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Zibolis named to Aztec Bowl

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - More post-season awards and honors have been announced for three members of the Plymouth State College football team.

Panther seniors John Walters (Wells, Maine), Chad Zibolis (Nashua, N.H.) and Chris Kelliher (Goffstown, N.H.) were all named to the 2001 All-New England Division II/III All-Star team as selected by the New England Football Writers. All three were recently named First Team Freedom Football Conference All-Stars.

In addition, Zibolis was selected to play for the American Football Coaches Association's Division III All-Star team that will represent the United States against the Mexican National Team in the 2001 Aztec Bowl on December 15 in Saltillo, Mexico. Zibolis is one of only 40 NCAA Division III seniors from around the country who will make up this year's team, which is coached by former Central (Iowa) College Head Coach Ron Schipper.

The Aztec Bowl is the traditional season-ending game for Mexico's college football season. The game has been played 28 times since 1947, with the last four contests (1997-2000) featuring the United States-Mexico match-up. The U.S. Division III All-Stars have defeated Mexico all four years (27-26 in 2000 in Merida, 44-13 in 1999 in Mexico City, 40-13 in 1998 in Monterrey, and 42-41 in 1997 in Toluca). Two former USA Team members are currently on National Football League rosters -- London Fletcher of the St. Louis Rams and Clint Kriewaldt of the Detroit Lions.

The All-New England Division II/III All-Star team includes 28 players from 16 schools, including 10 from the Freedom Football Conference, six from the New England Small College Athletic Conference, five each from the Northeast-10 Conference and the New England Football Conference, and two from the University of New Haven. The squad, which includes 21 seniors, four juniors, a sophomore, a freshman, and a graduate student, will be honored at the annual New England Football Writers' Captains and Awards Banquet on Thursday, Dec. 6th, at Lantana's Restaurant in Randolph, Mass.

Zibolis anchored PSC's offensive line from his center position, helping the Panthers to the top offense in the conference. PSC led the FFC in scoring offense (26.5 points/game), passing offense (215.6 yards/game), pass efficiency (116.5 rating), and total offense (391.6 yards/game). Walters, a tight end, led the team and ranked third in the conference in both receptions (44) and receiving yards (72.9 per game). Kelliher, a linebacker, led the league with 102 tackles and four fumble recoveries.

The Panthers, 7-3 overall under third-year head coach Chris Rorke, finished as co-champions of the FFC with Western Connecticut, both with 5-1 league records.