletics. The politics major carries a 3.56 cumulative grade point average. 

NESCAC Football 2016 All-Conference Teams (PDF)