FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart Football had seven student-athletes earn All-Northeast Conference honors on Wednesday.
Linebacker CJ Parvelus was the lone Pioneer named to the All-NEC First Team. A Second Team selection in 2016, Parvelus led SHU for the second straight season in tackles with 97. He finished the regular season third in the NEC in tackles. Parvelus had double-digit tackles in five straight games from Sept. 30 to Oct. 28, capping that stretch with a career-high 16 tackles against Duquesne on Oct. 28.
Fellow linebacker Kevin Barry was named All-NEC Second Team for the second straight year. It is his third All-NEC Second Team selection. Barry had 89 tackles this season, finishing sixth in the NEC with 8.1 stops per game. He led the Pioneers with 11.5 tackles for loss, tied for fifth in the NEC. Barry had a season-high 11 tackles twice in 2017 and had a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown at Bucknell on Sept. 23.
Offensive Lineman Sean Merrill earned his second straight All-NEC Second Team selection. Sean Peters was named to the All-NEC Second Team for his first career postseason honor. Starting all 11 games this season at left guard and left tackle, respectively, Merrill and Peters were part of an offensive line that did not miss a start all season. The Pioneers' front line was a catalyst to SHU's 177.8 rushing yards per game and allowed just 18 sacks.
Khaamal Whitaker was one of four Pioneers to earn their first career All-NEC selection. A two-time NEC Defensive Player of the Week this season, Whitaker led the conference in interceptions with five. His 46-yard interception return for a touchdown at Robert Morris late in the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winner in a 21-14 victory. He had two interceptions against the Colonials, and also had picks in back-to-back games against Saint Francis U and Wagner to end the season.
Wide Receiver Andrew O'Neill had a career-year in 2017, and was rewarded with a spot on the All-NEC Second Team. O'Neill set career-highs with 54 receptions and 620 yards, scoring four touchdowns. The senior set single-game career-highs with 11 receptions, 142 receiving yards, and two touchdowns at Bryant on Nov. 4. The week before, O'Neill had six receptions for 100 yards against Duquesne.
Running Back Nate Chavious rounds out SHU's six selections to the All-NEC Second Team. Chavious led SHU in rushing with 490 yards in seven games. He also led the Pioneers with 872 all-purpose yards. Chavious had over 100 all-purpose yards in six games, with a season-high 246 at Bryant. The senior had 87 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter against the Bulldogs, and added 142 kick return yards.
SHU finished the 2017 season with a 4-7 record, going 2-4 in the NEC.