ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Catawba Indians placed a league-high 13 representatives on the SAC Preseason All-Conference Football Team, headlined by quarterback Luke Samples, the reigning SAC Offensive Player of the Year.
Catawba placed seven representatives on the first team, more than any other school. Five of those are on the offense, where the Indians bring back record-setting wide receiver Corey Ready and running back Rodney Wallace, the school’s all-time leading rusher to go along with Samples, who threw for 2,785 yards last season. Catawba also has two offensive linemen - Daniel Lynch and Bucky Yates - on the first team offense. Lineman Reggie Tucker and linebacker SaMario Houston are Catawba’s two first team defensive selections.
Preseason league favorite Carson-Newman placed 11 on the preseason squad, with six of those on the first team. The always powerful Eagle running attack will be led by J.J. Chatmon, with blocking up front from linemen Reggie Perkins, Caleb Crothers and All-American tight end Leonard Weaver.
Tusculum, last year’s co-champion, was hit hard by graduation, but the Pioneers do return nine Preseason All-Conference picks, with four first team selections. Three of those are on the defensive side - lineman Lee Hughes Jr, linebacker Shawn Harris and defensive back Larry Hollins. Offensive lineman Mario Leon is the other first team pick.
Mars Hill, Newberry and Wingate each have six representatives on the squad. Wingate had the most first team picks of the group with five. Two of those spots are held by All-American kicker Chris Brewer, who made first team at both placekicker and punter. Running back Antonio Hailstock, who led the SAC in rushing per game last year, long snapper Tony Tofanelli and defensive back Jaquion Gholston round out the first team Bulldogs.
Mars Hill’s record-breaking receiver Rod DeWalt and defensive back JaQuan Winston are the Lions’ two first team representatives, while Newberry features defensive lineman Tony Ransom and linebacker Terrance Leverett who led the SAC in tackles per game last year.
Presbyterian placed five on the preseason roster, with defensive lineman Teddy Canty as the Blue Hose’s only first team selection.
Lenoir-Rhyne has three preseason All-Conference picks, with wide receiver Aaron Caldwell and return specialist Christopher Winford both making the first team.
First Team First Team
QB - Luke Samples, CAT DL - Reggie Tucker, CAT
WR - Corey Ready, CAT DL - Tony Ransom, NEW
WR - Rod Dewalt, MH DL - Lee Hughes, Jr., TC
WR - Aaron Caldwell, L-R DL - Teddy Canty, PC
RB - J.J. Chatmon, C-N LB - Eric Solomon, C-N
RB - Rodney Wallace, CAT LB - SaMario Houston, CAT
RB - Antonio Hailstock, WU LB - Terrance Leverett, NEW
TE - Leonard Weaver, C-N LB - Shawn Harris, TC
OL - Daniel Lynch, CAT DB - Deonte Bolden, C-N
OL - Reggie Perkins, C-N DB - Jaquion Gholston, WU
OL - Mario Leon, TC DB - Larry Hollins, TC
OL - Bucky Yates, CAT DB - JaQuan Winston, MH
OL - Caleb Crothers, C-N P - Chris Brewer, WU
PK - Chris Brewer, WU RS - Chris Winford, L-R
LS - Tony Tofanelli, WU
Second Team Second Team
QB - Shane Kelley, C-N DL - Quincy Brown, C-N
QB - Tony Colston, TC DL - Marcus Huntley, CAT
WR - Tim Pope, PC DL - Dereck Rivers, TC
WR - Tymere Zimmerman, NEW DL - Lebron Johnson, TC
WR - Rodney Williams, WU LB - Dustin Cox, CAT
RB - Ray Hightower, C-N LB - Tim Clarke, L-R
RB - Mario Crowe, CAT LB - David Behrendsen, PC
RB - Cedric Johnson, MH LB - Rodney Peebles, TC
TE - Greg Jordan, MH DB - Quasi Gary, PC
OL - Prince Floyd, MH DB - Eddie Wall, CAT
OL - Chauncey Bailey, TC DB - Octavius Whiteside, NEW
OL - Jackie Blankenship, MH DB - Tiger Williams, C-N
OL - Pat Egan, C-N P - Jeff Williams, NEW
OL - Zak Farr, NEW RS - Corey Ready, CAT
PK - Ryan Noll, PC
LS - Derrick Milligan, CAT