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November 27, 2021

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Beavers' Archer 2020-21 HCAC male athlete of the year

Second male from Bluffton to receive this recognition

The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) recognized Montez Archer Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) as the 2020-21 Male Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, following a vote of league officials.

Archer Jr. joins All-American Ryan Aelker (2016) as the second Bluffton male to be named the Heartland Conference Athlete of the Year. 

Terrill Webb was the top HCAC female athlete in 2016.

The newcomer from Bluffton University had an outstanding first year campaign on the gridiron for the Beavers.

His efforts earned the titles of Spring 2021 Football HCAC Defensive Player of the Year, Spring 2021 Football HCAC Special Teams Player of the Year and Spring 2021 Football HCAC Newcomer of the Year, the first time a student athlete has claimed multiple major awards in Heartland football history.

Archer kicked off 2021 with an impressive two-game stretch, picking off six passes in a span of eight days as the Beavers took down Manchester and Anderson to open Heartland Conference play.

He was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week twice, while earning HCAC Player of the Week three consecutive weeks.

Archer's seven interceptions leads all of NCAA Division III for pickoffs. He is also tops in the country with 531 kickoff return yards and 234 punt return yards. His 21.3 yards per punt return is currently third in the nation.

The sensational first-year moved into second place on the single-season interceptions list with the seven pickoffs and his 65 fumble return yards is already second on the career list at Bluffton.

Archer led the Beavers and was second in the Heartland Conference with 54 total tackles, including 40 solo stops. The Detroit native also broke up seven passes in addition to the seven interceptions and he chipped in with two TFL's. The (D3FB) Huddle recently named Archer Jr. its 'Rookie of the Season'.

The HCAC Athlete of the Year award is in its eighth year of existence. The award is voted on by the sports information directors of each member institution.

HCAC Men's Athlete of the Year

2021    Montez Archer Jr., Football, Bluffton University
2020    Cornell Beachem Jr., Football, Mount St. Joseph University
2019    Cam Fails, Men's Basketball, Hanover College
2018    Chase Burton, Football, Franklin College
2017    Wes McKinney, Men's Basketball, Hanover College
2016    Ryan Aelker, Football, Bluffton University
2015    Max Kittle, Track & Field, Anderson University
2014    Kyle Linville, Football, Franklin College

• Mt. St. Joseph student is female athlete of the year
The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) recognized Alehia Tucker (Covington, Ky.) as the 2020-21 Female Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, following a vote of league officials.

HCAC Female Athlete of the Year
2021    Alehia Tucker, Softball, Mount St. Joseph University
2020    Brynna Sentel, Women's Swimming and Diving, Franklin College
2019    Aishat Sadiq, Track & Field, Earlham College
2018    Renae Morton, Softball, Transylvania University
2017    Jordin Fender, Track & Field, Transylvania University
2016    Terrill Webb, Track & Field, Bluffton University
2015    Anna Murdock, Cross Country and Track & Field, Franklin College
2014    Bridgette Rowe, Soccer and Track & Field, Manchester University